New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 24 Jun 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Foiling Attack on Grand Mosque ‘Fabricated’ by New Saudi Crown Prince: Opposition Figure


New Age Islam News Bureau

 

25 Jun 2017 


Trump Greets Muslim on Eid Al-Fitr, No Celebration at White House - Other Media news - Tasnim News Agency

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 Trump Greets Muslim on Eid-Ul-Fitr, But No Celebration at White House

 Over 50 Taliban and ISIS militants killed in North of Afghanistan: MoD

 Jammu and Kashmir Police Asks Personnel to Avoid Eid Prayers in Public Mosques

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Arab World

 Foiling Attack on Grand Mosque ‘Fabricated’ by New Saudi Crown Prince: Opposition Figure

 Syrian Army Thwarts US Plan to Access DeirEzzur

 Car bomb kills 10, injures 60 in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib – report

 Under 200 ISIL Terrorists in Mosul as Iraqi Forces Prepare for Final Assault

 Israeli Air Force Targets Positions of Syrian Army in Quneitra Province

 US Forces Deploy Near Iraq's Border with Syria, Jordan

 President congratulates Yemeni people, Arab and Islamic nations on occasion of Eid al-Fitr

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North America

 Trump Greets Muslim on Eid-Ul-Fitr, But No Celebration at White House

 Ahead Of PM Modi's Visit, US Sees No Threat to Pakistan from Arms Deal with India

 US ends role of special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan

 Pro-Muslim rally peaceful ahead of anti-Islam rally planned for Sunday

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South Asia

 Over 50 Taliban and ISIS militants killed in North of Afghanistan: MoD

 Taliban Militants Kill 10 Police Officers near Dam in Western Afghanistan

 Al-Qaeda member among 6 killed in MaidanWardak airstrike

 Noor warns of crisis if reforms not implemented in security sector

 Afghans suffer deadliest Ramazan since 2001

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India

 Jammu and Kashmir Police Asks Personnel to Avoid Eid Prayers in Public Mosques

 Lawyers Boycott Boy Arrested For Cheering Pakistan Cricket Win

 Rajasthan BSF DG says rise in number mosques, madrasas on Pakistan border

 Darjeeling protests: GJM gives 12-hour window for Muslims on eve of Eid

 Lynching of J&K DSP fuels public anger, Hurriyat stays mum

 Indian, Pakistani troops trade fire on LoC

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Southeast Asia

 Philippine Army Halts Counter-Terrorist Op in Marawi for Muslim Holiday

 About 150,000 People Expected To Perform Prayers At Istiqlal Mosque

 Suspected Islamist militants kill Indonesian policeman in knife attack

 Suspected Islamist militants kill Indonesian policeman in knife attack

 All Indonesian Muslims in Lebaran festive mood

 Indonesia condemns Mecca suicide bomb attempt

 Indonesia releases 382 Muslim inmates early for IdulFitri

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Pakistan

 Pakistan Issues First Third-Gender Passport for Transgender Activist

 Death toll from triple terrorist attacks in Pakistan rises to 85

 Man steals from mosque, says matter between him and God

 Pakistani army hints at Afghanistan as deadly explosions leaves scores dead

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Europe

 Putin Congratulates Russian Muslims on Eid al-Fitr Holiday 

 Catholic Church in Spain accuses Qatar of meddling at historic mosque site

 Eid Mubarak from the Muslim Council of Britain

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Mideast

 Turkey's Erdogan Says Arab Demands On Qatar Unlawful

 Qatar says Saudi-led demands not 'reasonable'

 UAE Leadership Extends Eid Al-Fitr Greetings to Arab and Muslim Leaders

 Iran offers Saudi Arabia help after Mecca bombing

 Iran’s Top General Urges Muslim Unity in Eid Message

 Erdoğan faints during Morning Prayer in mosque

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Africa

 Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in several countries

 Security tight as Muslims celebrate Eid

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/foiling-attack-on-grand-mosque-‘fabricated’-by-new-saudi-crown-prince--opposition-figure/d/111668

 

 

Foiling Attack on Grand Mosque ‘Fabricated’ by New Saudi Crown Prince: Opposition Figure

June, 25, 2017


Photo: Saudi Arabia’s leading opposition figure, Hamza al-Hassan, said a recent planned terror attack on the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca was a state-sponsored false-flag operation orchestrated by Saudi Arabia's new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Saudi Arabia’s leading opposition figure, Hamza al-Hassan, said a recent planned terror attack on the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca was a state-sponsored false-flag operation orchestrated by Saudi Arabia's new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Foiling the attack in the shrine was a fabrication aimed at winning the popular support for bin Salman and covering up the issue of (Muhammad) bin Nayef’s removal (from power)”, al-Hassan said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry claimed that the country’s security forces had foiled a suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, cornering the alleged potential attacker before he blew himself up.

The ministry asserted that three cells had planned the attack on worshippers and security forces at the mosque as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears its climax.

The trapped would-be suicide bomber exchanged fire with the security forces, then set off explosives when he was surrounded in a house in a central Mecca neighborhood, the ministry said.

The building collapsed, injuring six foreigners and five members of the security forces.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the plot to attack the mosque.

In fresh allegations on Sunday, however, the Saudi regime accused Iran of being behind the attack, claiming that it has arrested three Iranian nationals in relation to the incident.

The Grand Mosque houses Islam's holiest site, the cube-shaped Kaaba that Islam's followers pray toward five times a day.

tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/06/25/1446194/foiling-attack-on-grand-mosque-fabricated-by-new-saudi-crown-prince-opposition-figure

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Trump greets Muslim on Eid-ul-Fitr, but no celebration at White House

June 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, June 25 (APP): President Trump and the First Lady extended their best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of holy fasting month of Ramadan, but the White House has likely ended a long tradition of celebrating it, a Washington Post report said on Saturday.

“Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” the statement read as quoted by the report. “Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.”

The statement further said: “During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also issued a statement to extend greetings to all Muslims celebrating the festival.

“This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity. This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.”

But, the report noted that President Trump has ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan an Eid at the White House.

“For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations,” the report said.

In recent weeks, several former White House staff members told The Post they would usually begin planning an iftar “months in advance” and didn’t anticipate the Trump White House could pull something off before the end of Ramadan.

Rumana Ahmed, who helped plan several White House iftar dinners and one Eid celebration during the Obama administration, expressed regrets that the tradition could end with Trump, the report quoted her as saying.

app.com.pk/trump-greets-muslim-on-eid-ul-fitr-but-no-celebration-at-white-house/

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Over 50 Taliban and ISIS militants killed in North of Afghanistan: MoD

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 24 2017

Over fifty insurgents belonging to the Taliban group and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan were killed during the operations in northern Jawzjan province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Friday.

MoD deputy spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish said the operations were conducted in the vicinities of Darzab district during the past several days.

He said at least forty militants affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group were killed and around ten others were wounded.

Gen. Radmanish further added that several commanders of the terror group were also wounded during the operations.

According to Gen. Radmanish, at least eleven Taliban insurgents including their main commander for Jawzjan were also killed during the operations.

He said the Taliban commander killed during the operation has been identified as Shamsullah.

The Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists have not commented regarding the report so far.

Jawzjan is among the relatively volatile provinces in north of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists are actively operating in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

khaama.com/over-50-taliban-and-isis-militants-killed-in-north-of-afghanistan-mod-03015

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Jammu and Kashmir Police asks personnel to avoid Eid prayers in public mosques

Jun, 25 2017

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has asked its personnel to avoid Eid prayers in public places in the wake of mob lynching of a deputy superintendent of police outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Police personnel have been advised to offer prayers in mosques in district police lines or protected mosques.

"You are advised to instruct the field and subordinate formations that they shall not offer Eid prayers in isolated or general mosques or eidgahs," an advisory issued from Police Control Room (PCR) on behalf of Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, to all police stations across the Valley read.

It said all police personnel shall offer Eid prayers in mosques in district police lines (DPL) Srinagar or PCR Kashmir.

"In other districts also, the Eid prayers shall be offered in DPL mosques or protected mosques where the safety of your personnel is ensured," the advisory read.

Asked about the advisory, Director General of Police S P Vaid said, "It is good to take precautions”.

"They (police personnel) are my men, I will advise them. They are my children, so we will advise them to take precautions,” he said.

The advisory comes in the wake of mob lynching of Dy SP Mohammad AyubPandith outside the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city on Thursday during Shab-e-Qadar prayers.

firstpost.com/india/jammu-and-kashmir-police-asks-personnel-to-avoid-eid-prayers-in-public-mosques-3743489.html

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Arab World

Foiling Attack on Grand Mosque ‘Fabricated’ by New Saudi Crown Prince: Opposition Figure

June, 25, 2017

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Saudi Arabia’s leading opposition figure, Hamza al-Hassan, said a recent planned terror attack on the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca was a state-sponsored false-flag operation orchestrated by Saudi Arabia's new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“Foiling the attack in the shrine was a fabrication aimed at winning the popular support for bin Salman and covering up the issue of (Muhammad) bin Nayef’s removal (from power)”, al-Hassan said in a message posted on his Twitter account on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry claimed that the country’s security forces had foiled a suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, cornering the alleged potential attacker before he blew himself up.

The ministry asserted that three cells had planned the attack on worshippers and security forces at the mosque as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears its climax.

The trapped would-be suicide bomber exchanged fire with the security forces, then set off explosives when he was surrounded in a house in a central Mecca neighborhood, the ministry said.

The building collapsed, injuring six foreigners and five members of the security forces.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the plot to attack the mosque.

In fresh allegations on Sunday, however, the Saudi regime accused Iran of being behind the attack, claiming that it has arrested three Iranian nationals in relation to the incident.

The Grand Mosque houses Islam's holiest site, the cube-shaped Kaaba that Islam's followers pray toward five times a day.

tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/06/25/1446194/foiling-attack-on-grand-mosque-fabricated-by-new-saudi-crown-prince-opposition-figure

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Syrian Army Thwarts US Plan to Access DeirEzzur

Jun 25 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops continued their advances against ISIL in Raqqa and DeirEzzur provinces and managed to take control of a strategic town, blocking the path of the US and its affiliated militants to DeirEzzur.

The army men captured the key town of al-Rasafeh West of Raqqa province and closed off the US planned move to DeirEzzur city through Western Raqqa.

In the meantime, the army men closed off the Southern entrance of Raqqa city to ISIL by capturing al-Rasafeh.

Field sources said that recent advances of the army soldiers have blocked the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces path to approach DeirEzzur.

Ali Maqsoud, a Syrian military expert said al-Rasafeh that is located West of DeirEzzur and South of Raqqa is now under the control of the Syrian army, "so all US plans to access DeirEzzur are null and void now".

Earlier reports said that the army men continued their operation from borders of Syria with Iraq and managed to take control over Wadi (desert) al-Lo'weiziyeh and advanced tens of kilometers along the border, seizing control of al-Washash region, Wadi al-Wa'ar and al-Wa'ar dam.

A military source, meantime, reported that the army soldiers have entered DeirEzzur province from its Southeastern part for the first time in the last five years, adding that the pro-government forces are only 125km away from Albu Kamal. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960403001455

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Car bomb kills 10, injures 60 in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib – report

Jun 25, 2017

A car bomb in the town of Al-Dana in Syria’s Idlib province killed at least 10 people and injured around 60 on Saturday, according to Al-Masdar News. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, which took place in a crowded marketplace. The explosion occurred just hours after a separate blast in the town killed two people and wounded others, according to AP. Idlib is one of the last strongholds of armed rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

rt.com/news/line/

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Under 200 ISIL Terrorists in Mosul as Iraqi Forces Prepare for Final Assault

Jun 25, 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- Less than 200 militants of ISIL terror group are still in Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare for a decisive storming of the city center, media reported Saturday, citing military sources.

"The Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) occupies only 500 square meters [approximately 5,382 square feet ] in the center of the old city, where no more than 200 radicals, including snipers and suicide attackers, are staying," the sources said, as quoted by the Al-Arabiya broadcaster.

The broadcaster noted that the Iraqi forces from various structures, including elite anti-terror units, are deployed near the landmark al-Nuri mosque, which was reported Wednesday to have been blown up by the ISIL militants.

The countdown has started for accomplishing the recapture of the Western part of the strategic city of Mosul from the ISIL as Iraq's joint military forces have laid full siege on the terrorists.

Iraqi government forces pushed deeper in Mosul’s militant-held district of Old City as they are battling to purge ISIL Takfiri militants out of their last bastion in the country’s second largest city, warning civilians to stay inside and telling terrorists to “surrender or die.”

Iraqi forces battled their way along two streets in the heart of Mosul's Old City to open routes for civilians to flee ISIL's last stand district.

Baghdad is hoping to declare victory in the Northern Iraqi city in the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The ISIL militants committed another historical crime on Wednesday by blowing up the al-Nuri mosque and its historical al-Hadba minaret.

Mosul's al-Nuri mosque is highly symbolic because it was there that leader of the ISIL group, Ibrahim al-Samarrai, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared himself the so-called caliphate of the Takfiri terrorist group, shortly after the flashpoint city fell to militants in June 2014 and became their de facto capital in Iraq.

The Iraqi operation to recapture Mosul, the key ISIL stronghold in Iraq, began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul’s Eastern part this January. Fighting continues in the city's West, with Iraqi forces trying to liberate the Old City.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960404000744

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Israeli Air Force Targets Positions of Syrian Army in Quneitra Province

Jun 25, 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Israeli fighter jets attacked the Syrian government forces' tanks and artillery positions South-West of the war-hit country, media sources said Sunday.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that the Israeli Air Force attacked the Syrian government forces' tanks and artillery positions, claiming that the air raids were carried out after 10 projectiles fell on the Israeli-controlled part of the Golan Heights, Sputnik reported.

At least two Syrian soldiers were killed as a result of airstrikes carried out by Israeli forces on Saturday in the disputed area of the Golan Heights, media reported.

"Two were killed as a result of the airstrike against a position of the Syrian army in the liberated area of Golan Heights," the source was quoted as saying by the Al-Mayadeen broadcaster.

A source on the ground told RIA Novosti that the Syrian government forces have been repelling a massive attack of Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) in the Golan Heights when they were struck by the Israeli Air Force in the area.

"The (Syrian) army repelled a massive Al-Nusra Front attack on the city of Ba'ath in the Quneitra province (bordering the Golan Heights). The army took up the fight with terrorists. The attackers have suffered losses. (Syrian) aviation and artillery helped repel the attacks," the source told RIA Novosti.

According to the source, an Israeli military helicopter launched a strike on the Syrian army in Ba'ath at the moment of the Al-Nusra Front offensive.

Syrian government forces said the Israeli warplanes, in fact, targeted a parking lot and a residential building in the suburbs of al-Ba'ath in the Quneitra province. They added that the Israeli airstrike resulted in civilian casualties and material damage, as reported by the SANA news agency.

No Syrian military targets were hit by the Israelis, SANA added, citing military sources.

The majority of such incidents are described as accidental overspills during clashes between the Syrian government forces and militant groups.

The Golan Heights, internationally recognized as Syrian territory, was seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. In 1981, the Israeli parliament voted to annex two-thirds of the region. The United Nations has repeatedly stated that Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights is illegal, calling for it to be returned to Syria.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960404000564

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US Forces Deploy Near Iraq's Border with Syria, Jordan

Jun 25, 2017

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of al-Hashd al-Ashayeri (Iraqi volunteer tribal forces) said that the US ground troops have deployed in Southern direction of al-Rotbah in Anbar province near the border with Syria and Jordan.

Hamid al-Shandoukh said that the US soldiers with a large number of vehicles have deployed in the desert region of Wadi al-Qazaf South of al-Rotba, near the ISIL positions.

He further said that the US soldiers have come from Ein al-Assad base in al-Baghdadi region, adding that they are moving in the region under the aerial support of US choppers and reconnaissance planes.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that the United States' military build-up in Southern Syria violates the norms of international law.

The comments by Zakharova come as the United States last week transferred two high mobility multiple-launch rocket systems from Jordan to the US special operations forces base at Al-Tanf, Sputnik reported.

"This is an active US build-up of its military presence in the southern regions of sovereign Syria in violation of international law," Zakharova told reporters at a weekly briefing.

The US-led coalition against ISIL has twice struck Syrian-government aligned forces in the Al-Tanf area.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960403001504

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President congratulates Yemeni people, Arab and Islamic nations on occasion of Eid al-Fitr

[25/June/2017]

SANAA, June 25 (Saba) – President of the supreme political council Saleh al-Sammad delivered a speech on the eve of Eid al-Fitr to the Yemeni people, Arab and Islamic nations.

In his speech, al-Sammad congratulates the Yemeni people, Arab and Islamic nations on the occasion of blessed Eid al-Fitr.

"This eid came while our Yemeni people have been suffering from barbaric and criminal war for the third straight year from US-backed Saudi-led coalition that targeted every life in Yemen, including schools, hospitals, parks, farms and residential quarters," the president said.

"Above all, the aggression coalition have been imposing a three-year commercial blockade that is more hard than the military war," said the president.

The president called on the international community and the United Nations to break the siege and end the aggression and unjust war against the Yemeni people.

sabanews.net/en/news467659.htm

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North America

Trump greets Muslim on Eid-ul-Fitr, but no celebration at White House

June 25, 2017

WASHINGTON, June 25 (APP): President Trump and the First Lady extended their best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of holy fasting month of Ramadan, but the White House has likely ended a long tradition of celebrating it, a Washington Post report said on Saturday.

“Muslims in the United States joined those around the world during the holy month of Ramadan to focus on acts of faith and charity,” the statement read as quoted by the report. “Now, as they commemorate Eid with family and friends, they carry on the tradition of helping neighbors and breaking bread with people from all walks of life.”

The statement further said: “During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also issued a statement to extend greetings to all Muslims celebrating the festival.

“This holiday marks the culmination of Ramadan, a month in which many experience meaning and inspiration in acts of fasting, prayer, and charity. This day offers an opportunity to reflect on our shared commitment to building peaceful and prosperous communities. Eid Mubarak.”

But, the report noted that President Trump has ended a long tradition of celebrating Ramadan an Eid at the White House.

“For the first time in nearly two decades, Ramadan has come and gone without the White House recognizing it with an iftar or Eid celebration, as had taken place each year under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations,” the report said.

In recent weeks, several former White House staff members told The Post they would usually begin planning an iftar “months in advance” and didn’t anticipate the Trump White House could pull something off before the end of Ramadan.

Rumana Ahmed, who helped plan several White House iftar dinners and one Eid celebration during the Obama administration, expressed regrets that the tradition could end with Trump, the report quoted her as saying.

app.com.pk/trump-greets-muslim-on-eid-ul-fitr-but-no-celebration-at-white-house/

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Ahead of PM Modi's visit, US sees no threat to Pakistan from arms deal with India

Reuters | Updated: Jun 24, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

PM Modi's two-day visit to Washington begins on June 25.

PM Modi is set to have one-on-one meeting with US President Donald Trump on June 26.

India, America will also discuss sale of US fighter jets during PM Modi's trip.

Ahead of PM Modi's visit, US sees no threat to Pakistan from arms deal with India

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: With the United States expected to authorise India's purchase of naval drones+ , a senior White House official cautioned on Friday that any US military transfer to India would not represent a threat to its rival neighbour Pakistan.

The official spoke to reporters in advance of US President Donald Trump's first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, a White House visit that will include one-on-one talks and a working dinner.

Securing agreement on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones, worth more than $2 billion, is seen in New Delhi as a key test of defence ties+ that flourished under former President Barack Obama but have drifted under Trump, who has courted Asian rival China as he seeks Beijing's help to contain North Korea's nuclear programme.

The US-based company that makes the drones, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, said on Friday that the US government had approved the sale of a naval variant of the Predator drone to India.

The senior White House official said any arms transfer would take into account the regional situation.

"We want to avoid a situation that escalates the tension" between India and Pakistan, the official said. India and Pakistan should engage in direct talks and seek a normalization of ties, the official said.

"Some of the defence systems we're talking about we don't believe impact Pakistan," the official added.

The Indian navy wants the surveillance drones, variants of the Predator drones, to keep watch over the Indian Ocean. The deal would be the first such purchase by a country that is not a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

India, a big buyer of US arms that was recently named by Washington as a major defence ally, wants to protect its 7,500-km (4,700-mile) coastline as Beijing expands its maritime trade routes and Chinese submarines increasingly lurk in regional waters.

But sources tracking the discussions say the US State Department has been concerned about the potential destabilising impact of introducing high-tech drones into South Asia, where tensions are simmering between India and Pakistan over Kashmir issue.

Such a sale of sensitive military hardware must be authorized by the State Department before being sent to Congress for review. The drone deal would still require approval by Congress. The State Department declined comment ahead of any notification.

Defense cooperation, the US trade deficit with India, counter-terrorism efforts and regional tensions are expected to be discussed between the two leaders.

Modi's two-day visit to Washington begins on Sunday. Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in April and has also had face time with the leaders of nations including Japan, Britain and Vietnam since taking office in January, prompting anxiety in New Delhi that India is no longer a priority in Washington.

Other strains have emerged in US-India relations, with the United States vexed by a growing bilateral trade deficit and Trump accusing New Delhi of negotiating unscrupulously at the Paris climate talks to walk away with billions in aid.

US officials expect a relatively low-key visit by Modi, without the fanfare of some of his previous trips to the United States, and one geared to giving the Indian leader the chance to get to know Trump personally and to show that he is doing so.

India and the United States will also discuss the sale of US fighter jets during Modi's trip, in what could be the biggest deal since they began deepening defence ties more than a decade ago.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/ahead-of-pm-modis-visit-us-sees-no-threat-to-pakistan-from-arms-deal-with-india/articleshow/59298709.cms

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US ends role of special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan

AFP | Jun 24, 2017, 12.32 PM IST

WASHINGTON: Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan stepped down on Friday, just as the United States is preparing to send thousands more troops to the region.

A senior state department official said that acting special representative Laurel Miller left the post without a replacement being named.

State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Miller is returning to a position at the Rand Corporation and that secretary of state Rex Tillerson has not yet decided what to do with post.

The office was created when US officials decided that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan are inextricably linked and ought to be dealt with together.

President Donald Trump came to office planning to slash diplomatic spending and Tillerson plans to cut several special envoy roles.

Miller's responsibilities will now fall under the department's South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau, which has a much bigger footprint that includes India.

But this bureau is itself leaderless, with no assistant secretary appointed to lead it and no one nominated by the new administration for Senate approval.

When news site Politico broke the news that the envoy post had gone, it cited diplomats complaining of a rushed process and a dangerous leadership vacuum.

But, also speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official told AFP the decision was part of a broader policy review.

Tillerson thinks the issue is best handled at a regional level, the official said, arguing that it made sense to consider India part of the equation.

Trump has given the Pentagon and US commanders wide latitude to decide on the future of Washington's longest ever war — the 16-year slog in Afghanistan.

Defense secretary Jim Mattis is reportedly planning to deploy up to 5,000 extra troops to bolster efforts to train Afghan forces to repel a resurgent Taliban insurgency.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/us-ends-role-of-special-envoy-to-afghanistan-and-pakistan/articleshow/59296736.cms

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Pro-Muslim rally peaceful ahead of anti-Islam rally planned for Sunday

Jun 24, 2017

A woman signs a banner at a pro-Muslim rally at Calgary's city hall. (Kate Adach/CBC)

Anti-racism motion draws supporters, critics in dueling Calgary rallies

Branded 'hateful' by Calgary officials, anti-Islam group vows to march regardless of permit

A group of Calgarians gathered at city hall on Saturday ahead of a march against Islam planned for Sunday at the nearby Olympic Plaza.

Organized by the Calgary Anti-Oppression Network, the Saturday afternoon event drew about 70 people. The event had two main goals, according to 86-year-old Mariam Meir, one of the organizers.

"First to show support for the Muslim community and anybody else who is being oppressed," she told CBC News Saturday. "And the other is to show unity, because we feel, as Canadians, we want everyone to feel welcome in this country and be at peace and feel happy here."

Duelling rallies at city hall stay peaceful

AsfaRiyaz, a young Muslim woman, says she was impressed by the turnout.

"There are people here from different religions, from different ethnicities," she said. "It makes me happy to see that they're all standing here for Muslims, for black people, for the LGBT community.

"We're all here for the same goal and that's humanity."

AsfaRiyaz was impressed by the number of people who attended a pro-Muslim rally at Calgary's city hall. (Kate Adach/CBC)

Another event, We Stand United in One Love Canada, was held earlier in the day Saturday, also as a protest against the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI) rally planned for Sunday.

The WCAI group had been advertising an event on Facebook for Saturday afternoon at Olympic Plaza, dubbing it the Patriotic Unity Mega Festival.

But Calgary Recreation denied its application for a special event permit, "on the basis that your organization, and messages it espouses, are hateful," the city told the group in a written response.

Instead, they decided to hold what they are calling a peaceful march on Sunday afternoon.

cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-pro-muslim-rally-1.4177066

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South Asia

Over 50 Taliban and ISIS militants killed in North of Afghanistan: MoD

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 24 2017

Over fifty insurgents belonging to the Taliban group and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan were killed during the operations in northern Jawzjan province, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Friday.

MoD deputy spokesman Gen. Mohammad Radmanish said the operations were conducted in the vicinities of Darzab district during the past several days.

He said at least forty militants affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group were killed and around ten others were wounded.

Gen. Radmanish further added that several commanders of the terror group were also wounded during the operations.

According to Gen. Radmanish, at least eleven Taliban insurgents including their main commander for Jawzjan were also killed during the operations.

He said the Taliban commander killed during the operation has been identified as Shamsullah.

The Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists have not commented regarding the report so far.

Jawzjan is among the relatively volatile provinces in north of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents and ISIS loyalists are actively operating in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

khaama.com/over-50-taliban-and-isis-militants-killed-in-north-of-afghanistan-mod-03015

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Taliban militants kill 10 police officers near dam in western Afghanistan

Jun 25 2017

A group of Taliban militants stormed a police checkpoint near a dam in the Herat province of western Afghanistan on Sunday morning, killing 10 officers, TOLO news reported, citing local officials. Four other officers were injured in the attack, and four Taliban militants were killed, said GelaniFarhad, a spokesman for the regional police chief. The attackers managed to get away with weapons seized from the checkpoint, he added.

rt.com/news/line/

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Al-Qaeda member among 6 killed in MaidanWardak airstrike

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 24 2017

At least six militants including a member of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network were killed in an airstrike in central MaidanWardak province of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Saturday.

According to a statement by MoD, the airstrike was carried out in the past 24 hours in the vicinity of Jaghatoo district.

The statement further added that two vehicles packed with explosives and their two hideouts were also destroyed while several weapons, ammunition, and explosives were confiscated.

MaiwanWardak is among the relatively volatile provinces in central parts of the country, located close to capital Kabul.

The anti-government armed militants are actively operating in its various districts and often carry out insurgency activities, mainly in the districts lying along the highway connecting Kabul with the southeastern and southern provinces.

In the meantime, MoD said at least three militants were killed and two others were wounded during a separate operation in Maiwand district of Kandahar, while two others were killed during an operation in Shegal district of Kunar province.

newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-security-foils-terror-plot-targeting-mecca-grand-mosque-and-pilgrims/d/111667

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Noor warns of crisis if reforms not implemented in security sector

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 25 2017

The provincial governor of northern Balkh province and the chief executive of JamiatIslami party has warned the country could be taken to a crisis if reforms are not implemented in the security sector.

In a speech released on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, Noor said the security institutions are incompetent and immediate reforms are needed, noting the growing violence as the security forces fail to provide security for the Afghan people.

He also harshly reacted at the use of force against the protesters and claimed that the camps were removed by the use of force against the unarmed protesters who were demanding change.

Noor also added that certain individuals had instructed the use of weapons against the protesters who were shot with snipers, demanding immediate actions to identify and arrest the culprits.

In other parts of his speech, Noor declared his support for the Jamiat’s call and stance regarding the recent violence in the country.

However, he insisted that the party only demands reforms and never supports the fall of the current government.

JamiatIslami had demanded the removal of the top security officials, including national security adviser Mohammad HanifAtmar after the protests turned violent earlier this month, leaving several people dead or wounded.

khaama.com/noor-warns-of-crisis-if-reforms-not-implemented-in-security-sector-03022

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Afghans suffer deadliest Ramazan since 2001

 

Afghanistan has suffered its deadliest Ramazan since the US-led invasion in 2001 with over 200 killed and hundreds wounded, according to an AFP count based on official figures.

The streets of Kabul were quiet on Saturday ahead of the EidulFitr festival, which marks the end of Ramazan, amid fears of further attacks.

“It was the deadliest month for pious Afghans who were all fasting,” political analyst, General Abdul Wahid Taqat told AFP.

As Ramazan began on May 27, a Taliban car bomber targeting a CIA-funded Afghan militia group left 13 people dead and injured six in eastern Khost province.

A sewage tanker filled with explosives detonated just days later in the city's fortified diplomatic quarter, killing more than 150 and wounding hundreds — marking the deadliest attack in Kabul in recent years.

The carnage left the Afghan capital shaken and hundreds of protesters took to the streets following the bombing, calling for officials to resign.

Clashes between protesters and authorities left at least six people dead while at least seven more were killed when suicide bombers tore through a row of mourners at a funeral for one of the protesters.

On Thursday as Ramazan was drawing to a close, a Taliban car bomb struck a bank in Lashkar Gah, capital of the volatile Helmand province. Around 34 people queuing to withdraw their salaries died.

Washington is soon expected to announce an increase in the US military deployment to bolster Afghan forces, who are struggling to contain the insurgency. American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of extra boots on the ground.

US troops in Afghanistan now number about 8,400, and there are another 5,000 from NATO allies, a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. They mainly serve as trainers and advisers.

“Taliban, Daesh, Al Qaeda, all are planning to make 2017 the deadliest year as a warning for the US who plans to send more troops in Afghanistan,” said Taqat.

On Friday, Taliban leader Mullah HaibatullahAkhundzada in an Eid message vowed to continue fighting until the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

dawn.com/news/1341546/afghans-suffer-deadliest-ramazan-since-2001

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India

Jammu and Kashmir Police asks personnel to avoid Eid prayers in public mosques

Jun, 25 2017

#Dsp#Eid#Jamiamasjid#Jammu and kashmirpolice#Newstracker#Ramadan#Srinagar

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has asked its personnel to avoid Eid prayers in public places in the wake of mob lynching of a deputy superintendent of police outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Police personnel have been advised to offer prayers in mosques in district police lines or protected mosques.

"You are advised to instruct the field and subordinate formations that they shall not offer Eid prayers in isolated or general mosques or eidgahs," an advisory issued from Police Control Room (PCR) on behalf of Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, to all police stations across the Valley read.

It said all police personnel shall offer Eid prayers in mosques in district police lines (DPL) Srinagar or PCR Kashmir.

"In other districts also, the Eid prayers shall be offered in DPL mosques or protected mosques where the safety of your personnel is ensured," the advisory read.

Asked about the advisory, Director General of Police S P Vaid said, "It is good to take precautions”.

"They (police personnel) are my men, I will advise them. They are my children, so we will advise them to take precautions,” he said.

The advisory comes in the wake of mob lynching of Dy SP Mohammad AyubPandith outside the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city on Thursday during Shab-e-Qadar prayers.

firstpost.com/india/jammu-and-kashmir-police-asks-personnel-to-avoid-eid-prayers-in-public-mosques-3743489.html

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Lawyers boycott boy arrested for cheering Pakistan cricket win

TapanSusheel | TNN | Updated: Jun 25, 2017

ROORKEE: Lawyers in Laksar, Roorkee, have "unanimously" decided not to appear in court for a youth who was arrested on Friday for writing on his Facebook page a "congratulatory message" praising Pakistan for winning the ICC Champions Trophy.

Laksar Advocates' Association president Swatantra Kumar, while announcing the decision taken at a meeting, said, "Shadab Hasan's act was anti-national, therefore all the lawyers in the town have decided that they will not appear on his behalf in court."

After the lawyers' move, Shadab's kin are in panic. "There is fear of him going to jail for a long time if nobody fights his case," said a cousin of his who didn't want to be identified. "There is also danger outside as volunteers of a Hindu right wing group have strongly condemned his act. He may be attacked."

Shadab's uncle Mehboob Hasan said, "In the absence of a private pleader, we will urge the court for a public prosecutor. But, unfortunately, we are not in hurry for his bail, because we fear he may be attacked after his release. We will try for his bail after Eid when the dust is settled. I hope good sense will prevail upon our people by then."

Following the complaint of MohitVerma, a member of the local traders' association, police arrested and booked Shadab, 23, who runs a dry cleaning shop in Laksar, 18 km from here, under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code.

On Saturday, Shadab was produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate, who sent him to 14 days judicial custody. After Pakistan routed India in the finals of the ICC Championships Trophy on June 18, Shadab allegedly not only wrote congratulatory message for the Pakistani team, but also posted some "objectionable comments" on his Facebook account.

Defending his complaint, Verma, a jeweller, said, "I want him to learn a lesson so that he or other people of his community do not repeat such acts in the future."

"Since his act damages the respect and reputation of India, we will not appear for him in the court," added Kumar.

Hailing the lawyers' decision, Navin Chandra Semwal, inspector at Laksar police station, said: "The accused is a graduate and of sound mind, who runs a business. Thus, what he had done was a deliberate action. The decision of lawyers is certainly a welcome move."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/arrested-for-post-on-pak-win-lawyers-decide-not-to-fight-boys-case-police-hail-move/articleshow/59302582.cms

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Rajasthan BSF DG says rise in number mosques, madrasas on Pakistan border

Jun, 25 2017

#Bsf#Internationalborder#Jammu and kashmir#Madrasas#Mosques#Newstracker#Rajasthan

Jaipur: Areas close to the international border in Rajasthan have witnessed a spurt in establishment of mosques and madrasas which has raised concern in the Border Security Force (BSF) which guards the border in the state.

BSF DG K K Sharma said an increase in the number of mosques and madrasa has been noticed in the border areas in the last 10 years and the message coming out of those places is not of peace.

"We have noticed marked increased in the number of madrasas and mosques in the last 10 years but it is not our mandate to take action against them, we pass on information to the local administration because the construction of such places is regulated by the state government," Sharma said.

He said "the people who come to most of these madrasas to teach and the maulvis are not from the state which indicates that the message coming out of those places is not that of peace".

Sharma said that the incidence of smuggling from across the border in Rajasthan is low as compared to the border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and the border in the desert state is peaceful.

"We have increased deployment in Punjab therefore there is some pressure in Srigangangar in Rajasthan and there also we have strengthened our deployment," he said while speaking at the India Today conclave in Jaipur.

On the border management, he said the BSF is in the process of modernising the border defence by incorporating latest technologies.

He said the BSF will implement a comprehensive integrated border management system on the entire Pakistan border after implementing it in Jammu and Kashmir on a pilot basis.

firstpost.com/india/rajasthan-bsf-dg-says-rise-in-number-mosques-madrasas-on-pakistan-border-3743117.html

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Darjeeling protests: GJM gives 12-hour window for Muslims on eve of Eid

Jun 25, 2017

Earlier, the GJM had offered a 12-hour 'window' to the schools in Darjeeling hills to evacuate students safely to Siliguri and Rongpo.

Darjeeling: The GorkhaJanmuktiMorcha (GJM) on Sunday gave a 12 hour relaxation of its indefinite strike in Darjeeling, for the Muslim community on the eve of Eid.

On Friday, GJM chief BimalGurung resigned from the post of chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

He demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the police firing on the GJM supporters. This came after 43 members of the GJM resigned from the GTA.

Gurung said, "Indefinite strike to continue. All-party meeting postponed to June 29. We will burn GTA agreement on June 27."

The GJM has offered a 12-hour "window" to the schools in the Darjeeling hills to evacuate their students safely to Siliguri and Rongpo.

An indefinite bandh was called in the hills by GJM on June 15.

With supplies running out and the vacations to start shortly, the boarding schools of Darjeeling are facing a harrowing time due to the shutdown.

The indefinite shutdown has also hit hard the famed tea industry with the premium quality 'second flush' tea leaves going waste causing heavy losses to the garden owners and putting at stake the livelihood of more than 2 lakh tea workers.

Darjeeling is home to 87 tea gardens and the ongoing shutdown has pushed them to the brink.

The tea garden owners feel that they will be losing 45 per cent of their yearly revenue.

asianage.com/india/all-india/250617/darjeeling-protests-gjm-gives-12-hour-window-for-muslims-on-eve-of-eid.html

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Lynching of J&K DSP fuels public anger, Hurriyat stays mum

M SaleemPandit | TNN | Updated: Jun 25, 2017

SRINAGAR: Hundreds of relatives, villagers and sympathisers came and went on Saturday from the family home of the slain police officer Mohammad Ayubpandith as anger seemed to boil over the brutality of the bloodshed. But few are holding out hope that the widespread condemnation and outrage against the lynching of the deputy superintendent police+ will dim the public support that the newly radicalized militant separatism enjoys in Kashmir.

Except for the grieving Pandith family, their sympathizers, friends and Jammu and Kashmir Police who expressed anger against separatists and stonepelters, no public protests and demonstrations were held in Srinagar or any other part of the valley on Saturday. Businesses and normal life went as usual, with a certain sense of apathy.

The pointers to the sway that separatists hold on a considerable population in Kashmir came on Friday itself when their entire leadership stayed silent about the incident and failed to issue a public condemnation against it. Generally, the two Hurriyat factions of Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik's JKLF, that are quick to give calls for shutdown strike against the killing of militants like Burhan Wani and stonepelters, chose to ignore the shockwaves the incident sent across the valley.

The Mirwaiz, who was present in Jamia Masjid while the cop was being lynched to death+ outside, went ahead with his sermons even as many devotees heard fiery slogans, screams and gunshots. He stayed quiet about the incident till about Friday noon and issued a condemnation only to lay the blame on the Indian state, thus justifying the crime. He tweeted, "We cannot allow state brutality to snatch our humanity & values."

Later, he denied that he was present in the mosque and claimed that he arrived only after the incident. However, in his clarification, he could not explain why he had chosen not to condemn the lynching in the mosque on Thursday night and remained quiet about it till Friday noon.

The Mirwaiz, who is the custodian of Srinagar's grand mosque Jamia Masjid, incidentally shares close relationship with the Pandith family. However, the Mirwaiz neither visited the bereaved family nor joined his funeral procession. Ironically, the slain officer was part of the security arrangement put in place to ensure that the Mirwaiz did not meet the same fate as his father who was killed by terrorists at the instance of Pakistan. On Saturday, instead of going himself, he sent two of his representatives to offer condolences to the Pandith family.

Many friends and sympathizers of the Pandith family and J&K Police were infuriated by the Mirwaiz's conduct and the tacit political message that separatists would continue to support stonepelting, mob violence and militancy in Kashmir.

DGP SP Vaid was so upset that he argued that it was high time that the security cover for all Hurriyat leaders be withdrawn. Some police officers even demanded that the Mirwaiz be booked for abetment to murder.

Some of the family members of DSP Pandith screamed in anger against separatists, especially Syed Ali Shah Geelani and also raised anti-Hurriyat slogans. Some were heard calling themselves as Indians. "Your killers will face the same fate," the slain police officer's wife screamed. Some of the sobbing women chanted slogans like: "Ayubterekhoon se inqilaabayega, Shaheed AyubZindabad (Ayub, your blood will bring revolution, long live Martyr Ayub)."

Ironically, the only protest demonstration that happened on Saturday was in favour of Danish Mir, one of the accused arrested for the DSP's murder. The supporters and family members of Mir who was injured by the DSP's gunshot while he was trying to escape the violent mob, demanded his immediate release.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/lynching-of-jk-dsp-fuels-public-anger-hurriyat-stays-mum/articleshow/59304705.cms

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Indian, Pakistani troops trade fire on LoC

IANS | Jun 25, 2017

JAMMU: Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy firing on Sunday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, a defence official said.

"Pakistan army began indiscriminate firing and shelling on our positions on the LoC in Naushera sector from 6.30am.," Defence ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta told IANS.

"They first initiated small arms and automatic gunfire, but later used mortars."

"The firing is ongoing and our forces are effectively retaliating," Mehta added.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indian-pakistani-troops-trade-fire-on-loc/articleshow/59306438.cms

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Southeast Asia

Philippine army halts counter-terrorist op in Marawi for Muslim holiday

25 Jun, 2017

Philippine army halts counter-terrorist op in Marawi for Muslim holiday

Members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force in Marawi City, Philippines June 24, 2017 © Jorge Silva / Reuters

The Philippines army has paused its military operation in the southern Philippines to allow the country's Muslim population, including residents of the terrorist-held parts of Marawi, to observe Eid-al-Fitr, the religious feast marking the end of Ramadan.

The eight hour “humanitarian ceasefire” in Marawi City, where government forces are battling a pro-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) insurgency, took effect at 6am Sunday to allow Muslims to honor Eid-al-Fitr, signaling the end of the Islamic holy month of fasting.

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Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez said the temporary halt of hostilities on the island of Mindanao is a “gesture of our strong commitment and respect to the Muslim world, particularly to the local Muslims of Marawi City.”

#Duterte says #Marawi operation ‘winding up’ as death toll passes 300, including 26 civilians on.rt.com/8f3c

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However, the general warned that the army will resume its operation “immediately” if “troops security is jeopardized” or if the “safety of civilians is threatened,” the Manila Standard reports.

Despite several small skirmishes in parts of Marawi City Sunday morning, the ceasefire is being observed, Reuters reported, noting that locals are attended morning prayers at local mosques.

For over a month now, the Philippines army has been battling radical Islamists in Marawi, the capital of the country’s second largest island, Mindanao. Apart from the main Maute terrorist group, which has pledged allegiance to IS, there are around 20 other foreign and local jihadist cells which battle for control of the Philippine territory, authorities say.

At least 26 civilians and 69 soldiers have been killed since fighting began on May 23. Philippines armed forces have killed 290 terrorists in the same period, PhilStar reports.

rt.com/news/393983-philippines-marawi-ceasefire-holiday/

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About 150,000 people expected to perform prayers at Istiqlal Mosque

 

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - About 100,000 to 150,000 Muslims are expected to perform Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Sunday, the mosque spokesman Abu Hurairah Abdul Salam said.

Abdul Salam said on Saturday that the Istiqlal Mosque did not make any special preparations for the Eid prayer, although President Joko Wido (Jokowi) is scheduled to say his Eid al-Fitr prayer there.

"There is no special preparation, the preparations are made as usual. The congregation is predicted to reach about 100,000-150,000 Muslims," he said.

This number is far different from those performing prayers during the Eid al-Adha ritual, which who could reach 200,000 people. This is also partly due to the decreasing number of Jakarta residents as some of them go to their hometowns to celebrate the Eid festivities.

In connection with the plan of the president to perform the Eid prayer at the Istiqlal, Salam said that the mosque has entrusted the protocol programs to the Presidential Guard team to handle it.

"Because this is part of the state ceremony, all programs are entrusted to the presidential guard team," he stated.

Jokowi is scheduled to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Jakarta and perform prayer at Istiqlal Mosque. He would also spend Eid al-Fitr eve at the Bogor Palace.

"Jokowi responded to journalists in Bogor after visiting former West Java governor Solihin Gautama Purwanegara, or popularly known as Mang Ihin, in Bandung, on Saturday.

The president had been celebrating Eid al-Fitr outside Jakarta for the past two years, namely in Aceh in 2015 and in Padang city of West Sumatra in 2016.

During his visit, the president performed Dzuhur (afternoon prayer) at Cipaganti Mosque.

Along with West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan and the mosque's officials, Jokowi conveyed Eid al-Fitr greeting to all Indonesian Muslims.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla and his wife, Mrs Mufidah Jusuf Kalla, will also perform the Eid prayers at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta on Sunday.

"After the prayer with the residents of Jakarta and surrounding areas, Kalla and his wife will head to the State Palace for a halal bi halal (post-fasting cordial gathering) with Jokowi and the first lady. The vice president will accompany the president in receiving Eid well-wishers in an open house program until noon," Vice Presidential Spokesman Husain Abdullah stated in Jakarta on Saturday.

After accompanying Jokowi in a gathering at the State Palace, the vice president will hold an open house for the public at the Vice President's office, Menteng, Central Jakarta.

antaranews.com/en/news/111531/about-150000-people-expected-to-perform-prayers-at-istiqlal-mosque

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Suspected Islamist militants kill Indonesian policeman in knife attack

June 25, 2017

Suspected Islamist militants killed an Indonesian police officer in a knife attack in the city of Medan, a police spokesman said on Sunday (25 June).

The officer died from his wounds after being stabbed by the militants. One suspect was shot dead by the police while another one was arrested after the attack on a police post.

Police spokesman Rina Sari Ginting told Reuters that two suspected militants, wielding a knife and a machete, had scaled the fence of the police post near police headquarters in western Indonesia and shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) before stabbing the officer.

Indonesian authorities have tightened security for this weekend's Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

"They want to execute an IS command that tells their followers to carry out attacks anywhere with whatever they have," Ginting added.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

This attack has spread fear across Southeast Asia. The Islamic State (Isis) will seek footholds elsewhere as it loses ground in the Middle East.

"Authorities are investigating whether the attackers were inspired by Islamic State and acting on the instructions of BahrunNaim, an Indonesian who went to fight for the militants in Syria," SetyoWasisto, the national police spokesman said.

President Joko Widodo has urged parliament to accelerate plans to tighten anti-terrorism laws to meet new dangers. The plans include giving police the power to detain suspects without trial and to arrest people for hate speech or for spreading radical content and joining proscribed groups.

About 40 suspected militants had been detained in the last few weeks, National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said last week.

Last month, three police officers were killed in a suicide bomb attack by Isis-inspired militants at a bus station in the capital, Jakarta.

ibtimes.co.uk/suspected-islamist-militants-kill-indonesian-policeman-knife-attack-1627712

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All Indonesian Muslims in Lebaran festive mood

 

A number of children paraded while carrying a torch in the Kenjeran area, Surabaya, East Java, Saturday (June 24, 2017). The activity is in order to welcome IdulFitri 1 Syawal 1438 Hijra (June 25, 2017). (ANTARA/DidikSuhartono)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Muslims in Indonesia seem to be in a festive mood of Eid al Fitr, better known as IdulFitri or Lebaran celebration.

The aura of the holiday spirit can now be felt in the Greater Jakarta areas where the normally congested streets are pleasantly deserted, and one can actually take a deep breath without inhaling a lungful of pollution.

Muslims in Indonesia, who account for nearly 90 percent of the countrys population, are celebrating Lebaran on July 25-26 this year.

During this time, the capital city of Jakarta reveals itself as a friendly city, with wide, tree-lined avenues where pedestrians can stroll on the pavements without the risk of being hit by a motorbike.

The prevailing custom of Lebaran in Indonesia is one of the largest temporary human migrations observed globally when workers return to their hometowns to celebrate with their families and relatives and to seek forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders.

Such a mass exodus, or homecoming, is known in Indonesia as "mudik," which is an annual tradition wherein the people living in major cities, such as Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and elsewhere, travel to their hometowns to meet their relatives.

Early on Sunday morning, mosques in Jakarta and elsewhere were packed with thousands of worshipers performing Eid al Fitr prayers and then listen to sermons, focused on unity and integrity, goodness, social spirit, and many more positive things.

The IdulFitri prayer service at the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta was started at 7 am on Sunday with the presence of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and other state officials.

Also present at the IdulFitri prayer service at Southeast Asias largest mosque with the capacity of 120,000 people were also thousands of Muslims from all corners of the state capital city of Jakarta.

In his IdulFitri sermon at JakartasIstiqlalmoaque, Prof.QuraishShihab preached on "IdulFitri and the Spirit of Strengthening the Unity and Integrity."

QuraishShihab gave some advice on unity for Muslims both as individuals and in society.

"The unity of the human self consists of the spirit and the body. The unification of the soul and body makes the man intact so that there is no separation between faith and practice, neither feeling nor behavior, deeds with morality, idealism with reality, and these are all complementary parts," Shihab remarked.

In the meantime, Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) Vice Chairman HidayatNur Wahid in his IdulFitri sermon at NurulHidayah Grand Moaque in Bintaro, South Jakarta, said all the goodness during the holy month of Ramadan must continue to be practiced, although the fasting month has ended.

Hidayat said that even though Ramadan is over, the relationship and efforts to spread goodness must continue to be done.

In East Kalimantan provincial city of Samarinda, ArifinNurdin remarked in his sermon at the Al-HijriahBaitullah mosque that the importance of social spirit in the society should be maintained.

"The meaning of fasting from the social side is that we have to help our relatives and neighbors who need help," ArifinNurdin remarked in his IdulFitri sermon.

He noted that after fasting for a month and able to resist temptations such as eating, drinking, lust, and patience in all things, the Muslims on this day of victory should celebrate it with joy and forgive each other.

Nurdin reminded that after Lebaran festivity is over, all Muslims must translate the meaning contained in Ramadan by increasing brotherhood to all people, feeding the hungry, helping others in need, and increasing faith and piety to God.

In addition, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan also said in his IdulFitri sermon that diversity or differences is a gift from God Almighty, so it is necessary for the whole society to maintain harmony and tolerance.

"Diversity is a gift from God, and in the Quran it is explained that all nations and tribes must know each other," the West Java governor said during the IdulFitri prayer service at Gasibu field in Bandung on Sunday.

According to him, Indonesia is a country that has a variety of ethnicity, tribes, religions, and languages, but all are wrapped in a concept of state ideology called Pancasila.

Indonesian society has often been reminded to maintain togetherness and to strengthen unity and integrity in building this nation regardless of different ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds.

In building the nation and maintaining the unity and integrity, the racial, tribal, and group differences should not be raised for any reason.

Many leaders including the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) Chairman OesmanSapta have said that all elements of society in Indonesia must participate and contribute in the development of the nation without differentiating the tribe, religion and class.

Tolerance and mutual respect in diversity, according to the DPD chairman, is Gods grace that can make Indonesia stronger.

In a press statement, OesmanSapta remarked that to continue to debate over the differences will only make the Indonesian nation step backward instead of moving ahead.

"All elements of the Indonesian nation must maintain unity and integrity within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) without questioning the differences, and not be easily provoked by hoaxes that can damage the harmony and unity of the nation," Sapta remarked.

antaranews.com/en/news/111536/all-indonesian-muslims-in-lebaran-festive-mood

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Indonesia condemns Mecca suicide bomb attempt

Jakarta | Sun, June 25, 2017

Worshippers pray at the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's city of Mecca on June 23, the last Friday of Ramadhan. (AFP/Bandar Aldandani)

The government of Indonesia condemned an attempt to attack the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the early hours of Saturday, Jakarta time.

Although the attacker failed to reach the holy site, a suicide bomber blew himself up around the Grand Mosque where people had gathered to pray on the last day of Ramadhan.

The incident left 11 people injured. No Indonesians were known to have been injured as of Saturday, according to the Foreign Ministry.

"Indonesians that are currently in Saudi Arabia can contact the KBRI [the Indonesian Embassy]  in Riyadh at +966568881945 or the KJRI [Indonesian Consulate General] in Jeddah at +966581781945 for assistance," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir said in a statement. (msa)

thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/25/indonesia-condemns-mecca-suicide-bomb-attempt.html

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Indonesia releases 382 Muslim inmates early for IdulFitri

 

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - The government has granted early release for 382 Muslim convicts across Indonesia after the Law and Human Rights Ministry verified them as being entitled to receive special remissions granted every IdulFitri, known in Singapore as Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

"The IdulFitri special remission is a gift for many Muslim inmates serving their sentences in prisons and penitentiaries across the country," the ministry's corrections director general I WayanDusak said in a statement on Friday.

The remission, Dusak added, should be an incentive for prisoners to show good conduct and behaviour during their time in the prison.

The 382 Muslim inmates are among a total of 66,481 inmates imprisoned for various crimes across the country who had their sentences reduced under the IdulFitri special remission, ranging for 15 days to one month. But, unlike the case of the 382 inmates, the remission does not immediately grant them early release.

According to the ministry's data, correctional facilities in Indonesia currently hold a total of 136,641 Muslim prisoners, which are among some 277,000.

straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-releases-382-muslim-inmates-early-for-idul-fitri

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Pakistan

Pakistan issues first third-gender passport for transgender activist

 

The government has issued its first third-gender passport to a transgender activist in Peshawar who hailed the move as a step forward for the community.

Activist FarzanaRiaz said the new passport would help her campaign globally on behalf of her community, who are also known as khawajasiras — an umbrella term denoting a third sex that includes transsexuals, transvestites and eunuchs.

“I have received my passport which mentions my gender as X and not as a male or female,” Farzana told AFP on Saturday.

“Earlier I had a passport which had described my gender as a male. But this time I told the authorities that I won't accept my passport if it doesn't identify me as a transgender,” the 30-year-old co-founder and president of rights organisation TransAction said.

“Now it will be more convenient for me to travel abroad because earlier I faced problems at international airports because of a contradiction in my appearance and sex mention on my passport,” she added.

Modern-day transgender people in the country claim to be cultural heirs of the eunuchs who thrived at the courts of Mughal emperors that ruled the Indian subcontinent for two centuries until the British arrived in the 19th century and banned them.

In 2009, Pakistan became one of the first countries in the world to legally recognise a third sex, allowing transgenders to obtain identity cards, while several have also run in elections. They number at least half a million people in the country, according to several studies.

Like Farzana, many earn their living by being called upon for rituals such as blessing newborns or to bring life to weddings and parties as dancers — and, sometimes, in more clandestine ways.

dawn.com/news/1341545/pakistan-issues-first-third-gender-passport-for-transgender-activist

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Death toll from triple terrorist attacks in Pakistan rises to 85

25 Jun, 2017

A man injured in the Parachinar blasts is carried to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan June 24, 2017 © Fayaz Aziz / Reuters

The number of deaths from twin blasts at a local market has risen to 67, after 12 of those wounded in Friday’s attack died in hospital, a government official in Parachinar, Shahid Khan, told AP Saturday.

Two explosions, in the space of several minutes, rocked the busy Toori Bazar in the mainly Shia neighborhood Friday afternoon.

Sabir Hussain, a doctor at one of Parachinar’s hospitals said his facility received over 250 injured people, with more than 60 in critical condition, the Times of Hindustan reported.

The Sunni extremist group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility for the attack in Parachinar located in north-western Pakistan.

Also on Friday, 14 people were killed in a suicide car bombing near the office of the provincial police head in the town Quetta in the southwestern part of the country. A breakaway Taliban and Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) faction said it was behind the bombing.

There was also an assault in the southern port city of Karachi Friday, where four police officers were shot dead by gunmen.

Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, ordered security to be tightened across the country following the attacks which he condemned in a statement.

“Terrorists are attacking soft targets and no Muslim can ever imagine to commit such horrific act,” Sharif said, adding, that “such acts of terrorism will be dealt with the full power of the state.”

Early on Saturday, Pakistani security forces stormed a terrorist hideout in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and shot dead two suspected IS militants.

“The gun battle lasted for six hours” during which five law enforcers were injured, said Muhammad Tahir Khan, Capital City Police officer, as cited by Pakistan Today.

The terrorists were making bombs which they allegedly planned to use in attacks during the upcoming Eid-al-Fitr celebrations, marking the end Ramadan fast, he said.

rt.com/news/393974-pakistan-terrorist-attacks-death-toll/

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Man steals from mosque, says matter between him and God

PTI | Jun 24, 2017

ISLAMABAD: A man has stolen Rs 50,000 from the donation box of a mosque in Pakistan and left a letter, saying it is between him and God and no one should interfere in the matter.

The incident occurred last night in Jamia Masjid SadiqulMadina in Khanewal district in southern Punjab.

The Express Tribune reported the thief took away the two money boxes where worshippers donate funds and a pair of batteries used as backup for power during power outage.

He explained that reasons for stealing the items which according to mosque prayer leader, Qari Saeed, were worth Rs 50,000.

"This matter is between me and the almighty God. Please, nobody should try to find me. I am a very needy person and thus stealing from Allah's home," the thief's letter read.

He further wrote that he had come to the mosque once and asked the prayer leader for help but he had refused and thrown him out.

"When people refused to help me, I was forced to steal from the mosque," he wrote. "I have not stolen anything from anyone's house. I am just taking a few things from Allah's house so this is a matter between me and him. No one should poke their nose in our matter".

The report said the local people expressed sympathy for the thief and asked Saeed to forgive him.

Abbas, a resident, said he along with other worshippers had agreed to buy new UPS batteries for the mosque.

owever, Saeed insisted that the thief must be caught and punished. But when questioned whether anyone had come seeking help in the past few days, he declined to comment.

A similar incident occurred in Ramazan last year in Jahanian. A thief had stolen taps from HasnainKareemain mosque and left a letter to the mosque committee saying he stole because he was very poor and would pay the mosque when he had enough money.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/man-steals-from-mosque-says-matter-between-him-and-god/articleshow/59300689.cms

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Pakistani army hints at Afghanistan as deadly explosions leaves scores dead

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 24 2017

The Pakistani military hinted at Afghanistan after the deadly explosions on Friday, claiming that the attacks in Quetta city and Parachinar have links with the sanctuaries across the border.

A spokesman for the Pakistani military, Gen. Asif Ghafoor, in a Twitter post said “Security/surv of Pak-AfgBdr enhanced. Stringent actions agst illegal Bdr crossers. Recent terrorist incidents linked to sanctuaries across.”

He said “Enemy trying to mar festive mood of nation through such coward acts. Shall fail against resilience of Pakistan.”

The Pakistani officials are saying that around 50 have been killed and scores more were wounded in the attacks in Quetta and Parachinar on Friday.

The latest claims by the Pakistani military comes as the Afghan officials have long criticized Pakistan for remaining reckless to take uniform actions against the terrorist groups and slam the country for differentiating between terrorist groups, claiming that the notorious Haqqani terrorist network and Taliban insurgents remained intact during the operations along the tribal areas of the country.

The United States Department of Defense also said last week thatthe notorious Haqqani terrorist network and the Taliban group retains freedom of action in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is the most influential external actor affecting Afghan stability and the outcome of both the USFOR-A and the RS missions,” according to a new Pentagon report on Afghanistan.

The report further added that Pakistan views the outcome of Afghanistan to be in its vital national interest and thus remains driven by its India-centric regional policy objectives.

“Afghan oriented militant groups, including the Taliban and Haqqani Network, retain freedom of action inside Pakistani territory and benefit from support from elements of the Pakistani Government,” the report said.

Pentagon also added “Although Pakistani military operations have disrupted some militant sanctuaries, certain extremist groups—such as the Taliban and the Haqqani Network—were able to relocate and continue to operate in and from Pakistan. The United States continues to convey to Pakistan at all levels the importance of taking action against all terrorist and extremist groups.”

khaama.com/pakistani-army-hints-at-afghanistan-as-deadly-explosions-leaves-scores-dead-03018

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Europe

Putin Congratulates Russian Muslims on Eid al-Fitr Holiday © Sputnik/ Alexander Kryazhev

25.06.2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian Muslims on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Kremlin said on Sunday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Eid al-Fitr, celebrates the conclusion of the dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a swearing in ceremony for Judge Gorsuch as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, US, April 10, 2017.

Trump Congratulates Muslims on Eid al-Fitr Holiday Marking End of Ramadan

"The Eid al-Fitr is one of the main religious holidays, which throughout many centuries celebrated by followers of Islam all over the world. Concluding the holy month of Ramadan, it carries a deep moral meaning, embodies the joy of renewal, the desire for self-improvement, the readiness to create good, to help those in need," Putin said in a congratulatory telegram, as quoted by the Kremlin.

Putin noted that the active participation of Muslim organizations in the social and cultural life of the country, in the implementation of important charitable, educational, patriotic initiatives deserved the most sincere respect.

Islam is the second largest religion in Russia after Christianity. Up to 20 million Muslims live in Russia, comprising some 15 percent of the country's population.

sputniknews.com/russia/201706251054954296-putin-ramadan-congratulations/

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Catholic Church in Spain accuses Qatar of meddling at historic mosque site

 

Barcelona: A battle over the ownership of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba has erupted in bitter accusations of Qatari meddling and Church greed as a special commission last week began to investigate who owns the World Heritage site.

A unique architectural symbol of the meeting of East and West, the UNESCO landmark has for years been at the centre of a fierce ownership battle, pitting the Catholic Church against an alliance of Muslim groups, secularists and regional officials who insist it should belong to the people.

But while the Church and its allies point to the hand of Qatar in what it paints as the "Muslim dream to recover their temple", campaigners claim priests are whipping up Islamophobia to distract from a vast land grab they describe as "the biggest real estate scandal in history".

At a meeting this month at Washington DC's Hudson Institute, a right-wing think tank, diplomatic sources close to the Church claimed that Qatar was financing the campaign with a view to opening the site up to Muslim worship.

They said Doha - facing allegations from Arab states that it is sponsoring terrorism - was funnelling money to the principal Spanish campaign group, the PlataformaMezquitaCatedral, via a law firm with offices in London, Madrid and the Qatari capital.

One of the sources later said the allegation was based on Spanish intelligence.

Monsignor Manuel Perez Moya, head of the Cordoba Cathedral Council, said that while the Church itself did not have incontrovertible evidence of Qatari financing, there was much to support the suspicion: "One has to bear in mind this is a symbolic temple for the Muslim world."

The allegations are denied by both the PlataformaMezquitaCatedral and the law firm in question.

The CoordinadoraRecuperando, a public group working on the issue, says the Mosque-Cathedral is among 44,000 properties which the Church quietly registered in its name under a law allowing it to self-certify untitled properties.

Antonio Manuel Rodriguez, the group's spokesman, said for a €30 ($44) fee the Church took possession of a site which yielded €15 million in tax-free entry "donations". He said: "It is not a religious question. It's an illegal expropriation of public heritage generating huge profits that are not declared."

Miguel Santiago, spokesman for the PlataformaMezquitaCatedral, insisted the group had no religious position or outside funding. The director of the law firm, Leon Fernando del Canto, said he only represented international companies in Qatar and received no fees from the Qatari government.

Telegraph, London

smh.com.au/world/catholic-church-in-spain-accuses-qatar-of-meddling-at-historic-mosque-site-20170625-gwy095.html

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Eid Mubarak from the Muslim Council of Britain

25 June 2017

Harun Khan,Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain offers his Eid al-Fitr greetings for 2017. In his Eid message he says

“In this month, as we sought Allah’s blessings, we have also faced some serious challenges as British Muslims and, indeed, as a nation.

We have endured four terror attacks, the latest directed at Muslims themselves.

And we have witnessed tragedy at the Grenfell Tower fire, where so many people died, many of them Muslims. Inna Lillahiwainnailaihraajioon.

My thoughts, prayers, condolences and solidarity goes to the victims, their families and those who have supported them.

This has sadly been a month of much grieving.

But it has also been a month of hope.

I was at the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre last week, the amazing mosque, central to the emergency response to the terrible Grenfell Tower fire.

As news emerged, it was this mosque, along with churches and many Muslim charities whosprung into action and offered help when no one else could.

People from all over the country came here to donate whatever they could.

It showed the remarkable willingness of fellow Britons, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together to help those in need.

That solidarity was displayed at the Finsbury Park attack, when so many came to offer their support and refuse to let the terrorists divide us.

Likewise, after the London Bridge and Manchester attacks, Muslims have made it abundantly clear that terrorism defies the norms of our religion.

And we have learned on several occasions how Muslims have reported suspicious activities time and again.

We need urgent action to tackle all forms of terrorism.

It means we have an honest conversation on the root causes of terrorism, and what we as communities can do to help.

It means community consent for counter-extremism, and a comprehensive review of our counter-terror strategies.

After Finsbury Park, we were grateful to see local and national government, the police and faith leaders spring into action and show solidarity towards Muslim communities.

Islamophobia has become mainstream in parts of our media and our political culture.

We now need sustainable action to tackle Islamophobia seriously.

Our country faces some profound challenges and we face an uncertain future.

After the election, with Brexit and after the Grenfell Tower, there is an urgent need to approach our problems differently.

We need a spirit of consensus in our society.

A willingness to extend our hand across the divide.

To renew our efforts to support the most vulnerable in society.

And to find new ways to bring our societies together.

As we mark Eid al-Fitr, I pray that we can find peace in these troubled times, and we’re able to build unity across the divide.

I pray that Allah accepts all of our deeds during this Holy month.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.

Eid Mubarak.

mcb.org.uk/eid-mubarak-mcb-june-2017/

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Mideast

Turkey's Erdogan says Arab demands on Qatar unlawful

 

President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday dismissed calls for Turkey to close a military base in Qatar and said a wider list of demands issued by four Arab states was an unlawful intervention against the Gulf emirate's sovereignty.

In his strongest statement of support for Qatar in the nearly three-week-old crisis centred on the Gulf state, Erdogan said the call to withdraw Turkish forces was disrespectful and that Doha which described the demands as unreasonable was taking the right approach.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain imposed a boycott on June 5 on Qatar and issued 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran, shutting the Turkish base and paying reparations.

Doha said it was reviewing the list, but said it was not reasonable or actionable.

"We approve and appreciate the attitude of Qatar against the list of 13 demands," Erdogan, speaking outside a mosque in Istanbul, said. "...This approach of 13 demands is against international law because you cannot attack or intervene in the sovereignty of a country."

The demands are apparently aimed at dismantling Qatar's interventionist foreign policy which has incensed conservative Arab peers over its alleged support for Islamists they regard as threats to their dynastic rule.

Both Qatar and Turkey, whose ruling AK Party has its roots in Islamist politics, backed a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt before it was overthrown in 2013.

The Arab states have demanded Qatar cut any links to the Brotherhood and other groups they deem to be terrorist, ideological or sectarian.

Bahrain's state news agency on Sunday confirmed the demands set out by un-named Gulf officials on Friday, including that Qatar close the Turkish base, end military cooperation with Ankara inside Qatar and stop supporting militant groups.

"The demands aim to achieve regional countries' stability, stand firmly against foreign interference and stop support for terrorist organizations," it said.

'No pullout'

Turkey, the most powerful regional country to stand by Qatar, has sent 100 cargo planes with supplies since its neighbors cut air and sea links. It has also rushed through legislation to send more troops to its base in Doha.

Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armored vehicles have arrived since the crisis erupted on June 5, and Defence Minister FikriIsik said on Friday that further reinforcements would be beneficial.

"The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf's security," he said. "Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda."

Hurriyet newspaper said last week a joint exercise by Turkish and Qatari forces was expected following the Eid ul-Fitr holiday which started on Sunday, and the number of Turkish soldiers sent to the Gulf state could eventually reach 1,000. An air force contingent was also envisaged, it said.

Erdogan said Turkey had also offered to establish a military base in Saudi Arabia, but never received a clear answer.

"If Saudi Arabia wants us to have base there, a step toward this also can be taken," he told reporters. "I made this offer to the king himself and they said they will consider this."

"They did not come back to us since that day and even though they still didn't come back to us on this, asking Turkey to pull back its troops (from Qatar) is disrespectful against Turkey".

Speaking outside the Istanbul mosque after prayers marking the Muslim Eid ul-Fitr holiday, Erdogan said he would continue his planned program despite feeling briefly unwell.

"I had a little condition about my blood pressure, related to my diabetes," he said.

dawn.com/news/1341717/turkeys-erdogan-says-arab-demands-on-qatar-unlawful

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Qatar says Saudi-led demands not 'reasonable'

AFP | Jun 24, 2017

DOHA: Qatar said today that a 13-point list of demands made by Saudi Arabia and its allies impinged on its sovereignty and failed to meet US expectations they be "reasonable".

The four Arab governments delivered the demands to Qatar through Kuwait on Thursday, more than two weeks after severing all ties with the emirate and imposing an embargo.

The document has not been published but has been widely leaked and the demands are sweeping in their scope.

They require Doha to join Riyadh and its allies in outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood, which it has long supported.

They also require it to close Iran's embassy and a base on its territory operated by its ally Turkey, as well as to shut Al-Jazeera television.

Qatar is also required to end all contacts with opposition groups in the four countries -- Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In Qatar's first response to the demands, government communications director Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani said on Saturday that they went far beyond the four governments' stated aim of combating terrorism.

"This blockade is not aimed at fighting terrorism but at impinging on Qatar's sovereignty and interfering in its foreign policy," Sheikh Saif said.

He recalled that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said on Wednesday that Washington wanted a clear list of grievances that was "reasonable and actionable".

This list "does not meet those standards," he said.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have put enormous pressure on Qatar to meet their demands.

The UAE state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, warned on Friday that Qatar should "deal seriously" with the 13 points or face "divorce" from its neighbours.

The rift between the US Gulf allies has been awkward for Washington.

Tillerson has sought to mediate but the White House has been more hands-off, describing the diplomatic crisis as a "family issue" yesterday.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/qatar-says-saudi-led-demands-not-reasonable/articleshow/59299290.cms

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UAE leadership extends Eid al-Fitr greetings to Arab and Muslim leaders

Sunday, June 25, 2017

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has dispatched congratulatory cables to Heads of State of Arab and Muslim countries on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

In the cables, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa wished for continued good health and wellbeing for the leaders, further progress and prosperity for their peoples, and further glory for the Arab and Muslim Nations.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, sent similar cables on the occasion to the Arab and Muslim leaders.

emirates247.com/news/emirates/uae-leadership-extends-eid-al-fitr-greetings-to-arab-and-muslim-leaders-2017-06-25-1.655064

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Iran offers Saudi Arabia help after Mecca bombing

June 25, 2017

Iran on Saturday condemned a suicide bombing near Islam’s holiest site in Mecca and offered Saudi Arabia its assistance in tackling terrorism despite their severed ties.

“Iran… as always expresses its readiness to assist and cooperate with other countries to confront these criminals, who deal death and ignorantly spread hate,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said.

Six foreign pilgrims were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, where hundreds of thousands of worshippers had gathered for prayers on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The Saudi interior ministry said a wider plot had been foiled with the arrest of five suspects earlier in the day.

Since late 2014, the kingdom has faced periodic bombings and shootings claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

realiran.org/iran-offers-saudi-arabia-help-after-mecca-bombing/

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Iran’s Top General Urges Muslim Unity in Eid Message

June, 25, 2017

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - In a message honoring the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri referred to unity as the Islamic world’s pressing need in the current circumstances, calling for concerted action against terrorism.

The senior general on Saturday sent separate messages to the military officials and commanders of the Islamic countries, offering warm wishes on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

In his message, Major General Baqeri said the Muslim world is in need of unity more than ever in the current “delicate and critical” conditions.

He also called on the Muslim authorities across the world to focus efforts on the liberation of Palestine from the control of “usurping Zionists,” the fight against all forms of terrorism, and above all, on countering the “global arrogance” (the US) as the root cause of division among the regional countries.

The senior general finally voiced the Iranian Armed Forces’ readiness to bolster cooperation with the military forces and governments of the “friend and brother” countries.

Known as the Feast of Breaking the Fast, Eid al-Fitr is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims all around the world.

The observance traditionally begins with the sighting of the new moon of the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This year, Eid falls on June 26 in Iran.

tasnimnews.com/en/news/2017/06/25/1446078/iran-s-top-general-urges-muslim-unity-in-eid-message

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Erdoğan faints during morning prayer in mosque

25.06.2017

Turkish President RecepTayyipErdoğan fainted during the morning prayer in a mosque on Sunday.

He feels well at the moment, RIA Novosti reports, citing Hurriyet.

Erdoğan felt bad during the prayer on the occasion of Uraz-Bairam holiday on Sunday morning.

“I felt bad because of my pressure, this being connected with my diabetes. I’m fine now,” the Turkish leader said.

When the President felt bad, his bodyguard ran up to him, this being followed by the arrival of doctors. The journalists were not allowed to the mosque. Erdoğan gave an interview after the prayer. 

news.am/eng/news/397061.html

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Africa

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in several countries

Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:30AM

HomeOthersSociety

Muslims attend the Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a public park, outside el-Seddik Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, June 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Muslims attend the Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a public park, outside el-Seddik Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, June 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Muslims in a number of countries are celebrating  Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen announced Sunday as Eid al-Fitr.

Turkish Muslims perform the Eid al-Fitr prayers at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, June 25, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Iraq’s Sunni population also observed the festival on Sunday. The occasion will be marked in Iran, Oman, Morocco and other countries on Monday.

The fasting month of Ramadan -- the ninth month on the Islamic calendar -- ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which is one of the main Muslim holidays.

Palestinian Muslims attend the Eid al-Fitr prayers in an open area in Gaza City on June 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Ramadan’s end is announced after the sighting of the first crescent of the new moon.

Indonesian Muslims perform the Eid al-Fitr prayers at a mosque in Surabaya on June 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Syrian president performs prayers in Hama

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad performed the Eid al-Fitr prayers along other worshipers at al-Nouri Mosque in the west-central city of Hama on Sunday.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad performs the Eid al-Fitr prayers at al-Nouri Mosque in Hama, June 25, 2015. (Photo by SANA)

Following the prayers, President Assad listened to the Eid sermon delivered by Sheikh NahjemEddin al-Ali.

Syria’s official SANA news agency quoted Sheikh Ali as saying that Assad's presence in Hama for the prayers showed that the Syrians were "a few steps" away from victory and the return of security to their country.

The crisis in Syria, which began in 2011, was meant to tear down the Syrians, but it rather “strengthened the ties among the Syrians," he added.

presstv.com/Detail/2017/06/25/526443/Eid-Fitr-Ramadan

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Security tight as Muslims celebrate Eid

JUNE 25 2017

By Alex Esagala and Michael Kakumirizi

Security has been tightened in most parts of the country as Muslims in Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on Sunday.

In Uganda, the Muslim faithful across the country thronged different mosques for prayers as part of the celebrations.

Anti-terrorism police patrolling Kampala

Anti-terrorism police patrolling Kampala streets as Muslims celebrated Eid on Sunday. Photo by Alex Esagala

During prayers at Old Kampala Mosque, the Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh ShabanMubajje, urged Muslims not to mix politics with Islam.

He was referring to an incident in which six foreign pilgrims were hurt on Friday in Saudi Arabia when a suicide bomber targeting Islam's holiest site of Mecca blew himself up.

The incident happened around the Grand Mosque, where hundreds of thousands of worshippers gathered for early afternoon prayers on the last Friday of this year's Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month.

Prophet Muhammad is believed to have received the first revelation of the Holy Quran during this month. The exact date of Eid depends on a combination of the sighting of the new moon and astronomical calculations.

Muslim faith eating pilau shortly after the Eid

Muslim faith eating pilau shortly after the Eid prayers at Spidiqa foundation mosque in Kisenyi, Kampala. Photo by Alex Esagala

The time when Eid starts also depends on where you are in the world, and when the new moon is seen. Also known as Eid al-Fitr or Ramadan-Id, it is celebrated by Muslims all over the world, towards the end of the month of Ramadan.

Muslims look forward to Eid al-Fitr as an occasion of peace, happiness, joy, and festivity. It's a day for special prayers and an extension of forgiveness and generosity. The day brings people together as the festival celebrates togetherness and encourages fellowship

monitor.co.ug/News/National/Muslims-throng-mosques-Eid-prayers/688334-3986314-pv98bi/index.html

 

URL: https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/foiling-attack-on-grand-mosque-‘fabricated’-by-new-saudi-crown-prince--opposition-figure/d/111668

 

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