New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 04:22 AM

Islamic World News ( 14 Sept 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

French Jews Are Converting To Islam and Even Joining ISIS
















Young French Jews The Jewish Agency

 

Malaysian Mufti: Shiites Are Muslims despite Diff with Sunnis

Imagine The U.S. With No Muslim Immigrants or Visitors

Detain Gülen before He Escapes: Turkey to US

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Europe

French Jews Are Converting To Islam and Even Joining ISIS

German Intelligence Chief Warns About Growing Number of Salafi Muslims in His Country

First-Ever New England Muslim Festival Comes To Massachusetts

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Southeast Asia

Malaysian Mufti: Shiites Are Muslims despite Diff with Sunnis

Malaysia to Launch World's First Islamic Venture Capital Fund

Blast on ferry off Indonesia's Bali Island kills 2, injures 18

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North America

Imagine The U.S. With No Muslim Immigrants or Visitors

For Muslim Voters, a Time to Speak Up With a Ballot

American Muslim voters have nowhere to go

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Mideast

Detain Gülen before he escapes: Turkey to US

Turkey, US-Led Forces Hit More ISIL Targets

Israeli Jets Bombard Gaza Strip in New Airstrikes

Top Russian general to discuss Syria, cooperation in Turkey -Ifax

German Embassy, other offices in Turkey closed temporarily amid reports on fears of attack

We made mistakes after Turkey’s coup attempt: European Parliament rapporteur Piri

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Arab World

Syrian People in Deir Ezzur Take Revenge from ISIL Terrorists

Over 65 Terrorists, Commanders Killed in Failed Attacks in Quneitra

ISIL Executes Own Commanders in Deir Ezzur

Yemeni Forces Take Control of Saudi Arabia's Biggest Military Base in Najran

Syria Ceasefire Violated 35 Times by Militants on Wednesday

Tens of ISIL Terrorists Killed in Southwestern Deir Ezzur

High Court Postpones Trial of Bahrain's Sheikh Isa Qassim for Third Time

Special Russian Forces to Oversee Passage of Humanitarian Aid Convoys via Castello Road

Iraq Warns to Start Massive Operations in Nineveh Province Soon

EU, Rights Groups Urge Bahrain to End Crackdown on Dissidents

Qatar Sends 1,000 Army Soldiers to Yemen

Terrorists Violate Ceasefire, Shell Red Crescent Base in Aleppo's Castello Road

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Africa

Boko Haram Releases New Video without Embattled Leader, Abubakar Shekau

Kenyan Police Find Note Suggesting Islamic State Link To Mombasa Attack

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at the Gambia Celebrates Eid-ul Adha

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India

India Pledges $1 Billion in Fresh Aid to Afghanistan

Record Muslim Students Chase Civil Service Dream

Two Indian Teachers Abducted from Libya’s ISIS Stronghold In July Rescued by MEA, Tweets Sushma Swaraj

Kashmir remains paralysed for 69th consecutive day

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South Asia

Taliban Leader Not Designated a Terrorist Remains a Mystery: Indian Envoy

India cautions its high commission in Bangladesh over Islamic State

Iran, Russia warn of growing Isis presence in Afghanistan, with 2,500 already recruited

Five jailed in SQC verdict leak case

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Pakistan

Afghan Soil Should Not Be Used For Anti-Pakistan Activities: Lodhi

Pakistan rejects Indian claims of restraint in India-held Kashmir

The case for doing away with arbitrary national languages in Pakistan and India

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/french-jews-are-converting-to-islam-and-even-joining-isis/d/108567

 

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French Jews Are Converting To Islam and Even Joining ISIS

15/09/16

According to reports from Jewish community leaders in France, there is growing concern about a rise in conversions to Islam from within the Jewish community, with the active encouragement of French Moslems.

Sammy Ghozlan, head of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism in France says he knows of cases where entire families converted to Islam. The 15-year-old daughter of a Jewish doctor wrote that "all the Jews must be killed" after converting. In many cases the Moslem recruiters who wish to persuade Sephardic Jewish youth to convert, entice them by pointing out their joint background from Islamic countries and the difference between their culture and that of the French Christians.

Ghozlan added that another factor attracting youth is the power of Islam and ISIS to carry out terror attacks in the Western world. The youths do not see Israel as a successful entity as they might have once and identify more with ISIS's success.

A number of years ago it was reported that French Jews were even joining the ranks of ISIS after their conversions and travelling to ISIS- occupied territories. It is estimated that there are 100,000 French converts to Islam from both Jewish and Christian backgrounds but it is difficult to ascertain precise numbers of the Jewish converts.

The Jewish community has set up a de-Islamification fund as well as a hotline for youth wishing to convert in an attempt to combat this phenomenon. Community leaders also raised the worrying issue of whether such youth might utilize the Law of Return and succeed in entering Israel under the guise of their Jewish origins.

Recent years have seen a surge in French Aliya after repeated waves of Islamic terrorism broke out in France. In 2014 some 6,000 French Jews immigrated to Israel, while in 2015 more than 8,000 more arrived in Israel.

Source: israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/217843

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Malaysian Mufti: Shiites are Muslims despite diff with Sunnis

September 15, 2016

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia (AhlulBayt News Agency) - Penang (Malaysian state) Mufti Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said Shia Muslims are still Muslims despite their differences with Sunni Islam.

Quoting a hadith of Prophet Muhammad, he said as long as a Muslim prayed the same way facing the direction of Mecca, they should be considered as part of the Muslim community.

“Thus, we cannot declare them apostates or deviants,” he told FMT, in comments which contrast with the official stand by Islamic authorities in the Malaysia, who consider Shias as deviants.

Wan Salim’s comments come in the wake of a seminar in Kuala Lumpur on Shia-Sunni ties organised by the Islamic Renaissance Front last week, where several Muslim scholars spoke out against the tendency of some Muslims to label others as deviants.

Malaysian Muslims are predominantly Sunni and subscribe to the Shafi’i school of thought.

The National Fatwa Council had in 1996 declared Shia Islam as deviant and prohibited Malaysian Muslims from practising it.

Religious officers in the past have arrested Shia Muslims

Shias differ from Sunnis on several historical aspects of early Islam, including on the rightful successors to Prophet Muhammad.

Sunni Muslims on the other hand recognise the first four caliphs as rightful inheritors of the Prophet.

Recent developments in the Middle East, such as the armed conflict in Syria, have led to increased friction between the two largest Muslim sects, with Shia Muslims being the target of violent attacks by extremist Sunni militants (Wahhabi/Salafi) in Pakistan.

Shias are also a target of the militant ISIS group, whose leaders subscribe to the Wahhabi strain of Islam, a purist movement from the Arabian peninsula which also opposes traditional Sunni teachings they consider as heretic.

Wan Salim said the tendency to label other Muslims as apostates could lead to violence and would not benefit Muslims.

“It will benefit the enemies of Islam. Which is why we shouldn’t simply dismiss certain quarters as apostates. Somehow it is only we who are preoccupied with such divisions.”

Source: en.abna24.com/service/east-asia/archive/2016/09/15/779148/story.html

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Imagine the U.S. with no Muslim immigrants or visitors

14 September 2016

What would the U.S. be like under Donald Trump's plan to block Muslims from entering the country? It wouldn't be the country we love.

In December Trump called for a "complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Trump's Islamophobic remarks seem especially ungrateful in light of our country's early relationship with Morocco. In 1777, Morocco, which is predominantly Muslim, was the first country to recognize the new nation called the United States of America. Morocco had also extended protection to American ships in its territorial waters.

In more recent history, Trump's ban on Muslims would have prevented Hakeem Olajuwon, the Nigerian-born NBA legend, and basketball Hall-of-Famer from playing for the Houston Rocket.

Under Trump's proposal, the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) could not have graced Chicago's skyline. The Sears Tower, the world's tallest building until 1996, was designed by Muslim architect Fazlur Rahman Khan, who was born in what is now Bangladesh. Khan fell in love with this country and called it his new home.

If the proposed Muslim ban had been in place, Kareem Rashad Khan, the U.S. soldier and son of Pakistani immigrants, would not have died for our country in Iraq. His father told Gannett News Service that the young man felt a calling to join the Army because of his memories of 9/11.

Humayun Khan, another Muslim, also would not have made the ultimate sacrifice for the U.S. had a Muslim ban been in effect. The army captain born in Pakistan died in Iraq in 2004 at the hands of a suicide bomber while trying to block a vehicle speeding toward his troops. His action saved the lives of hundreds of his colleagues.

Both Khans are buried at the Arlington National Cemetery and were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

We should add to this list Indian-born Muslim Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS and a Washington Post columnist.

The future impact of a Muslim ban on the U.S. appears more ominous.

One of the biggest effects of a Muslim travel ban would be on tourism. A 2011 study by travel consultant CrescentRating estimated the global Muslim tourism market at $126.1 billion and projected growth to $192 billion by 2020. That's twice as large as the travel among Chinese people.

More than 1 million Middle Eastern tourists visited the U.S. in 2013, spending on average $6,000 per head, which is $2,000 more than the European traveler. This amounted to $6.8 billion. A ban would divert those U.S. tourism dollars to other economies of the world. Due to the changing attitudes in the U.S. toward Muslims in general, our country is not the first choice of Muslim tourists - it is Malaysia. The U.K.'s Telegraph reported that, according to a new research, a ban on Muslim travel to the U.S. would cost our country $18.4 billion annually in lost tourism revenues.

As for the argument that a Muslim ban would make America safer, it is misleading at best. If anything, such policy would make U.S. citizens abroad less secure. ISIS and Al-Qaeda make up a fraction of 1 percent of the 1.8 billion global Muslim population, and to ban all Muslims from coming to the U.S. because of the actions of a tiny minority defies common sense. Can we ban all Italians because of the fear of the mafia? The extremists use Islamophobic policies of the West to justify their own atrocities.

Source:  dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20160914-imagine-the-u.s.-with-no-muslim-immigrants-or-visitors.ece

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Detain Gülen before he escapes: Turkey to US

September 15, 2016

Ankara has warned officials in the United States that they should detain Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen before he escapes to another country, in a temporary detention request sent by the Turkish Justice Ministry to Washington on Sept. 13.

Turkey says in the document that Gülen “ordered and commanded” Turkey’s bloody coup attempt of July 15 and is the head of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). In the detention request, Ankara said it has intelligence that Gülen may be planning to escape to a third country such as Canada or South Africa.

The witness testimony given by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was included in the extradition request.

Akar, who was abducted and held hostage in the Akıncı Air Base in Ankara, said in his testimony that Bridg. Gen. Hakan Evrim wanted him to speak to Gülen during the coup attempt.

The testimony of Akar’s aide-de-camp, Infantry Lt. Col. Levent Türkkan, who has admitted to being a Gülenist and who described how the coup attempt was planned by FETÖ, was also included in the request as evidence that Gülen orchestrated the failed takeover.

The Turkish authorities referred to a deal between Ankara and Washington regarding the extradition of criminals in the request for Gülen’s arrest.

They say Gülen’s extradition request could be adjudicated under a 1979 treaty between the U.S. and Turkey, one of more than 100 the U.S. has signed with other countries, which would require the U.S. to arrest and detain Gülen for up to 60 days to give Turkey time to prepare a formal extradition request and to keep him in custody until a decision is handed down in his extradition case.

Six different charges were included in the extradition request: Premeditated murder, attempted assassination of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, attempted removal of the constitutional order, attempted destruction of the Turkish Parliament and preventing it from continuing its activities, attempted destruction of the Turkish Republic, and forming and managing an armed terrorist organization.

It was also mentioned in the request that Turkey is seeking a life sentence for Gülen.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/detain-gulen-before-he-escapes-turkey-to-us.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103907&NewsCatID=510

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Europe

French Jews Are Converting To Islam and Even Joining ISIS

15/09/16

According to reports from Jewish community leaders in France, there is growing concern about a rise in conversions to Islam from within the Jewish community, with the active encouragement of French Moslems.

Sammy Ghozlan, head of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism in France says he knows of cases where entire families converted to Islam. The 15-year-old daughter of a Jewish doctor wrote that "all the Jews must be killed" after converting. In many cases the Moslem recruiters who wish to persuade Sephardic Jewish youth to convert, entice them by pointing out their joint background from Islamic countries and the difference between their culture and that of the French Christians.

Ghozlan added that another factor attracting youth is the power of Islam and ISIS to carry out terror attacks in the Western world. The youths do not see Israel as a successful entity as they might have once and identify more with ISIS's success.

A number of years ago it was reported that French Jews were even joining the ranks of ISIS after their conversions and travelling to ISIS- occupied territories. It is estimated that there are 100,000 French converts to Islam from both Jewish and Christian backgrounds but it is difficult to ascertain precise numbers of the Jewish converts.

The Jewish community has set up a de-Islamification fund as well as a hotline for youth wishing to convert in an attempt to combat this phenomenon. Community leaders also raised the worrying issue of whether such youth might utilize the Law of Return and succeed in entering Israel under the guise of their Jewish origins.

Recent years have seen a surge in French Aliya after repeated waves of Islamic terrorism broke out in France. In 2014 some 6,000 French Jews immigrated to Israel, while in 2015 more than 8,000 more arrived in Israel.

Source: israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/217843

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German intelligence chief warns about growing number of Salafi Muslims in his country

September 15, 2016

The number of Salafi Muslims in Germany, adherents of  an ultra-conservative school of thought within Sunni Islam, has been growing rapidly and is boosting the ranks of jihadist recruits, the country’s intelligence chief said Wednesday.

Hans-Georg Maassen, president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said that there are 9,200 Salafis in Germany, up from 8,900 in June and  about 5,500 three years ago. His remarks came a day after three young Syrian militants posing as refugees were arrested on suspicion of planning terror attacks.

Salafis, who the German government says want to overturn democracy and install a system based on Islamic law, make up only a small proportion of Germany’s total Muslim population of more than 4 million.  But, security officials say, they join jihadist groups at a much higher rate than others. 

“The unchecked growth in the number of Salafis is expanding the pool of recruits for jihadists,” Maassen said.

Almost all of the German nationals who have travelled to Syria to fight for Islamic State became radicalized by Salafis, who target low-income Muslim youths in German cities, experts say.

“Young Muslim men who are drifting are the main targets for Salafis,” said Thomas Muecke, co-founder of the nonprofit group Violence Prevention Network. “Those who preach hate are especially effective in attracting and holding on to these lost young men.” 

He also said that agents were facing challenges monitoring potential terrorists who are using various methods of communication such as WhatsApp, Facebook and other networks that sometimes make it harder for authorities to track.

Muecke said authorities believe terrorist groups are trying to attract new recruits from among the refugees who have arrived in Germany in the last year.

It is increasingly difficult for the German intelligence agency to differentiate between those who identify intellectually with Salafism and those who espouse using violence to realize a radical version of Islam.

The warning from Maassen, the country’s top domestic spy came just a day after the German government said three Syrians were arrested in a raid by 200 police officers north of Hamburg.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said they were Islamic State members who entered Germany along with some 1 million refugees in November, aided by the same network that brought militants into France to carry out deadly attacks last year.

Germany and governments across Europe are on high alert after a string of terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and Germany. Refugees carried out two attacks in Germany in July claimed by Islamic State. 

Tuesday’s arrests in a collection of small towns just north of Hamburg, the city where Mohamed Atta lived as a student while quietly plotting the 9/11 attacks, was a shock for Germany. Many are worried that there are more dormant terrorists among the refugee population. Sixty-one percent of Germans believe the influx of refugees has increased the chance of terrorist attacks in the country, according to a poll conducted in July by the Pew Research Center. 

Maassen also said the German intelligence agency was increasingly worried about the growing number of “lone wolves” behind the most recent attacks.

“We’re concerned about this new breed of attackers who seem to be acting on their own,” he said. “It’s a real challenge for us to detect such small sleeper cells.”

Salafis have been in the news in Germany in the past when they’ve clashed with police at protests. In 2012, Salafis attacked police protecting a demonstration in front of a Saudi Arabian school in Bonn. Twenty-nine officers were wounded, two of them were stabbed, and more than 100 people were arrested.

Source: latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-germany-salafi-20160914-snap-story.html

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First-ever New England Muslim Festival comes to Massachusetts

September 14, 2016

The first ever New England Muslim Festival is coming to Malden, a community just north of Boston, on Sunday, Sept. 25.

The day will celebrate diversity within the Muslim community and showcase cultural traditions from Morocco, Turkey, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia and more, said director Mohammad Shadid.

The main stage will feature music and dance, from folk songs to rap and hip-hop. The Souk, or marketplace, will boast a wide array of arts, henna, Arabic calligraphy, clothing, and international foods. Plenty of kids' activities are scheduled. All events are free and open to the public.

"The City of Malden is proud of its diversity, and we are excited about the upcoming Muslim festival," said Mayor Gary Christenson. "We're looking forward to this family event, and in sharing the rich Muslim culture, customs, traditions, and my favorite — food!"

According to Shahid, divisive rhetoric, terrorist attacks in Europe, and instability in the Middle East have distorted the image of American Muslims, particularly those who live in New England.

"Terrorists do not represent the faith of the millions of Muslims worldwide," he said. "All are welcome at the festival, and traditional Muslim hospitality will greet our guests on that day."

The festival is accessible by public transportation, and there is ample free parking on the street and at a nearby garage at 170 Centre St.

Source:masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/09/new_england_muslims_plan_cultu.html

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Southeast Asia

Malaysian Mufti: Shiites are Muslims despite diff with Sunnis

September 15, 2016

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia (AhlulBayt News Agency) - Penang (Malaysian state) Mufti Dr Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said Shia Muslims are still Muslims despite their differences with Sunni Islam.

Quoting a hadith of Prophet Muhammad, he said as long as a Muslim prayed the same way facing the direction of Mecca, they should be considered as part of the Muslim community.

“Thus, we cannot declare them apostates or deviants,” he told FMT, in comments which contrast with the official stand by Islamic authorities in the Malaysia, who consider Shias as deviants.

Wan Salim’s comments come in the wake of a seminar in Kuala Lumpur on Shia-Sunni ties organised by the Islamic Renaissance Front last week, where several Muslim scholars spoke out against the tendency of some Muslims to label others as deviants.

Malaysian Muslims are predominantly Sunni and subscribe to the Shafi’i school of thought.

The National Fatwa Council had in 1996 declared Shia Islam as deviant and prohibited Malaysian Muslims from practising it.

Religious officers in the past have arrested Shia Muslims

Shias differ from Sunnis on several historical aspects of early Islam, including on the rightful successors to Prophet Muhammad.

Sunni Muslims on the other hand recognise the first four caliphs as rightful inheritors of the Prophet.

Recent developments in the Middle East, such as the armed conflict in Syria, have led to increased friction between the two largest Muslim sects, with Shia Muslims being the target of violent attacks by extremist Sunni militants (Wahhabi/Salafi) in Pakistan.

Shias are also a target of the militant ISIS group, whose leaders subscribe to the Wahhabi strain of Islam, a purist movement from the Arabian peninsula which also opposes traditional Sunni teachings they consider as heretic.

Wan Salim said the tendency to label other Muslims as apostates could lead to violence and would not benefit Muslims.

“It will benefit the enemies of Islam. Which is why we shouldn’t simply dismiss certain quarters as apostates. Somehow it is only we who are preoccupied with such divisions.”

Source: en.abna24.com/service/east-asia/archive/2016/09/15/779148/story.html

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Malaysia to launch world's first Islamic venture capital fund BY BERNAMA

15 SEPTEMBER 2016

PUTRAJAYA: Plan to establish the world's first Islamic venture capital fund is now in the final stage and will be launched at the right time, said Treasury Secretary-General, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar Abdullah. He said the teams from the ministry and Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) had met twice to finalise the structure of the fund, spearheaded by Malaysia in collaboration with the IDB. "Now it is a matter of waiting for the right time to announce, launch and go-to-market," he told reporters after a briefing on the 11th International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance (11th ICIEF) here today. Also present was IDB Director-General Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Azmi Omar. Irwan Serigar said Malaysia was also in talks with Indonesia to rope it to join the venture capital fund, which would have an initial fund size of US$100 million (US$1=RM4.12). He said even without Indonesia's participation, Malaysia would still go ahead with the proposed fund with IDB and Malaysia's largest venture capital company, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd. Irwan Serigar said the fund would be used to finance start-up companies not only in Malaysia but also in the region and other Islamic countries. On the 11th ICIEF, Irwan Siregar said, it would bring together academicians and Islamic finance practitioners from 35 countries. "We have a lot of wakaf land and farm but it is not fully utilised. I hoped this conference can be a platform to discuss on how to take our wakaf programme and initiative to the next level," he said. The event, themed 'Rethinking Islamic Economic and Finance: Paving the Way Forward for Inclusive and Sustainable Development', will be held on Oct 11-13 in Kuala Lumpur.

Source: nst.com.my/news/2016/09/173409/malaysia-launch-worlds-first-islamic-venture-capital-fund

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Blast on ferry off Indonesia's Bali island kills 2, injures 18

September 15, 2016

JAKARTA (REUTERS/AFP) - An explosion on a ferry between the Indonesian resort islands of Bali and Lombok on Thursday (Sept 15) killed two foreigners and injured 18 others, the authorities said.

The boat was carrying 35 passengers, all of whom were foreigners, and four crew members, and had just left Padang Bai port in eastern Bali on Thursday morning when the blast occurred.

An Austrian woman was killed along with a second female foreigner, whose nationality was still being verified.

Bali police spokesman Made Sudana said the explosion happened off the coast of Lombok. "It seems there was some sort of explosion on the boat, so there was an emergency with the engine."

AFP reported that the death toll was one and that 14 were injured.

TV footage showed dazed, bloodied passengers lying on hospital beds and being carried into ambulances on stretchers.

The blast appeared to have happened in the fuel tank, said the police, adding it was not caused by a bomb. Indonesia has a poor maritime safety record and there have been similar incidents in the past where no foul play was detected.

"The explosion happened five minutes after the boat departed," local police chief Sugeng Sudarso told AFP, adding the vessel had been about 200m from the port.

Teams of police and the bomb squad were initially deployed to investigate but Mr Sudarso later ruled out a bomb as the cause.

"Based on the testimony (from passengers) and from what I saw at the scene, the explosion came from the fuel tank," he said. "Above it was a battery, maybe there was a short circuit that affected the fuel tank."

The authorities said the woman killed on the boat, which was heading for the nearby holiday island of Gili Trawangan, was a foreigner but that they were verifying her identity before releasing more details.

Full report at: straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-ferry-blast-kills-two-injures-13

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North America

Imagine the U.S. with no Muslim immigrants or visitors

14 September 2016

What would the U.S. be like under Donald Trump's plan to block Muslims from entering the country? It wouldn't be the country we love.

In December Trump called for a "complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Trump's Islamophobic remarks seem especially ungrateful in light of our country's early relationship with Morocco. In 1777, Morocco, which is predominantly Muslim, was the first country to recognize the new nation called the United States of America. Morocco had also extended protection to American ships in its territorial waters.

In more recent history, Trump's ban on Muslims would have prevented Hakeem Olajuwon, the Nigerian-born NBA legend, and basketball Hall-of-Famer from playing for the Houston Rocket.

Under Trump's proposal, the Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) could not have graced Chicago's skyline. The Sears Tower, the world's tallest building until 1996, was designed by Muslim architect Fazlur Rahman Khan, who was born in what is now Bangladesh. Khan fell in love with this country and called it his new home.

If the proposed Muslim ban had been in place, Kareem Rashad Khan, the U.S. soldier and son of Pakistani immigrants, would not have died for our country in Iraq. His father told Gannett News Service that the young man felt a calling to join the Army because of his memories of 9/11.

Humayun Khan, another Muslim, also would not have made the ultimate sacrifice for the U.S. had a Muslim ban been in effect. The army captain born in Pakistan died in Iraq in 2004 at the hands of a suicide bomber while trying to block a vehicle speeding toward his troops. His action saved the lives of hundreds of his colleagues.

Both Khans are buried at the Arlington National Cemetery and were posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

We should add to this list Indian-born Muslim Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS and a Washington Post columnist.

The future impact of a Muslim ban on the U.S. appears more ominous.

One of the biggest effects of a Muslim travel ban would be on tourism. A 2011 study by travel consultant CrescentRating estimated the global Muslim tourism market at $126.1 billion and projected growth to $192 billion by 2020. That's twice as large as the travel among Chinese people.

More than 1 million Middle Eastern tourists visited the U.S. in 2013, spending on average $6,000 per head, which is $2,000 more than the European traveler. This amounted to $6.8 billion. A ban would divert those U.S. tourism dollars to other economies of the world. Due to the changing attitudes in the U.S. toward Muslims in general, our country is not the first choice of Muslim tourists - it is Malaysia. The U.K.'s Telegraph reported that, according to a new research, a ban on Muslim travel to the U.S. would cost our country $18.4 billion annually in lost tourism revenues.

As for the argument that a Muslim ban would make America safer, it is misleading at best. If anything, such policy would make U.S. citizens abroad less secure. ISIS and Al-Qaeda make up a fraction of 1 percent of the 1.8 billion global Muslim population, and to ban all Muslims from coming to the U.S. because of the actions of a tiny minority defies common sense. Can we ban all Italians because of the fear of the mafia? The extremists use Islamophobic policies of the West to justify their own atrocities.

Source: dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20160914-imagine-the-u.s.-with-no-muslim-immigrants-or-visitors.ece

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For Muslim voters, a time to speak up with a ballot

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

On several Fridays, Aisha Yaqoob and other volunteers have gathered before prayers at the Madina Institute USA in Duluth.

Voter-registration tables are set up near each entrance to the mosque. As men and women come in they are asked if they are registered to vote. Some register for the first time. Others stop to make sure their information is updated.

With eight weeks to go before election day, multiple efforts are underway to register Muslims to vote.

Yaqoob, executive director of the Georgia Muslim Voter Project, is careful not to mention specific candidates or elections.

She really doesn’t need to. Like other Muslims across the nation, Yaqoob feels her faith is under attack.

“There’s a lot going on on the national scale that’s vilified our community,” said Yaqoob, who lives in Suwanee. “Community members are beginning to understand the power of their vote, so we’re really jumping into that and making sure people are informed. A lot of people who are registering want to make sure that America is a safe place for their children when they grow up and that their values are respected.”

During early campaigning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the nation and suggested that the U.S. consider profiling Muslims.

Other polls show that a growing number of Americans have an unfavorable view of Islam.

A Pew Research Center survey in 2014 asked Americans to rate members of eight religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 to 100, with 0 the coldest. They rated Muslims rather coolly: an average of 40, comparable to the average rating of 41 they gave atheists.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they are very concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in the in the U.S., according to a December 2015 survey. That survey also found Republicans more likely than Democrats to say that Muslims should be subject to more scrutiny than people of other religions.

Such feelings manifest themselves in many ways.

In South Carolina, a Muslim woman wearing an hijab was escorted out of a Trump rally after she stood up in silent protest.

Full report at: myajc.com/news/lifestyles/for-muslim-voters-a-time-to-speak-up-with-a-ballot/nsYG8/

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American Muslim voters have nowhere to go

September 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton will win overwhelming support from American Muslims in November. She is a safe harbor in a domestic political environment roiled by Donald Trump’s direct assaults against them. But for many Muslims, who make up about 1 percent of the U.S. population, a vote for her constitutes a difficult compromise.

“A lot of people in our community are not thrilled about Hillary Clinton because of her foreign policy record in the Muslim world,” said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “But more people are scared of the wolf than of the fox, even though both can eat your chickens. There are people volunteering in the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

Michigan has about 500,000 Muslims, Walid said, one of the highest concentrations in the U.S. In the Democratic presidential primary, Bernie Sanders carried the state by barely 2 points over Clinton but he dominated among voters 18 to 29 years old – by 81 to 19 percent – a group that included many young Muslims. At the Democratic National Convention, Clinton forces beat back an effort by Sanders’ delegates to make the party platform project greater sympathy for Palestinians.

But Trump’s direct attack on American Muslims has left them with little choice in this election.

The GOP nominee has variously proposed blocking all Muslim immigration and tracking American Muslims – ostensibly as counterterrorism measures. He has suggested more than once that large numbers of American Muslims have been complicit in domestic terrorism.

“They didn’t turn them in,” Trump said of Muslims who, he has claimed, withheld vital information about the killers in Orlando and San Bernardino, “and we had death and destruction.”

His success has predictably left many Muslims unnerved and on guard.

“Trump is not what scares me,” said Abdullah Hammoud, a first-generation Lebanese-American from Dearborn, Michigan.

The more serious threat, Hammoud said, is Trump’s unleashing of latent racism among his supporters.

“He has monetized racism. This man spreads bigotry and captures dollars and votes in exchange,” he said. “My mother, my sister – individuals now feel empowered to attack them because they observe the hijab.”

Hammoud, who said his father works at a grocery store, is 26, has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan and is on track to be elected in November, as a Democrat, to the Michigan House of Representatives. He is running in a Democratic district but campaigning has nonetheless been difficult sometimes.

“I can’t tell you how many times doors have slammed in my face,” he said.

Muslims nationwide identified with the Democratic Party even before Trump came along. A Pew Research survey in 2011 found that “Muslims are far more likely to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (70 percent) than the Republican Party (11 percent).”

Walid, the Michigan executive director of CAIR, is black, 44 years old and converted to Islam about 25 years ago.

“There is a lot of apprehension in our community, particularly among suburban, non-African-American Muslims,” he said.

Muslims can only counter Trump’s mass-media performances with small, often private acts. Sumayya Master, a 21-year-old marketing student whose parents emigrated from Pakistan, said she wishes Americans would be more mindful of freedom of speech and religion.

“I want for everybody to go back and remember why we built this great nation,” she said.

To ease fears, she and some friends have conducted an “Ask a Muslim” campaign at their university, where they encourage questions about their faith over free doughnuts and coffee.

“Change is going to come,” she said. But with Trumpism in the air, Master doesn’t take it for granted. “For Christmas,” she said, “I gave all my neighbors Christmas presents.”

Source: dailyrepublic.com/opinion/statenationalcolumnists/american-muslim-voters-have-nowhere-to-go/

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Mideast

Detain Gülen before he escapes: Turkey to US

September 15, 2016

Ankara has warned officials in the United States that they should detain Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen before he escapes to another country, in a temporary detention request sent by the Turkish Justice Ministry to Washington on Sept. 13.

Turkey says in the document that Gülen “ordered and commanded” Turkey’s bloody coup attempt of July 15 and is the head of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). In the detention request, Ankara said it has intelligence that Gülen may be planning to escape to a third country such as Canada or South Africa.

The witness testimony given by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was included in the extradition request.

Akar, who was abducted and held hostage in the Akıncı Air Base in Ankara, said in his testimony that Bridg. Gen. Hakan Evrim wanted him to speak to Gülen during the coup attempt.

The testimony of Akar’s aide-de-camp, Infantry Lt. Col. Levent Türkkan, who has admitted to being a Gülenist and who described how the coup attempt was planned by FETÖ, was also included in the request as evidence that Gülen orchestrated the failed takeover.

The Turkish authorities referred to a deal between Ankara and Washington regarding the extradition of criminals in the request for Gülen’s arrest.

They say Gülen’s extradition request could be adjudicated under a 1979 treaty between the U.S. and Turkey, one of more than 100 the U.S. has signed with other countries, which would require the U.S. to arrest and detain Gülen for up to 60 days to give Turkey time to prepare a formal extradition request and to keep him in custody until a decision is handed down in his extradition case.

Six different charges were included in the extradition request: Premeditated murder, attempted assassination of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, attempted removal of the constitutional order, attempted destruction of the Turkish Parliament and preventing it from continuing its activities, attempted destruction of the Turkish Republic, and forming and managing an armed terrorist organization.

It was also mentioned in the request that Turkey is seeking a life sentence for Gülen.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/detain-gulen-before-he-escapes-turkey-to-us.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103907&NewsCatID=510

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Turkey, US-led forces hit more ISIL targets

September 15, 2016

Turkey and U.S.-led coalition forces have intensified their joint military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq.

Some 13 Turkish “Fırtına” (Storm) howitzers shelled six ISIL targets on Sept. 13 in the Wuguf area of northern Syria as part of the Euphrates Shied Operation, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in a statement on Sept. 14.

With the latest shelling, the total number of shellings since the beginning of the operation rose to 2,245 against 524 targets.

The operation, which was launched in cooperation with the U.S.-led coalition on Aug. 24, saw the Turkish military back the Free Syrian Army (FSA) with artillery, tanks, air power and Special Forces in a bid to sweep ISIL and other terrorist elements from its borders after a series of attacks targeting the country. Aircrafts from the anti-ISIL coalition also backed the operation.

On the same day, U.S.-led coalition forces pounded ISIL targets between al-Rai and Azaz in five airstrikes killing six militants.

The TSK statement said there had been five coalition strikes on ISIL targets in the Yahmul, Kafr Ghan, Güzel Mezra and Jakka areas east of Azaz and six ISIL militants were killed, in addition to the destruction of four mortar positions and two defensive positions. The statement added that Turkish jets did not carry out the strikes but were waiting on the ground for any instant targets that might emerge.

Meanwhile, U.S. warplanes eliminated a “significant chemical threat” to Iraqi civilians by bombing a complex of buildings near the northern city of Mosul that ISIL militants had converted from pharmaceutical manufacturing to chemical weapons production, the three-star general in charge of U.S. air operations in the Middle East, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, said on Sept. 13, the Associated Press reported.

Harrigian told reporters at the Pentagon that the target was an ISIL headquarters also used to produce lethal chemicals, possibly including chlorine and mustard gas. He provided no details on the chemical production.

He described the airstrike as a large, well-planned operation, which destroyed more than 50 targets at the site with a variety of U.S. warplanes, including Air Force B-52 bombers and Marine Corps F-18D attack planes. Other U.S. officials said later that a total of 12 U.S. planes were used.

Harrigian said the mission was part of a broader effort to cut off ISIL’s main sources of revenue, kill their leaders and create “organizational dysfunction” in ways that will eliminate the group as a military threat in Iraq and Syria.

The Pentagon said Sept. 13 that it launched various strikes on ISIL forces in Syria over the past several days, including hits on some targets that “may have resulted in civilian casualties,” AFP reported.

The incidents took place Sept. 7, Sept. 10 and Sept. 12, according to a statement from CENTCOM.

It did not give a number of dead or injured.

But in the Sept. 10 raid “near Raqqa, Syria, a strike against an ISIL target may have resulted in the death of civilians near where the strike occurred,” CENTCOM said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-led-forces-hit-more-isil-targets.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103882&NewsCatID=352

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Israeli Jets Bombard Gaza Strip in New Airstrikes

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli military aircraft carried out three air strikes against areas in the Gaza Strip in yet another act of aggression against the besieged coastal territory.

The first airstrike struck an open area belonging to Ezzeddin al-Qassim Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, Northwest of the city of Beit Lahia, on Thursday morning, Safa reported.

The second airborne assault targeted the Shima’a area Northwest of Beit Lahia, causing a fire. The third attack hit Yarmouk base of Qassim Brigades in the eastern Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City.

There were no immediate reports about the possible casualties.

The airstrikes came hours after Tel Aviv claimed that a mortar shell fired from the coastal enclave hit an open terrain in the Eshkol regional council. The projectile reportedly did not cause any damage.

The Israeli military frequently bombs the Gaza Strip. The disproportionate force is always used in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000388

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Top Russian general to discuss Syria, cooperation in Turkey -Ifax

September 15, 2016

The chief of the Russian army's general staff, Valery Gerasimov, will visit Ankara on Sept. 15 to discuss Syria and military cooperation with Turkey, Interfax news agency cited Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/top-russian-general-to-discuss-syria-cooperation-in-turkey--ifax.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103913&NewsCatID=510

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German Embassy, other offices in Turkey closed temporarily amid reports on fears of attack

September 15, 2016

Germany has temporarily closed its embassy, all other consular offices and a school in Turkey, reportedly due to fears of a possible attack.

Germany's Bild newspaper reported on Sept. 9 that the move was taken as a precaution after the Foreign Ministry learned of rumored attacks on consular facilities in Turkey during the Eid al-Adha holiday week.

The German Embassy in Ankara said on its official twitter account that the services at all German representative facilities in Turkey would provide limited service as meetings were cancelled until Sept. 16. It gave no further details.

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the Bild report, but confirmed that its embassy in Ankara and other consular offices were closed to the public during the holiday week of Sept. 12-16, The Associated Press said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/german-embassy-other-offices-in-turkey-closed-temporarily-amid-reports-on-fears-of-attack.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103912&NewsCatID=341

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We made mistakes after Turkey’s coup attempt: European Parliament rapporteur Piri

September 15, 2016

Kati Piri, the rapporteur for Turkey at the European Parliament, has said Brussels “made a mistake against the Turkish people” after the country’s failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

Piri said both herself and Brussels had been quick to criticize Ankara’s post-coup crackdown but was wrong to not mention the more than 200 people killed by coup-plotting soldiers on the night of July 15 and not to talk about the bombing of the Turkish Parliament by jets used by putschists.

The Turkish government has strongly criticized the EU and other European bodies, complaining that they did not display genuine support and were late to visit Ankara in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

In an interview with Turkish daily Habertürk on Sept. 15, Piri said Brussels had been slow to recognize the trauma that the coup attempt had created in people, particularly noting that the assassination attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had deeply affected people.

“Those who support Erdoğan and those who don’t support him were united that night. That was a reality that we didn’t understand well enough. We made a mistake by not empathizing with the Turkish people,” Piri reportedly said.

Stressing that she had never met anyone in Brussels who was in favor of the coup attempt, Piri added that she personally has “no doubt” that people linked to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen were behind the failed takeover.

She also said that during her visits to Turkey in the last three years there were talks about Gülenists, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) referring to the Gülen movement as a “parallel state structure.” The coup attempt showed that there really was a parallel state, Piri stated.

The European Parliament rapporteur also said she had questions regarding the attempted takeover.

“How large was this organization? Was this coup attempt managed from Pennsylvania? Were hundreds or even thousands of Gülenists involved in this? Otherwise, was it something that the Gülenists in the army, who knew that they would be dismissed, did as a last resort?” she said, noting that answers to these questions can only be given by judges.

Addressing the government’s sweeping post-coup attempt measures and imposition of a state of emergency, Piri stressed that they did not know whether the thousands of people who have been suspended, detained or arrested were directly involved in the July 15 coup bid.

She also said a distinction should be made between Gülenists “directly involved” in the failed takeover and those who only “sympathize” with the movement.

Piri also touched on her visit to the Turkish capital Ankara in August, saying she expressed her solidarity with Turkey in her meetings with Turkish officials.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/we-made-mistakes-after-turkeys-coup-attempt-european-parliament-rapporteur-piri-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103916&NewsCatID=510

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Arab World

Syrian People in Deir Ezzur Take Revenge from ISIL Terrorists

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorists attempted to attack al-Tabni village in Deir Ezzur to loot the residents' properties but were faced with people's firm resistance and fled the scene after sustaining a heavy toll.

A local source reported on Thursday that the residents of al-Tabni village defended their lands and properties in heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists, killing 17 militants and wounding several others.

According to the source, Ammar al-Hassani, a notorious ISIL leader who committed a horrible crime against the people on Eid al-Adha (the Muslims' feast of sacrifice), was among the hunted terrorists.

Earlier this week, the ISIL beheaded several civilians the terrorist group has recently arrested in Syria's Deir Ezzur province after hanging them upside-down.

The ISIL released a video showing a slaughter house where the terrorist group chooses several people from those whose hands are tied up and are placed on one another to hang them for beheading.

The terrorist group has accused the executed people of informing the Syrian military forces about the ISIL's military positions and photos of the terrorists.

The horrendous crime by the ISIL terrorists was carried out concurrent with Eid al-Adha.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000253

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Over 65 Terrorists, Commanders Killed in Failed Attacks in Quneitra

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The militant groups suffered heavy losses in the Golan Heights after they launched three failed assaults to capture government-controlled villages in Quneitra.

"The army troops and popular forces fended off several terrorist attacks in Quneitra in Southwestern Syria in the last several days, inflicting heavy causalities on the Takfiri terrorists," the army said.

Based on reports, more than 65 terrorists, including top commanders, were killed and tens of other were wounded after pro-government forces repelled their attacks.

According to the reports, wounded terrorists continue to be taken from Quneitra battlefields to Israeli hospitals in the occupied Golan Heights.

The terrorists' failures came after Head of the Media Affairs of the Syrian Army's Political Office confirmed earlier reports on the downing of two Israeli aircraft by the country's air defense units in Quneitra.

Brigadier General Samir Suleiman said that an Israeli F-16 fighter jet raided the Syrian army's military positions in the Southwestern part of Quneitra province, which was downed by the Syrian army's air defense system.

He noted that also an Israeli drone attacked the Syrian army positions in the Western side of Sa'asa' near the Golan Heights that was also downed.

Brigadier General Suleiman noted that the Israeli attacks on the Golan heights are aimed at supporting the terrorists in Quneitra province who are suffering from low morale.

"The terrorists are hopelessly trying hard to boost their morale after the recent defeats they suffered in the battle with the Syrian army and popular forces," Brigadier General Suleiman added.

He said Israel admits terrorists in its hospitals and medical centers and provides them with logistic aid in a bid to boost their morale.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000515

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ISIL Executes Own Commanders in Deir Ezzur

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group gunned down two of its most notorious commanders in Deir Ezzur for unknown reasons, a field source said on Thursday.

According to the source, Maysar al-Kalizi and Anas al-Abdon were executed by ISIL's security forces.

The ISIL has executed a large number Syrian and Iraqi citizens for not joining the group and also over spying charges. The Takfiri militant group has also killed its senior commanders, security forces and fighters in Syria and Iraq for various reasons, including fleeing the war fronts.

Late in August, the ISIL terrorist group had also executed one of the most notorious security commanders in al-Sho'eitat region of Deir Ezzur.

Va'el Kassb al-Quweider, known as the right hand of senior commander of ISIL in Deir Ezzur Jafar al-Khalifeh, was killed by the group's security forces in the village of al-Kashkiyeh.

"Al-Quweider was notorious among the region's civilian for his atrocities against innocent people while occupation of villages of al-Sho'eitat region in 2014," local sources said, adding, "There is no news about the cause of his execution."

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000647

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Yemeni Forces Take Control of Saudi Arabia's Biggest Military Base in Najran

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces attacked a strategic region in Najran and took control of Saudi Arabia's biggest military base in the Southern province.

"The Yemeni forces gained control of the biggest military base in Najran region and seized all the arms and weapon systems there, including missiles and tanks," Abdul Sattar al-Matari, a commander of resistance forces, told FNA on Thursday.

Also, Ali al-Hamzani, a commander of the Yemeni popular forces, said that the Yemeni forces continued their large-scale offensive in the Southern parts of Saudi Arabia, targeting the Saudi military camps in Jizan Region.

He added that his forces managed to capture the Al-Farida military camp in Jizan Region after a fierce battle with the Saudis.

In addition to capturing this military site, the Yemeni forces seized the Saudi Army's heavy weapons and Abrams tanks that were left behind, Hamzani said.

Al-Farida military camp is located near the contested city of al-Khabuh in Jizan region; it was one of the Saudi army's main bases in this area.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000351

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Syria Ceasefire Violated 35 Times by Militants on Wednesday

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups in Syria violated the ceasefire 35 times on Wednesday, a military source said.

According to the source, the ceasefire was violated 35 times in different parts of Syria on Wednesday, including 4 times in Damascus and its countryside with mortar, sniper and machine gun fire, 1 time in Quneitra and its countryside with mortar attacks, 14 times in Aleppo with mortar, sniper gun and machine gun attacks, 13 times in Hama and its countryside with machine gun, artillery, mortar and tank fire, 1 time in Lattakia and its countryside with machine gun and 2 times in Homs and its countryside with mortar and machine gun attacks.

The 48-hour ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia and the US came into effect on Monday at 7pm Damascus time (16:00 GMT).

A Russian official said on Wednesday that the militant groups in Syria had violated the ceasefire 60 times since it began.

Moscow has also called for the ceasefire in Syria to be extended for another 48 hours, the Russian General Staff said.

"In accordance with the Russian-US agreements, the existing 48-hour ceasefire is expiring today at 7pm [Moscow time – 16:00 GMT]. We note that recently the cessation of hostilities was observed in full. As of this morning the overall number of violations by the militants has reached 60,” Russian General Staff official Viktor Poznikhir added.

He added that Russia understands the necessity of the full implementation of the agreements reached, and that it is “in favor of extending the ceasefire across Syria for another 48 hours”.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000595

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Tens of ISIL Terrorists Killed in Southwestern Deir Ezzur

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group sustained heavy causalities in the Syrian army's special operations in the Southwestern parts of Deir Ezzur.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorist group in Deir Ezzur faced with the army and popular forces' rapid advances as pro-government troops started a new round of military operations in the Southwestern parts of the province.

Pro-government forces recaptured several checkpoints near the Tayyem Valley after a series of fierce clashes with militants

According to a battlefield source, the pro-government forces killed 50 militants and wounded several others during the operations.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army forces and their allies repulsed the ISIL terrorists' attacks against three different positions in Southern Deir Ezzur.

The ISIL offensives on army positions in Huweija al-Sakar, al-Mari'a in the Southern parts and al-Jafra in the Southeastern parts of Deir Ezzur were repelled by the army and popular forces.

Earlier yesterday, the Syrian troops struck the ISIL's concentration centers and gatherings in the mountains near the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur and inflicted major casualties and losses on the terrorists.

Army soldiers, in their attacks near the ISIL's stronghold in al-Thardah mountain, killed at least 20 militants and wounded many more.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000446

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High Court Postpones Trial of Bahrain's Sheikh Isa Qassim for Third Time

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- A high court in Bahrain adjourned the trial of Sheikh Isa Qassim for the third time on Thursday as widespread protests against the trial have been going on in the country.

Al-Ahed news cited sources in criminal court of Bahrain as saying that the court postponed the trial of Sheikh Isa Qassim and the senior Shiite cleric was not present at the trial today.

The tribunal held a session which lasted only few minutes without the cleric's presence, deciding to put off the trial. However the court has not yet publicly announced the date for the next trial session

The Bahraini regime has pressed charges of “illegal fund collections, money laundering and helping terrorism” against Sheikh Qassim. He has rejected the accusations.

Manama has also revoked the cleric’s citizenship.

Bahrain has already sentenced Sheikh Ali Salman, another revered opposition cleric, to nine years in prison on charges of seeking regime change and collaborating with foreign powers, which he has denied.

Sheikh Salman was the secretary general of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which was Bahrain’s main opposition bloc before being dissolved by the regime earlier this month.

Both the trial of Sheikh Qassim and Sheikh Salman are viewed as part of Bahrain’s crackdown on political dissent.

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah rulers to relinquish power.

In March that year, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini regime in cracking down on the protests.

On the eve of Sheikh Qassim’s trial, hundreds of people rallied in Bahrain to express solidarity with him.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000665

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Special Russian Forces to Oversee Passage of Humanitarian Aid Convoys via Castello Road

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian marines will officially replace the Syrian Arab Army's "Tiger Forces" along the strategic Castello highway in Northern Aleppo to monitor the movement of humanitarian aid convoys.

According to al-Masdar news website, the Tiger Forces agreed to withdraw 1 km North of the Castello Highway in order to allow humanitarian aid groups, including the Syrian Red Crescent Society, to have access to the roadway.

Field sources earlier confirmed that the Syrian forces had also left certain regions near Handarat refugee camp.

In addition to Russian checkpoints, the Syrian Red Crescent Society will also have two checkpoints along the Castello highway; these will be used to facilitate aid and help civilians trying to leave the besieged regions.

There are still no reports on terrorists evacuating the region to open way for the aid convoys.

The Russian marines came under fire yesterday, when a group of unknown militants fired bullets at the soldiers manning the checkpoints.

The terrorist groups struck the base of the Russian truce-monitoring soldiers along the Castello Road to the Northern districts of Aleppo city on Wednesday.

The Russian soldiers came under fire while delivering a video link to the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow from Castello Road in Aleppo on Tuesday following a first night of the nationwide ceasefire.

Informed sources said on Tuesday that Russia’s center for the reconciliation of warring sides in Syria has established an observation outpost on the Castello road to Aleppo city to monitor the process of the ceasefire that went into effect on Monday night.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000481

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Iraq Warns to Start Massive Operations in Nineveh Province Soon

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi air force dropped 7 million leaflets over Nineveh province calling on residents of the Western province to prepare themselves for its imminent seizure.

In its leaflets, the Iraqi army called on the residents of Nineveh to keep out of the ISIL gathering centers, warehouses, weapons caches and bases, stressing the need for the supporters of the terrorist group to defect as soon as possible.

According to reports, the Iraqi warplanes have dropped over 7 million leaflets over 16 districts of Nineveh province.

Meantime, a local source in Nineveh said that the ISIL has threatened the residents of the province with 20 lashes if they are found with the leaflets in their hands, ordering its forces to collect them from the streets and alleys.

In a relevant development, Nineveh Liberation Operation Command Center announced on Wednesday that the Iraqi army troops and popular fighters fended off ISIL's large-scale attacks on government forces' defense lines on the Southern side of the city of Mosul in Nineveh province, killing at least 70 militants and wounding many more.

"ISIL launched its attacks on government positions from the three directions of al-Houd, al-Hadhar and al-Shabani but the pro-government forces deployed near the Division 15th, Brigade37th and Nineveh Police station opened heavy fire on the militants and did not allow them to advance in the battlefield," the command center said.

"The battle lasted for at least five hours and claimed lives of 70 ISIL militants," the center said, adding, "Seven military vehicles of terrorist group were also destroyed in the failed attack."

"Main battle occurred between Iraqi forces and ISIL terrorists along Mosul road to Baghdad," he further added.

Also, informed sources announced on Wednesday that the official spokesman of the ISIL terrorist group in Mosul in Northern Nineveh was shot dead by unknown attackers.

"ISIL's Spokesman in Mosul Abu Isaac was driving his car in Central Mosul when a group of three gunmen ambushed him and opened fire on his car, killing Abu Isaac and two of his bodyguards," the sources said.

"Abu Isaac was transferred to the al-Adli hospital in Central Mosul, but he was already dead," they further added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000391

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EU, Rights Groups Urge Bahrain to End Crackdown on Dissidents

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The EU and the 35-member UN Human Rights Council urged the Bahraini regime to put an end to its heavy-handed crackdown against political dissidents as the Al Khalifah regime keeps up its policy of repression.

During a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, Slovakia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Fedor Rosocha, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, voiced concerns “about measures against Bahrain’s opposition political society”, presstv reported.

Brussels is alarmed with the “dissolution of the opposition al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the 9-year-long prison sentence handed down to its Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman, detention and travel bans on human rights activists, and the re-arrest of Nabeel Rajab,” said the joint statement he read out.

It went on to say that the signatories are troubled by the “revocation of nationality of Bahraini citizens, including prominent figures such as Sheikh Issa Qassim.”

Bahraini authorities revoked Sheikh Qassim’s citizenship on June 20. They had earlier dissolved al-Wefaq besides the Islamic Enlightenment Institution, founded by the 79-year-old cleric, and the al-Risala Islamic Association.

Rosocha further stated that the EU and other world states are “worried about allegations of torture” in Bahrain, and want Manama to extend an invitation to Juan E. Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Meanwhile, twenty-two NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, have sent letters to 50 states, urging them to pressure Bahraini authorities to release Rajab.

The rights groups asked the addressees to “speak out on Bahrain’s continued misuse of the judicial system to harass and silence human rights defenders.”

Rajab, who has been repeatedly detained for organizing anti-regime demonstrations and publishing Twitter posts deemed insulting to Bahraini officials, was pardoned for health reasons last year, but he was re-arrested on June 13.

The 52-year-old activist is going to stand trial over tweets he posted in March 2015, criticizing Manama’s involvement in the atrocious Saudi aerial bombardment campaign against Yemen in addition to mistreatment and torture at Bahrain’s notorious Jaw Prison.

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.

Troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been deployed to the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on peaceful protests.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the Bahraini crackdown on the anti-regime activists.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000484

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Qatar Sends 1,000 Army Soldiers to Yemen

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Qatar mobilized a contingent of 1,000 army soldiers to support invasion of the Saudi-led Coalition on Yemen after four Qatari soldiers were killed by Yemeni popular forces, media sources said.

Several Arab media outlets said approximately 1,000 Qatari soldiers, 200 armored vehicles, and 30 Apache helicopters were deployed to Yemen to participate in the Saudi-led aggression, Al Masdar reported.

The troops are now reportedly heading to Yemen's Ma'rib province, to join the Saudi-led coalition already fighting in the area. And more Qatari servicemen will be deployed to Yemen in the near future.

The reason for the influx of Qatari soldiers is still unknown, as Qatari official have not yet published any statement on the development, however it is likely to do with loss of several Qatari military personnel working with Saudi-led coalition.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000450

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Terrorists Violate Ceasefire, Shell Red Crescent Base in Aleppo's Castello Road

September 15, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Head of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria Sergei Kapitsyn announced on Thursday that the terrorists have several times violated the ceasefire in Aleppo province.

According to Kapitsyn, the militants violated the ceasefire and attacked Ramousiyeh region, Castello's trade center, cement plant and military academy.

"Last night, the terrorists opened fire at a base equipped for the Syrian Red Crescent Society at Castello road which wounded two guards," he added.

Another Russian official said on Wednesday that the militant groups in Syria have violated the ceasefire 60 times since it began.

Moscow has also called for the ceasefire in Syria to be extended for another 48 hours, the Russian General Staff said.

"In accordance with the Russian-US agreements, the existing 48-hour ceasefire is expiring today at 7pm [Moscow time – 16:00 GMT]. We note that recently the cessation of hostilities was observed in full. As of this morning the overall number of violations by the militants has reached 60,” Russian General Staff official Viktor Poznikhir added.

He added that Russia understands the necessity of the full implementation of the agreements reached, and that it is “in favor of extending the ceasefire across Syria for another 48 hours.”

The 48-hour ceasefire in Syria brokered by Russia and the US came into effect on Monday at 7pm Damascus time (16:00 GMT).

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950625000296

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Africa

Boko Haram Releases New Video without Embattled Leader, Abubakar Shekau

Thursday 15th September, 2016

Kano - The jihadist group Boko Haram has released a new video without its embattled leader Abubakar Shekau, lending weight to claims by the Nigerian army he had been gravely wounded in an air strike.

The 13-minute video posted on YouTube late on Tuesday shows an unidentified man in a flowing white robe and a sword dangling by his side presiding over Eid prayers in a mosque.

Hundreds of poorly fed villagers and children, who are apparently Boko Haram supporters, are seen in the video filmed on Monday.

The man says he is representing Shekau, who had allegedly been ousted by the Islamic State to which Boko Haram pledged allegiance in March 2015.

"My brethren, today is Eid ..in the Islamic Caliphate under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, may Allah protect him," he says, speaking in the local Hausa language.

The Nigerian army claimed on August 23 Shekau had been seriously wounded in the shoulder in an air raid in which several commanders were killed.

"We convey our Eid greetings to our brethren all over the world under the Islamic Caliphate and especially our leader Abubakar Shekau, may Allah protect him," the man in the video says.

'No retreat, no surrender'

He then taunts the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying Boko Haram would fight on despite a military crackdown, adding: "No retreat, no surrender."

It was not immediately clear if the video, which was technically superior to previous ones, was shot in Boko Haram's Sambisa forest stronghold in the northern state of Borno or elsewhere.

Nigerian soldiers, with the support of regional troops, have recaptured swathes of territory lost to the jihadists since they launched a military campaign in February 2014.

Despite earlier claims by the Nigerian government that Shekau had been killed, the militant leader has resurfaced later in videos.

Last month, the ISIS replaced Shekau with Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf, in an apparent split in the group whose insurgency has killed some 20,000 and displaced more than 2.6 million since 2009.

Boko Haram has also released a video showing at least one of the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok more than two years ago, and called for its detained fighters to be freed.

The mass kidnapping of schoolgirls from the remote town of Chibok provoked global outrage and brought unprecedented attention to Boko Haram and its bloody quest to create a fundamentalist state in north-eastern Nigeria.

Nigeria is facing security threats on multiple fronts: Boko Haram Islamists in the northeast, Biafran separatists in the southeast, oil rebels in the south and nomadic herdsmen in the central states.

Source: malaysiasun.com/index.php/sid/247649905

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Kenyan police find note suggesting Islamic State link to Mombasa attack

15 September, 2016

Kenya has faced a spate of Islamist militant attacks in recent years, usually claimed by the Somali group al Shabaab, but Sunday's assault on a police station in the port city of Mombasa by the three women was claimed by Islamic State.

Islamic State has seized territory in Syria and Iraq, inspiring offshoot groups in the Middle East and Africa.

Experts say those accused of links to the group, but who live a long way from Islamic State's heartland, may only be sympathisers rather than have the group's active backing.

Three dead in Kenya protests: police

"We pledged allegiance to the caliph of the Muslims, the Amir of the Believers, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi," according to the handwritten shown to Reuters by an officer, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.

In the note, written on the lined page of an exercise book, the women called themselves Umm Maysarah, Umm Ma'bad and Umm Sa'ad, which the officers said was believed to be their aliases. The officer said the note was found in the house they stayed in.

"Know that Islamic State soldiers are everywhere," the note said. "O filthy Kenyan government, don't think we've forgotten how you mercilessly killed our brothers ... We promise to make your women widows and your children orphans."

Amaq news agency, affiliated to Islamic State, said on Tuesday that "supporters" of Islamic State carried out the Mombasa attack, in which the three women, with their weapons concealed under flowing robes worn by some Muslims, tricked their way into the police station, stabbed an officer and threw a petrol bomb. Police also found an unexploded suicide vest.

This appeared to be the first claim of an attack by Islamic State in Kenya, although police said in May they had detained people linked to Islamic State.

Kenya's authorities have been cracking down on people they accuse of promoting militant ideas or planning and carrying out attacks, particularly in the coastal region where many Kenyans live in the majority Christian African nation.

Muslim activists and rights groups have accused the government of heavy-handed tactics and say extra-judicial killings have spurred on radicals. The government denies any such killings and says it is simply fighting terrorism.

Kenyan security forces detained Haniya Said Saagar, a widow of a slain Muslim cleric, late on Wednesday as part of the investigation into the Mombasa attack, Evans Achoki, Mombasa county commissioner, told Reuters.

Saagar's husband, Sheikh Aboud Rogo, was a fiery preacher who was killed by unknown gunmen in 2012. Supporters said police executed him, which officials denied.

Al Shabaab has said it targets Kenya for sending its troops into Somalia as part of an African force to battle the Islamist insurgents. It often says it will continue attacks until the Kenyan "crusaders" leave.

Source: timeslive.co.za/africa/2016/09/15/Kenyan-police-find-note-suggesting-Islamic-State-link-to-Mombasa-attack

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Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at The Gambia Celebrates Eid-ul Adha

Thursday, September 15, 2016

By the grace of Allah Almighty, the Muslim World is celebrating Eidul Adha (Tobaski) in the coming days and here in The Gambia we are celebrating on Monday 12th September 2016. The Eid-ul-Adha reminds us of the sacrifice of the tenderest sentiments f mankind – the sacrifice of one’s offspring which is the hardest of all. Majority of people, rather more will be found to be sacrificing themselves for the good and benefit of their children. The sentiment constituting our solicitude for our offspring has prevailed in the human race regardless of time, place, colour and creed. Eid-ul-Adha therefore points towards sacrifice of the strongest and most universal of sentiments of humankind when thousands of years ago Allah Almighty commanded Prophet Abrahamas to sacrifice his eldest son Hadhrat Ishmaelas for His sake. Hadhrat Abrahamas was unmindful of his own feelings and those of his wife Hagaras due to the immense love he had for his Lord and Creator. The huge lesson here for us is the unity in the family which, if adhered to, can prevent all sorts of domestic conflicts. The unequivocal obedience, humility and steadfastness that was shown by Hadhrat Hagar and her child in the barren land of Mecca for many years in the absence of Hadhrat Abrahamas is unparalleled.

Muslims all around the world commemorate this great sacrifice spiritually and symbolically every year. Our frequent chanting of “Allah-o-Akbar” in Eid prayers is a sign of our glorification of the sacrifice of Hadhrat Abrahamas and is a verbal admission on our part that in his sacrifice we have witnessed the glory and greatness of Allah Almighty. Islam is pre-eminently a religion of self-sacrifice. It means the sacrificing of oneself to Allah Almighty—perfect obedience. It also means peace, meaning thereby that perfect peace can be attained only by a true spirit of self-sacrifice and obedience, a practical proof of our love and devotion towards Allah Almighty.

Full report at: thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/ahmadiyya-muslim-jamaat-the-gambia-celebrates-eid-ul-adha

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India

India pledges $1 billion in fresh aid to Afghanistan

Thu Sep 15 2016

India has pledged $1 billion in fresh aid to Afghanistan as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is New Delhi to meet with the country’s officials to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The $1 billion aid announcement by New Delhi comes as the country has already spent around $2 billion on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar told reporters that the $1 billion aid will be for Afghanistan’s capacity and institution building.

A statement was also issued following the meeting between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The two leaders discussed the regional situation and expressed grave concern at continued use of terrorism and violence in the region for achieving political objectives,” the statement reads.

The statment further added “Stressing that elimination of all forms of terrorism, without any discrimination, is essential, they called upon the concerned to put an end to all sponsorship, support, safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists, including for those who target Afghanistan and India.”

The two leaders also discussed security and defense cooperation between Kabul and New Delhi as they greed that the Strategic Partnership Council headed by the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet in the near future.

Source: khaama.com/india-pledges-1-billion-in-fresh-aid-to-afghanistan-01882

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Record Muslim Students Chase Civil Service Dream

Sep 15, 2016

Mohammed Saleh Munaf Batlawala, 23, wants to improve the representation of his community in civil services by becoming an IPS officer, a tough career choice that an increasing number of Muslim students are now zeroing in on.

Their ambition is being fuelled by a promising effort by the city's madrasas and Muslim educational institutions to create a learning ecosystem for the community's youth. Just a year after the centres announced free coaching classes, the number of civil-service aspirants from the community has jumped drastically, in the city and state.

The centres — which help students prepare for Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam and its state equivalent, MPSC — have received hundreds of applications for the 2017 batch. Universal Education Centre in Mumbra, for instance, is reviewing over 300 applications for a batch that can accommodate 60 to 70 students. It will conduct an entrance test to select the candidates.

"Last year, 68 students from Thane and adjoining areas studied at the centre. This time we have been overwhelmed by applications," said the organisation's chairman, Dr Mohammad Hanif Ansari.

"The entrance test has been scheduled for September 18. It has been designed on the lines of the UPSC preliminary examinations. We will issue a cut-off list after the test and admit candidates to our programme."

Darul Uloom Faizane Raza madrasa in Goregaon, which also runs a free coaching programme, has also seen a surge of interest. The number of students there has gone up from just six to 36 this year.

"The response is phenomenal. Most students from the community either lack awareness or have no access to coaching. We help them prepare for the prelims and the main exams and also work with them on personality development for interviews," said the madrassa's founder, Mufti Mohammad Manzur Ziyaee.

The poor presence of Muslims in important government postings — Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service, Indian Police Service and state equivalents — has been a major concern for years now. Last year, over 1,000 candidates cleared the final UPSC exam, out of which, only 36 (about 3 per cent) were Muslims. According to the Mahmoodur Rahman Committee's report on the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in Maharashtra, only 4.4 per cent of the community's population holds government jobs. In 2012, there was not a single Muslim candidate in the entire IAS cadre from the state.

But central and state governments and educational trusts have been making efforts for the past few years to improve minorities' representation in civil services.

"Very few people from the community are in civil services at this point, which need to change. I am preparing for the coaching centre's entrance exam scheduled for the next week. Once I get through, I will start my actual preparations for UPSC," said Batlawala, a third-year BA student at Kalsekar College. He has applied at Universal Education Centre.

Chembur resident Imran Ansari, 29, has been preparing for UPSC exams for over a year with the support from the Goregaon madrasa. He missed the UPSC cut last year by a slim margin.

Sahare Alam, who teaches history and general studies at different coaching centres in the city, said the number of people applying for admission to the classes had shot up over the past two years.

"The community wants to channelise funds towards increasing awareness about civil services, as a result of which many centres are popping up across the city. Many students still face objections in their families, but at the same time, many parents' attitudes have changed," he said.

The Haj House and All India Milli Council have also undertaken efforts to change the community's view towards civil services and help young aspirants. "We conducted workshops to raise awareness in the community and we got an excellent response. We will soon start a coaching programme in Mumbai," said the council's Mumbai president, Rashid Azim.

The council already runs classes in other parts of the country.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Record-Muslim-students-chase-civil-service-dream/articleshow/54342001.cms

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Two Indian teachers abducted from Libya’s ISIS stronghold in July rescued by MEA, tweets Sushma Swaraj

September 15, 2016

New Delhi, September 15: Two Indian teachers abducted in Libya’s Sirte, a stronghold of Islamic State (ISIS), in July have been freed, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Thursday. last year in July, four Indian men who were on their way back to India were detained at a checkpoint about around 45 km from Sirte, hometown of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Two of the abducted Indians – Lakshmikanth from Raichur in Karnataka and Bengaluru resident Vijay Kumar – were released after two days in captivity. While two teachers T Gopalakrishna and C Balaramkishan were held captive.

On Thursday morning, Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “I am happy to inform that T Gopalakrishna (AP) & C BalaramKishan (Telangana) who were captive in Libya since 29 July 2015 have been rescued”. The families of both the abducted men are from Hyderabad and they will be brought back to their homeland by officials from Indian Embassy in Libya. The four Indian were abducted a year after 39 Indians were kidnapped from the Iraqi city of Mosul. The University in Sirte where two teachers were working is a stronghold of international terror outfit Islamic State. The university has not been operational since February this year and government officials believe that the four Indians were waiting for their full and final settlement.

In Libya, reports suggest that there are 2,000 Indians present in conflict-hit Libya and some are now based in Tunis. For United Nations peacekeeping mission it has become difficult to track the developments inside the trouble-torn country. The Ministry of External Affairs was in regular touch with the families concerned and all efforts were being made to ensure the well-being and early release of the Indian citizens, the government said after there were reports of their kidnapping.  (Also Read: Sushma Swaraj takes to twitter to support government’s tough laws on surrogacy)

Family members are relieved with the news

The family members of professor Balaram Kishan, who was held captive in Libya for over a year, heaved a sigh of relief today after getting the news about their rescue.

“Officials from MEA informed us about the news around midnight, Libyan government officials said that he (Balaram) has been rescued along with Gopalakrishna. My husband also spoke to me this morning…It (conversation) was only a few seconds…He enquired about our children and me and other family members,” Kishan’s wife Sridevi told PTI.

“Entire family is happy that he has been rescued and out of danger…I heard my husband’s voice after more than a year…It’s God’s grace,” Sridevi said here. Balaram’s family, which resides in Secunderabad and were anxiously waiting for the safe return of their loved one, said, “We were worried a lot and now are happy that he is safe and are waiting for his return to Hyderabad.”

“…Now I am 100 per cent relieved. We are waiting for more updates on when he is likely to fly back to India and come to Hyderabad,” Sridevi added.

Indians in Libya

At the time of Libyan civil war that started in 2011, there were around 18,000 Indians working (most of them doctors and nurses) in Libya. Across Libya, Indians are respected as a disciplined workforce and Indian teachers are present in the country in large number.

During the civil war, India dispatched its two naval ships the INS Mysore and INS Jalashwa to ferry Indians from Libya to Egypt and Malta. According to reports most of the Indians left Libya during the conflict but a few hundred who were attached to Libyan universities and hospitals stayed back. In June 2012 India partially lifted its ban on emigration of Indians to Libya, after the situation was back to normal.

ISIS in Libya

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya was formed on 13 November 2014 following the end of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule in the country. The collapse of Libya aided the rise of ISIS and former British Prime Minister David Cameron has to be blamed for the blunders when he intervened to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi.

It is believed that more than 1 lakh ISIS fighters in Libya had pledged to support ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In 2014 Baghdadi announced three branches in Libya -Cyrenaica in the east, Fezzan in the desert south, and Tripolitania (or Tarabulus) in the west- and released and released an audio recording in which he accepted pledges of allegiance from his supporters in five countries.

Source: india.com/news/india/two-indian-teachers-abducted-from-libyas-isis-stronghold-in-july-rescued-by-mea-tweets-sushma-swaraj-1488670/

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Kashmir remains paralysed for 69th consecutive day

September 15, 2016

Srinagar: Heavy deployments of security forces were made by authorities on Thursday in Srinagar and other places of the Kashmir Valley where life remained paralysed for the 69th consecutive day.

A senior police official said: “Heavy deployments of police and paramilitary forces have been made in Srinagar and other district headquarters of the valley to maintain law and order today (Thursday)”.

The separatists continued their protest shutdown because of which public transport, main markets and other businesses have remained shut.

All schools, colleges and universities remained closed along with train services between Baramulla town and Jammu’s Bannihal town also suspended.

Internet facilities since Monday was down in the Valley. Calling was only allowed on BSNL postpaid.

All the separatists leaders were placed in the preventive detention in Srinagar.

forces to restore traffic always resulted in clashes between them.

A total of 86 persons were killed and 11,500 injured in the ongoing unrest that started on July 9 a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed.

Source: siasat.com/news/kashmir-remains-paralysed-69th-consecutive-day-1020625/

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South Asia

Taliban leader not designated a terrorist remains a mystery: Indian envoy

Thu Sep 15 2016

The deputy permanent representative of India to the United Nations Ambassador Tanmaya Lal has questioned the lack of steps to designate the Taliban supreme leader a terrorist individual.

In his speech during the UN Security Council Debate on situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security, Lal said “The fact that the leader of Taliban, a proscribed entity, is not yet designated as a terrorist individual remains a mystery to us.”

The Indian envoy insisted for a clarification for the approach, saying “Can we know the rationale for such an approach? Is it now the thinking that leaders of proscribed entities will not be held accountable for the deeds of the listed groups that they head? Is this how we now intend to address of the most serious threats to international peace and security?”

Lal further added that Afghanistan has India’s full support for strengthening its defense capabilities and in preserving its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

“India remains strongly committed to Afghanistan. The Prime Minister of India has conveyed to the President of Afghanistan H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani during his ongoing visit to India, our offer of an allocation of a further sum of USD 1 billion for requirements of Afghanistan for capacity building in spheres of such as education, health, agriculture, skill development, empowerment of women, energy, infrastructure and strengthening of democratic institutions,” he added.

He also pointed towards the Afghan peace process and said “We believe that the path to reconciliation in Afghanistan should be through Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process in adherence to the internationally accepted lines reflecting the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan.”

Source: khaama.com/taliban-leader-not-designated-a-terrorist-remains-a-mystery-indian-envoy-01883

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India cautions its high commission in Bangladesh over Islamic State

Thu, Sep 15, 2016

In the wake of the recent attacks by Islamic State in neighbouring countries, India has asked its embassies to take extra precautions to secure its citizens.

New Delhi, in a recent communiqué sent to its missions in Bangladesh and Pakistan, has asked to ensure the safety and security of Indian officials and Indian communities.

“The government of India is closely and regularly monitoring the activities of terrorist organisations, including ISIS, in the neighbouring countries,” a top official in India’s home ministry said on Wednesday.

Whenever necessary, information with regards to India’s security interests abroad is shared with local government authorities, the official said.

As per standard diplomatic norms and practices, the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of Indian officials and institutions in these countries lies on the host government.

“Regular channels of communication are being maintained with the governments of neighbouring countries,” the official said.

The government is also regularly upgrading security arrangements at the embassies and consulates in close consultation and liaison with the local government, the official added.

Source: bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2016/09/14/india-cautions-its-high-commission-in-bangladesh-over-islamic-state

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Iran, Russia warn of growing Isis presence in Afghanistan, with 2,500 already recruited

September 15, 2016

Iran and Russia have warned the world of rising presence of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, with their numbers having risen to as much as 2,500, raising red flags for nations surrounding the restive country. The presence of members of the Islamic State group — also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) — could lead to increased terror activities in Pakistan, and spill over into India.

Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) told the UN Security Council on Wednesday during a session on Afghanistan: "The onus is on the international community to help the Afghan government with its fight against terrorism and extremism as well as the security, political and economic challenges it is grappling with."

He pointed to a terror attack in Kabul a few months ago that had claimed 80 lives, for which Isis had claimed responsibility. Isis members are predominantly takfiris — Sunni Muslims who consider Muslims who hold beliefs any different from them as apostates. The Kabul attack had been on a procession taken out by local Hazaras, who belong to the Shia faith.

Meanwhile, Russia has also warned of growing presence of Isis in Afghanistan, even as the group loses its ground in Iraq and Syria, where it started off. Experts believe Isis is now looking to turn Iran — which was once the strongest base of terror organisations like the Taliban and al-Qaeda — into their own stronghold.

Zamir Kabulov, the director of the Second Asian Department in Afghanistan in Russia's Foreign Ministry, said his country was apprehensive of "the rise of Daesh in Afghanistan because it has far-reaching geopolitical consequences for Russian safety." He was using the Arabic acronym of the group.

"They continue to recruit people and enhance their combat capabilities. If they are not restrained, the chances are that we will have to face an even more powerful force," said Kabulov, who had served as Russia's envoy to Afghanistan between 2004 and 2009. He also said the group currently has 2,500 recruits in Afghanistan, a number that indicates it is gearing up for some serious terror activities in the region.

Given that Pakistan has long been believed to be sponsoring terrorism in the region, state actors in the country could redirect Isis from Afghanistan to carry out attacks in India.

Source: ibtimes.co.in/iran-russia-warn-growing-isis-presence-afghanistan-2500-already-recruited-693800

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Five jailed in SQC verdict leak case

September 15, 2016

A special court on Thursday sentenced five people to imprisonment for different terms in connection with the leak of a part of the draft verdict of the International Crimes Tribunal-1 in the war crimes case against executed war criminal Salauddin Quader Chowdhury.

Cyber Tribunal judge KM Shamsul Alam passed the order acquitting Salauddin’s wife Farhat Quader Chowdhury and son Hummam Quader Chowdhury.

The court handed down 10-year rigorous imprisonment to lawyer Fakhrul Islam and fined him Tk one  crore. In default, Fakhrul would have to serve more six months’ imprisonment.

Besides, four other accused — manager Mahbubul Ahsan, Fakhrul’s staff Mehedi Hasan, and two ICT employees – Nayan Ali and Faruk Hossain — were sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment. The court also fined them Tk 10,000 each, and in default, they would have to undergo more six months’ punishment behind the bars.

Among the convicts, Mehedi Hasan still remained absconding.

Hummam Quader Chowdhury also was not present before the court as his family earlier alleged that plainclothes police personnel reportedly had picked him up from in front of main gate of Dhaka Chief Metropolitan and Sessions judge court on August 4.

A group of men identifying themselves as members of Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police had picked up Hummam when he along with his mother was on their way to the court to hear closing arguments in the case, their lawyer Chowdhury Mohammad Galib Ragib, told reporters quoting Hummam’s mother Farhat Quader Chowdhury.

Former Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawmaker from Chittagong, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was executed in November 2015 for crimes against humanity during the war of independence.

On October 1, 2013, Salauddin Quader was handed down the death sentence by the ICT-1.

But before the verdict was announced, the BNP leader’s wife and other members of the family showed ‘copies of the verdict’ to journalists, claiming they had found them on the internet.

In August 2014, police pressed charges against the accused.

The two ICT employees and Salauddin’s lawyer Fakhrul Islam were arrested in 2014. Later the High Court in December 2015 granted Fakhrul bail in the case.

The two ICT staff had confessed to court that they were involved in the leak.

On October 4, 2013, a case was filed with Shahbagh police station under sections 57 and 63 of Information and Communication Technology Act.

Source: newagebd.net/251500/five-jailed-in-sqc-verdict-leak-case/

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Pakistan

Afghan soil should not be used for anti-Pakistan activities: Lodhi

September 15, 2016

NEW YORK: Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lohdi, said on Wednesday that Afghanistan's soil should not be used for anti-Pakistan activities.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Lodhi said that Pakistan was exercising restraint on certain statements that were being issued from Kabul.

"Pakistan is exercising patience on allegations from certain quarters in Kabul," she said during her address.

Maleeha Lodhi said that Afghanistan's soil should not be used for anti-Pakistan activities and said that the Islamic Republic was ready to cooperate with Afghanistan to establish peace.

"Powerful international forces waged a war in Afghanistan for 15 years," she said. "No other option is more suitable for peace than negotiations," she added.

Lodhi said that peace in Afghanistan could not be attained by any military option. She said that Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used for the Afghan war and reminded the world that the country was hosting Afghan refugees since decades.

"We have told Afghanistan government that allegations will harm the peace of the region," she said. "The path to peace in Afghanistan is difficult yet not impossible. It is up to the Afghan people to determine which path they would choose," she said.

The Afghan government has accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban, while Delhi says Pakistan supports rebels crossing the border into Indian-controlled Kashmir -- claims that Islamabad denies.

Source: thenews.com.pk/latest/150089-Afghan-soil-should-not-be-used-for-anti-Pakistan-activities-Lodhi

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Pakistan rejects Indian claims of restraint in India-held Kashmir

September 15, 2016

GENEVA: The Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, on Wednesday welcomed the remarks by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding excessive use of force by Indian security forces in India-held Kashmir (IHK).

“Pakistan supported the position of the High Commissioner that an OHCHR team should visit India-occupied Kashmir to independently and impartially investigate the grave violations being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces over the past two months,” said Janjua.

She added the visit by the UN team would help address the culture of impunity which is prevalent in IHK.

Ambassador Janjua said claims of restraint shown by India are simply preposterous.

“Jammu and Kashmir is an international issue recognised as such by a number of UNSC resolutions,” the permanent representative told the Human Rights Commission.

No agreement with India for using Pakistani land routes

The Foreign Office said that there is no agreement with India for using Pakistan’s land routes for supplies to Afghanistan.

The statement by the FO was a response to Indian Foreign Secretary’s statement regarding the Indian request for supply of wheat to Afghanistan through Pakistani territory.

“Access to Afghanistan is through sea and by air,” said Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson for the FO.

The spokesperson added the request was made days before the extra-judicial killing of Burhan Wani.

“Instead of using the excuse of no response from Pakistan, India could have sent the supplies by open routes and it would have reached Afghanistan by now,” stated Zakaria.

“India uses the excuse of humanitarian grounds, of which it has no respect given the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir, for politicking and maligning Pakistan.”

Full report at: dawn.com/news/1283905/pakistan-rejects-indian-claims-of-restraint-in-india-held-kashmir

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The case for doing away with arbitrary national languages in Pakistan and India

September 15, 2016

For a nation seven decades old, Pakistan is dealing with a surprisingly fundamental political and cultural problem: a struggle over what language to use for government.

Pakistan’s supreme court has ordered the government to use the constitutionally mandated national language, Urdu, in place of English in the many contexts where English is currently used. (Ironically, the court’s order was itself written in English.) Prime minister Nawaz Sharif has declared his enthusiasm for the transition to Urdu, and a committee was constituted to monitor its progress.

But is imposed monolingualism a good fit for South Asia—or does it in fact follow a very Eurocentric idea of how a nation-state should work?

This discussion has been rumbling on and off ever since India and Pakistan achieved independence. Both of their post-colonial constitutions required that after 15 years, English should be officially replaced by Urdu and Hindi, respectively, but both countries eventually side-stepped the requirement. Pakistan continued to use English without comment alongside Urdu; India declared it a “subsidiary official language,” symbolically inferior to Hindi but nonetheless still recognized.

Today, the problem comes in how narrowly Urdu and Hindi are defined by the bodies tasked with monitoring and developing the official languages.

Pakistan’s National Language Promotion Department (formerly the National Language Authority) and India’s Department of Official Language both have a reputation for filling their respective languages with clunky neologisms. These are used to avoid common English loanwords; Hindi ones are drawn largely from Sanskrit and Urdu’s largely from Arabic and Persian.

The people who complain about the language policy aren’t necessarily trying to maintain their English-speaking privilege; there really are genuine questions about the character of the official language. If its speakers commonly use words that aren’t recognized by governmental language bodies, is it right to have a two-track system in which there is a governmental variety of a language and very different one that normal people use?

Full report at: qz.com/781689/the-case-for-doing-away-with-an-arbitrary-national-language-in-countries-like-pakistan-and-india/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/french-jews-are-converting-to-islam-and-even-joining-isis/d/108567


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