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Islamic World News ( 24 Jun 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Gaza-Based Pro-ISIS Group Urges Muslims on Social Media to Donate For Weapons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi twin brothers loyal to the ISIL terrorist group stabbed their mother, father and brother to death because of their refusal to accept the terror group's doctrine.

 

Pro-ISIL Saudi Twin Brothers Kill Own Mother, Father for Opposing Terror Group

Another Dadri Evaded In Delhi: Muslim Family in Shock after Mob Attack

Buddhist Monks Serve Iftar for Muslims in Bangladesh

Islamic State Calls for Attacks to ‘Paralyze’ Europe Following Surprise Brexit Success

Arab World

Gaza-Based Pro-ISIS Group Urges Muslims on Social Media to Donate For Weapons

Pro-ISIL Saudi Twin Brothers Kill Own Mother, Father for Opposing Terror Group

ISIS CRUSHED From Airstrikes Sending Terror Group into Financial CRISIS

Syrian Army, Allies Continue to Hunt Terrorists in Aleppo City

ISIL Withdraws from more Positions near Tishrin Dam

ISIL Abducts 900 Kurdish Civilians in Retaliation for Attack on Manbij

Iraqi Forces Win Back 2 Key Villages near Sharqat City

IRGC Clashes with Terrorists in West Azarbai

Iran's Foreign Ministry Issues Statement on UK’s Exit from EU

Syrian Democratic Forces Continue to Advance against ISIL in Manbij

Syrian Army Clashes with Terrorist Attackers in Eastern Hama

Hundreds Rally in Protest at Brexit, as Footage Boosts up Rigged Vote Odds

US Sacks Navy Commander for Embarrassing Detainment in Iranian Waters

Iran Voices Concern over Bahrain's Suppression of Main Opposition Group

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India

Another Dadri Evaded In Delhi: Muslim Family in Shock after Mob Attack

Muslim Craftsmen Renovate Hindu Temple in Shahjahanpur

Charity through Fidya, Fitrah for Non-Fasting During Ramzan

Leaders who talk about “Muslim free India” should be sent to mental asylum: Sharad Pawar

Mehbooba angers Muslim clergy with her Article 370 remark, Mirwaiz leads charge against her, calls her confused soul

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South Asia

Buddhist Monks Serve Iftar for Muslims in Bangladesh

Hindu Leader Claims IS Hired Someone to Issue Threat

Intensified Security Vigil for 68 Bangladeshi Jails After Terror Attack Warnings

30 ISIS fighters, 3 civilians killed in Nangarhar province

President Ghani meets Pakistani President, discuss latest upheavals

US launch strikes against Taliban under new authorities granted by Obama

Afghanistan, Pakistan agree to constitute mechanism following deadly Torkham clash

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Europe

Islamic State Calls for Attacks to ‘Paralyze’ Europe Following Surprise Brexit Success

EU Referendum Results: Did Birmingham Vote To Brexit?

Muslim Tower Hamlets Voted 67% to Stay In EU

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Pakistan

Pakistan Must End Majority Vs Minority Wordage, Safeguard Its Non-Muslims

Over 1,500 Militancy-Hit Schools In Fata Yet To Be Repaired

Pakistan is determined to confront terrorism, says Chief of Army Staff

NSG terms NPT bedrock of non-proliferation regime

‘JITs being formed for Awais Shah kidnapping, Sabri killing probe’

Four found shot dead near Gwadar

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Southeast Asia

Mosque, Muslim Cemetery, School Destroyed In Myanmar

Indonesia Tries To Steer Convicted Militants to New Lives

IGP dares militants to come back

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Mideast

Turkey Determined In Fight against Terror: PM Yıldırım

Turkish President Erdoğan meets Hamas leader Mashal in Istanbul

Pope says ‘never again’ to tragedies like ‘Armenian genocide’

Turkish Imam Suspended After ‘Pieces of Cucumber Found In His Rectum’

RSF, press freedom groups demonstrate outside Istanbul prison over arrested campaigners

Greek Cypriots delaying resolution, says Turkish Cypriot FM

Turkey backs united and strong EU after Brexit

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North America

Ramadan A Time to Recall Muslims' History in America

Muslim Activists At CAIR Ordered To Trial For Fraud

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Africa

Uganda Plans to Withdraw Troops From Somalia by End of 2017

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/gaza-based-pro-isis-group-urges-muslims-on-social-media-to-donate-for-weapons/d/107763

 

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Gaza-based pro-ISIS group urges Muslims on social media to donate for weapons

June 25, 2016

 a Gaza-based Salafi jihadi group that supports Islamic State kicked off its annual fundraising campaign on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram.

According to a new report by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) and shared exclusively with The Jerusalem Post, the campaign urges Muslims to donate money to help buy weapons, ammunition, and parts to make explosive devices.

The fundraising campaign is going by the name, “Equip Us,” which also has a hashtag on Twitter and been endorsed by the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center, a prominent pro-Islamic State media group.

As part of this fundraising effort, a number of Twitter accounts have been created and started tweeting articles, videos, and posting advertisements, which mention the importance of donating to jihadi groups during Ramadan.

These accounts are often shut down, but persistently and immediately reappear, noted the report.

Jihadis online have been encouraging people to donate by citing verses from the Koran praising those that contribute financially to jihad.

On one video posted on YouTube, a masked man addresses the group’s lack of funds saying: “By the grace of Allah, the brothers are in an excellent position in terms of knowledge and experience; however, the lack of funding along with the tight budget are what is hindering us, and the main reason for the launching of the 'Equip Us' campaign is the hope that your funding and donations will remove those obstacles and open the horizons of production and development widely for the brothers." In another video produced by Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center titled “"A Call for Donation for the Sake of Allah," featuring Abdalla Al-Ashqar, known as Abu Al-Motasib Al-Maqdisi, who is one of its leaders, saying jihad is “mandatory” for all Muslims.

Acknowledging that it would be impossible for all Muslims to join the jihad physically, he cited Koran verses that call for giving financial support.

"Your brothers, the Mujahideen [in the areas] surrounding Bait Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem], are in dire need of your money and donations to turn them into arrows and harpoons [to be used] to attack the Jews, the enemies of Allah, who are the most aggressive enemy to the believers,” he said.

“By Allah's name, the lack of resources and the scarcity of funding are what preventing us from [carrying out] dozens of jihadi operations against the enemies of Allah," added Al-Maqdisi, according to MEMRI.

On Twitter, one post called on Muslim women to donate, featuring a women covered in a niqab and carrying a rifle.

"This is the terrain of your jihad, so don't hesitate to support the oppressed monotheists in Palestine and to take the initiative in [making] donations to equip the Mujahideen of Palestine, as they are [fighting] in the front of Beit Al-Maqdis," read the post.

And on Facebook, a number of accounts have been promoting the campaign.

jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/Gaza-based-pro-ISIS-group-urges-Muslims-on-social-media-to-donate-for-weapons-457680

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Pro-ISIL Saudi Twin Brothers Kill Own Mother, Father for Opposing Terror Group

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi twin brothers loyal to the ISIL terrorist group stabbed their mother, father and brother to death because of their refusal to accept the terror group's doctrine.

The 18-year-old brothers first chased their younger brother to the rooftop of their house in the Hamra neighborhood of the capital Riyadh, and stabbed him several times, ARA News reported.

The unnamed brothers then headed back to their father and mother, and stabbed them multiple times.

According to a report by the Saudi state TV al-Ekhbariya, their mother succumbed to her sever injures, while their father and brother are currently in critical condition.

Unconfirmed reports said that the twin decapitated their mother, while other reports said the father lost his life due to severe wounds.

Saudi security forces apprehended the two while they were trying to flee the crime scene.

This has by no means been the only case in which ISIL has persuaded its members and sympathizers to commit horrendous crimes against family members.

In early January, a 20-year-old ISIL militant in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the terror group, publically executed her mother after she reportedly “incited” her son to leave ISIL and escape from the city together, saying the group had no chance and was going to be “wiped out."

Back in September, two other Saudi brothers, both ISIL sympathizers, lured their cousin, a member of the Saudi armed forces, to the desert and gunned him down while recording the whole incident.

Security forces tracked the brothers down in a mountainous area. Refusing to surrender, both brothers engaged in a gunfight with police. The 18-year-old younger brother was killed in the fight, and the older brother, 21, was wounded and arrested.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000627

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Another Dadri Evaded In Delhi: Muslim Family in Shock after Mob Attack

June 25, 2016

New Delhi:  The recent incident in Delhi capital has again proved that Muslims are not safe in the country.

According to information available, the incident happened on Wednesday after local goons entered the house of a Muslim family, assaulted them and vandalized their household goods.

The victim, Taslimuddin from Katihar district of Bihar migrated with his wife and children to Delhi.  Taslimuddin meets his family needs by selling the tea.

At around 7:30 pm Wednesday evening, when they were doing their Iftar, 3-4 people continue to knocked the door of his son-in-law, Muhammad Rafidul and abuse them but his wife refused to open the door.

After receiving no answer from inside the house, they went away and after a while came back with a crowd of 50-60 people, all of whom were carrying iron rods, pole and other articles to damage the goods. Within no time, the mob gain entry into the house and allegedly attacked Mohammed Taslimuddin,  his wife Asiya,  Shahnaz Khatun, daughter, son Ashfaq and injured them.

Police delayed in registering FIR unless the incident came into light through media.

According to the victim’s family, this is not the first time that a Muslim family living in the area has been beaten. Prior to them, they were enough attacking on Muslims and the culprits easily escape with no legal proceedings.

After the incident, the panic family of the Taslimuddin does not understand where you go and whom to approach.

siasat.com/news/another-dadri-evaded-delhi-muslim-family-shock-after-mob-attack-977936/

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Buddhist monks serve iftar for Muslims in Bangladesh

25 Jun 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh - Every day during Ramadan, hundreds of Muslim men, women and children queue in front of a Buddhist monastery in the Bangladeshi capital to receive iftar, the food with which Muslims break their fast at sunset during the holy month.

The initiative by Dharmarajika Buddhist monastery to distribute food to poor and destitute Muslims is a rare example of social harmony between two groups from two different religions in a country that has witnessed a spate of fatal attacks against minorities and secular activists.

The Dharmarajika Buddhist monastery began this project six years ago, and monks say Ramadan is the best opportunity to help poor Muslims.

The high priest of the temple, Shuddhanando Mohathero, who initiated the project, believes that "humanity is the ultimate goal of humans".

Abul Basahr, a shopkeeper living in the area, told Al Jazeera that monks at the Buddhist temple engaged in several social welfare activities. "The best thing they are doing is the distribution of iftar food to the poor people," he said.

Established in 1951 in Basabo area of Dhaka, the monastery, monk Karuna Bhikkhu says, works for harmony in the society.

Karuna says it is an effort to build good relations with Muslim community, who form nearly 90 percent of the population. Buddhist comprise less than one percent of this nation of 160 million.

Harun Miah, the owner of a local restaurant, has been working with the monastery for past five years to cook iftar meals.

He says the iftar consisting of potato chops, peyaju (onion tempura), beguni (eggplant tempura), chhola-boot (lentils), khejur (dates), muri (puffed rice), and jilapi (a sweet made of sugar syrup) are served in a box.

Buddhapriya Mahathero, the second-high priest of the monastery, said at least 300 poor people are served daily.

"The people start making queues from 3pm onwards inside the monastery," he told Al Jazeera.

For people like Sakhina, who cannot afford an iftar, the free food at the monastery is a godsend gift.

"Here, we are granted respect that we were supposed to get from our co-religists," she told Al Jazeera.

Despite a recent spike in violence in the South Asian nation, the monks say they are not worried about their safety and have a very good relation with the Muslim community.

Mahathero, a firm believer in inter-religious harmony said: "Why should there be a conflict? We are all Bangladeshis. This land is for all of us. By helping each other, we can make this country great."

aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/06/buddhist-monks-serve-iftar-muslims-bangladesh-160624063418703.html

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Islamic State Calls for Attacks to ‘Paralyze’ Europe Following Surprise Brexit Success

Jun. 24, 2016

In the hours following the U.K.’s historic vote to leave the European Union, the Islamic State has reportedly called for attacks in Brussels and Berlin in order to “paralyze” Europe.

Britons voted Thursday my a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU, leading the Islamic State to celebrate the immediate negative economic effects of the monumental decision. The terror group’s message reportedly came through the jihadi Telegram, an encrypted communication service often employed by Islamic State members and backers.

And the U.K. is taking the threats seriously. British military chiefs are warning there is a “serious and direct threat to holiday resorts across Europe” from terror groups like the Islamic State.

“There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against U.K. interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria,” the U.K.’s Foreign Office told the Daily Mirror.

Immigration was one of the key issues that led British voters to ultimately side with the “Leave” camp. A key principle of the EU is porous borders, allowing some 400 million people to move unreservedly throughout the 28-nation union.

That policy was the subject of intense criticism following the deadly terror attacks in Brussels and Paris as well as a thwarted attack last summer on a Paris-bound train.

Salah Abdeslam, the terror ringleader in Europe, was able to move freely from Brussels to Paris and, eventually, back to Brussels, where he hid out for four months. Investigators believe it was the same group that executed both attacks.

theblaze.com/stories/2016/06/24/report-islamic-state-calls-for-attacks-to-paralyze-europe-following-surprise-brexit-success/

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Arab World

Gaza-based pro-ISIS group urges Muslims on social media to donate for weapons

June 25, 2016

 a Gaza-based Salafi jihadi group that supports Islamic State kicked off its annual fundraising campaign on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram.

According to a new report by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) and shared exclusively with The Jerusalem Post, the campaign urges Muslims to donate money to help buy weapons, ammunition, and parts to make explosive devices.

The fundraising campaign is going by the name, “Equip Us,” which also has a hashtag on Twitter and been endorsed by the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center, a prominent pro-Islamic State media group.

As part of this fundraising effort, a number of Twitter accounts have been created and started tweeting articles, videos, and posting advertisements, which mention the importance of donating to jihadi groups during Ramadan.

These accounts are often shut down, but persistently and immediately reappear, noted the report.

Jihadis online have been encouraging people to donate by citing verses from the Koran praising those that contribute financially to jihad.

On one video posted on YouTube, a masked man addresses the group’s lack of funds saying: “By the grace of Allah, the brothers are in an excellent position in terms of knowledge and experience; however, the lack of funding along with the tight budget are what is hindering us, and the main reason for the launching of the 'Equip Us' campaign is the hope that your funding and donations will remove those obstacles and open the horizons of production and development widely for the brothers." In another video produced by Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center titled “"A Call for Donation for the Sake of Allah," featuring Abdalla Al-Ashqar, known as Abu Al-Motasib Al-Maqdisi, who is one of its leaders, saying jihad is “mandatory” for all Muslims.

Acknowledging that it would be impossible for all Muslims to join the jihad physically, he cited Koran verses that call for giving financial support.

"Your brothers, the Mujahideen [in the areas] surrounding Bait Al-Maqdis [Jerusalem], are in dire need of your money and donations to turn them into arrows and harpoons [to be used] to attack the Jews, the enemies of Allah, who are the most aggressive enemy to the believers,” he said.

“By Allah's name, the lack of resources and the scarcity of funding are what preventing us from [carrying out] dozens of jihadi operations against the enemies of Allah," added Al-Maqdisi, according to MEMRI.

On Twitter, one post called on Muslim women to donate, featuring a women covered in a niqab and carrying a rifle.

"This is the terrain of your jihad, so don't hesitate to support the oppressed monotheists in Palestine and to take the initiative in [making] donations to equip the Mujahideen of Palestine, as they are [fighting] in the front of Beit Al-Maqdis," read the post.

And on Facebook, a number of accounts have been promoting the campaign.

jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-Threat/Gaza-based-pro-ISIS-group-urges-Muslims-on-social-media-to-donate-for-weapons-457680

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Pro-ISIL Saudi Twin Brothers Kill Own Mother, Father for Opposing Terror Group

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi twin brothers loyal to the ISIL terrorist group stabbed their mother, father and brother to death because of their refusal to accept the terror group's doctrine.

The 18-year-old brothers first chased their younger brother to the rooftop of their house in the Hamra neighborhood of the capital Riyadh, and stabbed him several times, ARA News reported.

The unnamed brothers then headed back to their father and mother, and stabbed them multiple times.

According to a report by the Saudi state TV al-Ekhbariya, their mother succumbed to her sever injures, while their father and brother are currently in critical condition.

Unconfirmed reports said that the twin decapitated their mother, while other reports said the father lost his life due to severe wounds.

Saudi security forces apprehended the two while they were trying to flee the crime scene.

This has by no means been the only case in which ISIL has persuaded its members and sympathizers to commit horrendous crimes against family members.

In early January, a 20-year-old ISIL militant in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the terror group, publically executed her mother after she reportedly “incited” her son to leave ISIL and escape from the city together, saying the group had no chance and was going to be “wiped out."

Back in September, two other Saudi brothers, both ISIL sympathizers, lured their cousin, a member of the Saudi armed forces, to the desert and gunned him down while recording the whole incident.

Security forces tracked the brothers down in a mountainous area. Refusing to surrender, both brothers engaged in a gunfight with police. The 18-year-old younger brother was killed in the fight, and the older brother, 21, was wounded and arrested.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000627

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ISIS CRUSHED from airstrikes sending terror group into financial CRISIS

Sat, Jun 25, 2016

The crazed jihadis are now struggling to find the tens of millions of dollars it needs to keep its lucrative oil production going.

Tel Aviv-based Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who represents terror victims around the world, believes ISIS can only be defeated if the West continues to target its finances.

She told Express.co.uk: "The money was very big when ISIS started but today it's going down. Most their oil fields have been destroyed by airstrikes.

"They were selling it to the Assad regime and Turkey, who bought large quantities. Today they cannot provide as much because of the scale of destruction.

"ISIS controls huge areas of Syria and Iraq, and to maintain them they need maybe tens of millions of dollars a month – maybe hundreds.

"But if you cut off their funding, they won't be able to continue controlling these areas or the people there. Money is the oxygen of terror."

"We already hear that ISIS has reduced the salary of its soldiers by 75 per cent – that's a major decrease.

"It will reduce the excitement of the soldiers or anyone thinking of joining them, whatever their motivations.

"The way you can really harm a terrorist group is by going after their money and assets. You can bankrupt them and shut them down."

Speaking from her office in Tel Aviv, Mrs Darshan-Leitner also claimed ISIS stores most of its cash in banks in Qatar and Turkey.

She said: "For years the Qatari banks for have been helping extreme terror organisations like Hamas, Boko Haram, the Al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda and ISIS.

"And the Turkish government does not really care. Because they benefit from ISIS, they allow their banks to facilitate their transactions."

Last year the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan furiously denied his government buys oil from the twisted terror group.

Speaking in November, he said: "Shame on you – those who claim we buy oil from Daesh are obliged to prove it. If not, you are a slanderer."

His denial came after Vladimir Putin claimed there "no doubt" oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria was making its way to Turkey.

express.co.uk/news/world/682875/ISIS-Islamic-State-terrorism-Syria-Iraq-Nitsana-Darshan-Leitner

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Syrian Army, Allies Continue to Hunt Terrorists in Aleppo City

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army and popular forces engaged in heavy fighting with the terrorist groups across the different neighborhoods of the Northern city of Aleppo, inflicting heavy casualties on them.

The Syrian soldiers, Liwa al-Quds and National Defense Forces, backed up by the Syrian and Russian fighter jets, stormed the militants' strongholds in Jamiyat al-Zahra neighborhood, al-Lairamoun industrial area, the road connecting Western countryside of Aleppo to Jamiyat al-Zahra and near two small towns of Qabtan al-Jabal and Dar al-Izzah, which not only left scores of the terrorists dead or wounded but destroyed their military equipment in large scale.

The terrorist groups, mainly al-Islamiyeh battalions, detonated several bomb-laden tunnels to slow down the government forces' advances in Western districts of Aleppo but the army and its allies repelled their attacks. 

Reports said earlier today that the Syrian Army troops and its popular allies, in large-scale joint operations, struck the terrorist groups' positions in Northern Aleppo, pushing back the militants from more positions in the region.

Syrian soldiers, National Defense Forces and Liwa al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary) launched their assault from several directions in Northern Aleppo, striking the terrorist groups' positions near Handarat and in al-Zahra, al-Khalediyeh, Bani Zeid, and al-Lairamoun districts inside Aleppo.

The Syrian pro-government forces pushed the militants back from their positions and captured the Aleppo Cotton, Sarheel Factory, and several sites in the al-Zahra district.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000739

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ISIL Withdraws from more Positions near Tishrin Dam

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in a fresh round of attacks, targeted ISIL's strongholds Southeast of Tishrin Dam and beat the Takfiri terrorists back from at least five villages in the region.

The SDF, mainly comprising of Kurdish fighters, inflicted major losses on the ISIL militants and took full control over the villages of Hamdi Sheikh, Khirbet, Afarim, Afesh and Hamoudiyeh and two farms.

Scores of the ISIL were killed or wounded in SDF's attacks and more than 5.3 square kilometers were liberated from the terrorist group.

Reports said earlier today that the SDF fighters continued to advance against the ISIL in the Southern entrance of Manbij and captured more districts of the town after hours of non-stop battle.

"The SDF fighters seized the Southern entrance of Manbij after capturing the nearby Grain Silos from the ISIL)," the sources said, adding, "However, the Syrian Democratic Forces did not stop there; instead, they pushed further North and won back Shariah School, which left scores of the militants dead or wounded."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000658

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ISIL Abducts 900 Kurdish Civilians in Retaliation for Attack on Manbij

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- ISIL militants have abducted some 900 Kurds in the Northern Syrian province of Aleppo over the past three weeks amid fierce fighting for control of a nearby ISIL stronghold, sources and officials said.

The abductions began shortly after the Syrian Democratic Forces began an offensive on May 31 to capture the ISIL stronghold of Manbij from the extremists, The National reported.

Mass kidnapping is a known tactic used by the terrorist groups in parts of Syria they control. Christians and Kurds have been the main targets in the past.

The local sources and Kurdish officials said ISIL fighters stormed homes in several villages they control near Al-Bab, including Arab, Qabaseen and Nairabiyeh, and took with them mostly men.

SDF spokesman Sherfan Darwish said whole families were among the 900 kidnapped civilians and any male over the age was sent to the front line.

Others were forced to dig trenches or jailed. Darwish said the abductions were a reprisal for the SDF offensive on the town of Manbij, which is of great importance to ISIL.

“Whenever ISIL is defeated, they retaliate against civilians," he said.

In 2014, ISIL abducted nearly 200 Kurdish students near Manbij as they were en route from the Kurdish town of Kobani near the Syrian-Turkish border to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the provincial capital, to take their exams. Most were later released.

In February 2015, ISIL kidnapped more than 200 Christians from northeastern Syria. The Christians were released over a period of a year, after ISIL collected millions of dollars in ransom.

Sources reported clashes inside Manbij on Friday and air strikes by the US-led coalition.

Since the offensive to take Manbij began last month, SDF fighters have captured dozens of villages and farms near the town, which is now surrounded from all side as SDF forces slowly push into Manbij.

The town lies along the only ISIL supply line between the Turkish border and the ISIL group’s self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa. If Manbij is captured, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for ISIL in Syria since July 2015, when it lost the border town of Tal Abyad.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000704

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Iraqi Forces Win Back 2 Key Villages Near Sharqat City

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi joint forces continued their advances near the city of al-Sharqat in the Northern part of Salahuddin province on Saturday, and seized back two strategic villages in the region.

The Iraqi forces purged the terrorists from the al-Zawiya-Makhoul intersection and took full control of al-Baydha and al-Jabariya villages near al-Sharqat city.

Scores of ISIL terrorists were killed and wounded in tough battle with the Iraqi army and popular forces.

The Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) forces also took full control of the Southern outskirts of al-Sharqat.

On Tuesday, a senior ISIL commander and close associate of the Takfiri terrorist group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in an air raid on Sharqat city, Iraqi popular forces announced.

Sarmad Mazahem Ahmad Hassan al-Hanini, ISIL's notorious commander, was killed in an aerial bombardment on the outskirts of Sharqat city on Monday night.

Al-Hanini was a close associate of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Arabic-language media outlets quoted an unnamed battlefield source as saying.

In late May, the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi killed scores of Takfiri terrorists, including two senior ISIL commanders and a chief executioner, in a tough battle with them near al-Sharqat city.

Abdullah Abu Maryam, ISIL's chief executioner in Sharqat city, was killed by the Iraqi security forces.

Two other ISIL commanders named Haji Hani and Abu A'esheh who were in charge of the terrorist group's security in Sharqat were also killed in the Iraqi forces' military operations.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000465

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IRGC Clashes with Terrorists in West Azarbaijan

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces clashed with members of a terrorist group near the city of Mahabad in Western Azarbaijan province.

The clashes took place between the IRGC and the counterrevolutionary armed group, the Democrat, near Mahabad city.

"A number of terrorists of the Democrat Grouplet who were in Bengovin village near Mahabad city to conduct terrorist activities were identified by IRGC forces and they were, hence, engaged in clashes,” an IRGC member of Mahabad said.

He noted that the clashes were underway near Bengovin village without mentioning the number of casualties or any other details.

On Monday, the Iranian intelligence ministry announced that the country's security forces have defused several suicide and terrorist attacks in different provinces, including Tehran.

"One of the biggest terrorist plots of Takfiri Wahhabi groups was thwarted" in recent days, the intelligence ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that the Takfiri terrorist groups had plotted imminent bombings in different parts of the country, including Tehran and a number of other provinces, during the religious ceremonies in the holy month of Ramadan.

The ministry ensured that all these have been foiled by the country's security and intelligence officials.

"The terrorists have been apprehended and a number of ready-to-explode bombs and a large amount of explosive materials has been discovered and seized from them," it said.

Given the continued field investigations in and outside the country and interrogation of terrorists that is currently underway, more information will be released in future, the statement added.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000243

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Iran's Foreign Ministry Issues Statement on UK’s Exit from EU

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement announced that Tehran respects the British people's decision to leave the European Union (EU), and said it will not affect the Islamic Republic's approach towards the UK.

The Iranian foreign ministry's statement was issued on Friday after the Britons voted to the exit of their country from the European Union with 51.9 percent of the votes in contrast to 48.1 percent of those who voted in favor of staying in the union. Over 72 percent of the eligible voters took part in Britain's referendum which was the highest since 1992 general elections in that country.

"Iran respects the British people’s vote to leave the European Union, and deems it to be in agreement with the will of the majority of the country's people in regulating their foreign relations,” the Foreign Ministry's statement read.

The statement said the decision would not affect Tehran's relations with the European Union.

Following the announcement of the results on Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation, saying he would leave office by October, when his ruling Conservative Party will hold a conference.

Cameron said there is no doubt about the result of the referendum but that he is not the "captain" that will steer the ship through difficult negotiations with the EU.

Membership of the European Union has been a controversial issue in the UK since the country joined the then European Economic Community in 1973.

Those in favor of a British withdrawal from the EU argued that outside the bloc, London would be better positioned to conduct its own trade negotiations, better able to control immigration, and free from what they believe to be excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.

Those in favor of remaining in the bloc argued that leaving it would risk the UK's prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the country and the bloc.

The foreign ministers of the original six founding nations of the European Union, namely Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg will get together in the German city of Berlin on Saturday to discuss “current European political topics.”

The British pound slumped to its lowest level in more than three decades after the UK voted to leave the EU.

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Syrian Democratic Forces Continue to Advance against ISIL in Manbij

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Fighters of Manbij Military Council, affiliated to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have continued their advances against ISIL in different sides of the terrorist-held town of Manbij and have captured more positions, Kurdish sources said.

"The SDF fighters, after capturing Shariah school in Western entrance of Manbij, have pushed North and have only 50 meters to capture Shariah square," the sources said, adding, "The SDF forces, backed up by the coalition's fighter jets, destroyed one of ISIL's depot of arms and ammunition in Southern entrance of the town."

"The SDF fighters also advanced against the ISIL in Eastern side of Manbij and pushed the militants back from livestock market," the sources went on to say.

"The ISIL is still using civilians as human shield. The ISIL has forced scores of people to leave their homes in al-Asadiat neighborhood and near Sharia square and has planted bombs and other explosives in the houses. The ISIL opens fire at those people who leave their homes," the sources said. 

In relevant developments in Manbij battlefield on Friday, the SDF fighters, who entered the besieged town of Manbij on Thursday, started fortifying their positions in key districts of the town.

"The Kurdish-led SDF fighters engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL terrorists in Asadiat neighborhood, which claimed the lives of tens of the militants," the sources said, adding, "The SDF is now fortifying its positions in the Southern side of the town."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000601

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Syrian Army Clashes with Terrorist Attackers in Eastern Hama

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with al-Shamiyeh Front after the terrorist group stormed the government forces' positions in Eastern Hama.

Al-Shamiyeh Front targeted strongholds of National Defense Forces in Western side of al-Salamiyah near the village of Ramliyeh.

In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets, for their part, carried out several combat flights over the terrorists' defense lines and inflicted major damage on their military equipment.

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, the Army troops, tipped off by intelligence agents, disbanded a terrorist group carrying large volume of arms and ammunition heading towards Northern Hama.

"The five-members group of terrorists, carrying two thermal rockets, automatic rifles, grenades, RPG rounds and ammunition for PKC and 23 mm machineguns in their car, were driving on a road towards militant-held regions in Northern Hama," the sources said, adding, "The Syrian soldiers stormed the group near the town of Masyaf, which ended in the killing of one the militants and arrest of the rest of them."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000405

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Hundreds Rally in Protest at Brexit, as Footage Boosts up Rigged Vote Odds

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of people hit the streets of England and Scotland's biggest cities in protest against Britain voting to Leave the EU, as a video aired on the Sky News has allegedly shown a vote counter altering a ballot paper.

Crowds gathered in Edinburgh and Glasgow condemned "anti-immigration" tone of the pro-Brexit campaign and shouted in support of migrants, protesting what they said had been a "torrent of racism" during the referendum campaign, itv reported.

Also in London, around 400 demonstrators marched to the headquarters of News UK, which publishes national newspapers The Sun and The Times, while others gathered at the gates of Downing Street.

It comes after the country voted in favor of leaving the European Union in Thursday's referendum, though Scotland as a nation voted to remain by 62 per cent to 38 per cent, a result which may open the door to a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Police were dispatched to monitor the demonstration but said no arrests were made.

In Edinburgh, protesters gathered outside the Scottish Parliament where speakers addressed the crowd, while a similar event took place in Glasgow's George Square.

Elsewhere, Teenagers furious they’ll be ‘made to pay’ for the Brexit decision of older voters have launched a protest outside parliament.

A petition before the EU referendum called for 16 and 17-year-olds to be given the chance to shape their country’s future in the In-Out vote.

The petition claimed teenagers would “be dealing with the aftermath of the referendum either way”.

They held placards, Mirror reported , asking 'Where was my vote?' and 'Please sir, can we have a voice?'.

Meanwhile, other teenagers have taken to Twitter to voice their frustrations over not being given a say under the #notinourname hashtag.

But the House of Commons blocked a move by the House of Lords to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote.

Young people were overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU according to opinion polls but a strong backing of Leave by older generations appears to have swung the vote.

Meanwhile, a possible vote altering clip was spotted during a Sky News broadcast, Daily Star reported, before it was announced that Britain would leave the EU.

Of course, the daily suggested the clip could just as easily the vote counter rubbing out a spoil on the paper, but with the anger surrounding “pencilgate”, the clip can be used as evidence on vote rigging.

Voters had already complained about the use of pencils in polling stations, claiming it made it easier to rig votes.

The footage, also posted to video sharing site LiveLeak, had mixed responses from viewers.

“No... election fraud.. say it isn't so. Pencils…,” a comment reads.

But another added that “We don't know what she did, it may have been the Times Cross word puzzle for all the OP knows”.

Jordan Lawrence, representing the Electoral Commission, said there was no link to the use of pencils and spoiled votes.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000546

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US Sacks Navy Commander for Embarrassing Detainment in Iranian Waters

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The commanding officer of a US Navy task force was sacked following the investigation into an awkward international incident in which his group reportedly veered off course due to GPS failure and was detained by the Iranian coast guard in January.

Following an inquiry into the international incident in which ten US sailors of Task Force 56 were taken into custody by the Iranian coast guard, Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command Vice Admiral Kevin M. Donegan fired Captain Kyle S. Moses for the loss of confidence in his ability to command sailors. Moses was the commanding officer for the task force, RT reported.

“Several weeks ago, I had initially taken what I felt was appropriate administrative and corrective action involving Capt. Moses, based on the preliminary results of the investigation, which I began immediately after we recovered our sailors,” Donegan said in a statement.

“However, after thoroughly examining the findings of the final, comprehensive investigation, I determined that this additional action was necessary.”

Moses became the second senior Navy officer to be sacked over the incident. In May, Commander Eric Rasch, the executive officer of Riverine Squadron 3 at the time of the incident, was relieved of his post.

The Navy is also considering taking additional disciplinary action against seven other US crew members who, on January 12, wandered into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, where they were quickly apprehended and released some 15 hours later.

Their fate will be announced next week, an AP source revealed. The seven include the now-fired squadron commander Rasch, his executive officer and three of the sailors.

Iran managed to detain two small armed vessels, known as riverine command boats, when American sailors were making a 300-mile journey from Kuwait to the home of US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain.

At the time of the incident, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the sailors made a navigational error that took them off course. The US position remained that riverine boats “planned transit path for the mission was down the middle of the sea and not through the territorial waters of any country other than Kuwait and Bahrain.”

The incident raised tensions between the US and Iran after Tehran published footage of the seamen kneeling with their hands behind their heads. The US State Department allegedly used informal diplomatic routes to secure the crew’s speedy release.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000281

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Iran Voices Concern over Bahrain's Suppression of Main Opposition Group

June 25, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced concern over the spread of security conditions in Bahrain, and said that the suppression of the Persian Gulf island's main opposition group and stripping the country's senior Shiite cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his citizenship will resolve nothing.

"One of our concerns in the region is the issue of Bahrain; a minority group is suppressing the majority," Zarif said addressing a group of senior French diplomats, researchers and international relations expert in France last week.

"Our impression is that Bahrain's opposition groups are not looking for toppling the Bahraini government, but closing all political paths by jailing a political leader and stripping a leader of his nationality will not be the solution," he added.

His remarks came after Bahrain's Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Monday that Sheikh Qassim was stripped of his citizenship.

After the development on Monday, IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, in a rare statement, warned the Manama regime that in case of any insult or disrespect for Sheikh Qassim, "the toppling of the regime will only be a small part of the repercussions that will also include armed resistance".

The General blasted the Manama regime for its "unacceptable and inhuman oppression, discrimination, injustice and humiliation" against the Muslim Bahraini nation, and said people on the tiny Persian Gulf island have so far tolerated the Al-Khalifa regime's apartheid and heavy pressures and continued their uprising peacefully despite the fact that a number of their political and religious leaders have been arrested, their women and children have been imprisoned and tortured, some others have been stripped of their citizenship and undergone intensifying pressures with their rights trampled upon.

He said people's rise for their demands in a peaceful way has, unfortunately, emboldened the Al-Khalifa regime to intensify its crimes and crackdown on the Bahraini nation, "specially as a result of the meaningful silence shown by the UN, the US and the Western states," everyday.

"The illegal detention of Sheikh Ali Salman (the head of the main opposition group, Al-Wefaq) and other political and religious leaders of Bahrain in light of the silence of the international circles has emboldened the Al-Khalifa to threaten the sanctuary of the remarkable cleric and religious leader of Bahrain's Shiites, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, and inspired the people of the region and Bahrain with worrying thoughts," General Soleimani said in his statement.

"The Al-Khalifa seems to be misusing the peaceful movement of the people and is miscalculating the extent of public fury," he said, and added, "They certainly know that trespassing the sanctuary of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim is a redline whose crossing will set fire to Bahrain and the entire region and leave people with no other option, but armed resistance."

"The Al-Khalifa will pay the price of such an action whose endpoint will be nothing but annihilation of this tyrannical regime," the Iranian Quds Force Commander warned.

General Soleimani also warned supporters of the Manama regime that any insult to Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim and continued overpressure on the Bahraini people heralds "a bloody Intifada (uprising) with consequences whose responsibility will fall on those who legitimize the arrogance of the Bahraini rulers".

The latest move by the Bahrain regime against the country’s main opposition figures came as the Al-Khalifa regime is exerting mounting pressure on the opposition.

"Isa Ahmed Qassim has been stripped of his Bahraini citizenship," Bahrain state news agency cited the ministry’s statement, referring to the country's most senior Shiite Muslim cleric in Bahrain.

Bahrain has been in the throes of an uprising since February 2011, when hundreds of thousands of protesters took over a Central roundabout in the capital Manama and demanded political and democratic reform in the authoritarian kingdom.

Bahraini authorities backed by Persian Gulf allies, specially Saudi Arabia, violently broke up the protests, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people, and since then rallies have continued and human rights groups have accused the kingdom of imprisoning and torturing thousands of activists. Hundreds of others have gone missing without any trace or state explanation.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950405000715

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India

Another Dadri Evaded In Delhi: Muslim Family in Shock after Mob Attack

June 25, 2016

New Delhi:  The recent incident in Delhi capital has again proved that Muslims are not safe in the country.

According to information available, the incident happened on Wednesday after local goons entered the house of a Muslim family, assaulted them and vandalized their household goods.

The victim, Taslimuddin from Katihar district of Bihar migrated with his wife and children to Delhi.  Taslimuddin meets his family needs by selling the tea.

At around 7:30 pm Wednesday evening, when they were doing their Iftar, 3-4 people continue to knocked the door of his son-in-law, Muhammad Rafidul and abuse them but his wife refused to open the door.

After receiving no answer from inside the house, they went away and after a while came back with a crowd of 50-60 people, all of whom were carrying iron rods, pole and other articles to damage the goods. Within no time, the mob gain entry into the house and allegedly attacked Mohammed Taslimuddin,  his wife Asiya,  Shahnaz Khatun, daughter, son Ashfaq and injured them.

Police delayed in registering FIR unless the incident came into light through media.

According to the victim’s family, this is not the first time that a Muslim family living in the area has been beaten. Prior to them, they were enough attacking on Muslims and the culprits easily escape with no legal proceedings.

After the incident, the panic family of the Taslimuddin does not understand where you go and whom to approach.

siasat.com/news/another-dadri-evaded-delhi-muslim-family-shock-after-mob-attack-977936/

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Charity through Fidya, Fitrah for non-fasting during Ramzan

Jun 25, 2016

Hyderabad: At a time when lakhs of Muslims are fasting during Ramzan, those unable to do so are busy calculating Fidya and Fitrah . The two Islamic provisions are meant to help the poor in their time of need.

According to Islamic scholars such as Mohammed Sajid Hussain Quadri, a graduate in the study of hadith (tradition of the Prophet) and Islamic jurisprudence from city based seminary Jamia Nizamia, giving Fidya is mandatory on those who are unable to fast. Explaining the provision, he says, " Fidya, in essence, is an exchange for fasting. Those who are unable to fast are required to feed the poor twice a day or give them its equivalent in cash."

However, it is only those who cannot fast - such as the old or terminally ill - who are required to pay Fidya. "Those who are sick and can recover should compensate the fast on any other day of the year. They cannot give Fidya," he says. Take the case of octogenarian Hoor Begum. A resident of Banjara Hills, Begum, who is diabetic and suffers from a cardiac problem, calculates the equivalent of two meals a day at Rs 2,500 for the entire month and hands it over to a widow. "I haven't been able to fast on account of my old age health condition. I hand over Fidya to old widows who have no help from anybody," she says. There are thousands like her, she adds.

Islamic scholars say that Fitrah is defied roughly as two-and-a-half kilograms of grains or its equivalent in cash given to the poor, usually before Eid prayers. It serves as "expiation" of minor sins committed by a person during Ramzan.

"The intention is not to let people remain hungry on Eid. It is mandatory on all those who pay zakaat. Fitrah for a newborn child must be paid by the father," a scholar explains.

Observers say that for convenience sake, organisations have begun collecting and disbursing Fidya and Fitrah from various donors. For instance, Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust accepts Fidya at Rs 5,500 per person for 60 meals in Ramzan. As per HZCT official Abdul Waheed, primary beneficiaries are widows who belong to poor families. In the same vein, the Safa Baitul Maal, a socio-religious organisation headed by Maulana Ghayasuddin Rashadi, accepts Rs 2,000 per person for the month from those unable to fast during Ramzan and arranges for food for the poor.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Charity-through-Fidya-Fitrah-for-non-fasting-during-Ramzan/articleshow/52912261.cms

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Muslim craftsmen renovate Hindu temple in Shahjahanpur

Jun 25, 2016

Shahjahanpur: At a time when communal incidents are being reported from across UP, Shahjahanpur offers a picture of communal harmony. The work of constructing a temple inside the collectorate premises was given to two Muslim artists, who have now completed it.

Local residents said it was heartening to see two Muslim youths, Mohammed Yaseen and Sajid Khan, both of whom belong to Kichcha (Udham Singh Nagar) in Uttarakhand work inside the temple even as they were fasting for Ramzan.

"Every time they entered the temple, they touched the feet of goddess Durga before starting their work," said Rajeev Gupta, a local who donated Rs 1 lakh for the renovation of the temple. Others have also donated generously for the religious cause.

Mohammed Yaseen, 25, told TOI, "I have worked in many mosques and temples and I have not felt any difference. We have respect for all the religions because religion is directly attached to the sentiments of a human being.

Disrespecting a religion means disrespecting the emotions of a human being and the holy Quran says that we should not hurt anyone and always give respect to human beings."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/Muslim-craftsmen-renovate-Hindu-temple-in-Shahjahanpur/articleshow/52910501.cms

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Leaders who talk about “Muslim free India” should be sent to mental asylum: Sharad Pawar

June 24, 2016

Aurangabad: Controversial statement like “Muslim free India” will not be tolerated, said NCP Chief Sharad Pawar while addressing the Aurangabad iftar organized by the party.

“This country is not anyone’s father’s property, he said and added that insane people uttering such statements should be admitted in the mental asylum.

He furthered that India belongs to every religion and millions of workers who live in the country and those who cause divisions and and disturb the communal harmony by doing such things has no support base.

With such confused statements, they only misleads people, he said.

People of different religions have the right to live in India and all over the country. The people who speak out against Muslims of India should be send to the asylum, he said.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has officially organised Iftar parties at Aurangabad, Pune and Mumbai in the presence of  the party chief.

According to sources from the party, the NCP is concentrating on securing Muslim votes bank with the party as AIMIM is trying to increase its base in the city .

The party wants to stop the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) from cutting into its votes.

If they will go with the AIMIM, it will help the BJP, they said.

siasat.com/news/leaders-ask-muslim-free-india-should-be-sent-mental-asylum-sharad-pawar-977478/

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Mehbooba angers Muslim clergy with her Article 370 remark, Mirwaiz leads charge against her, calls her confused soul

June 25, 2016

As Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti ridiculed the clergy for talking about Article 370 and raising issue of alleged molestation of a girl in Handwara by the Army trooper, the clergy has not taken it lightly.

CLERGY CAN'T REMAIN A SILENT SPECTATOR

"Kashmir's clergy has a vital role and it can't remain a silent spectator on serious political issues," moderate separatist leader and chief priest of Kashmir Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said. He described Mehbooba as confused soul.

"She is a confused soul. She gives unsolicited suggestions that the clergy should talk about the environment and protection of the Dal Lake, and at the same time she wants us to remain silent on sensitive political issues," the head priest said.

"Doesn't she know that we do talk about environment protection and other social issues on a regular basis? But all such issues are secondary when we are facing existential crises," the Mirwaiz said.

CM PUSHED KASHMIRIS TO THE WALL, CLAIMS CLERGY

The Mirwaiz accused Mehbooba Mufti led government of trying to push Kashmiris to the wall by provocative policies and objectionable measures like the construction of composite townships for migrant Kashmir Pandits, separate colonies for ex-soldiers, and proposing minority status to Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir .

"Kashmir's clergy will not stay silent or act as a mute spectator on such politically motivated issues", Mirwaiz said.

WHAT MEHBOOBA HAS TO SAY

Earlier the Chief Minister attacked Muslim clergy for raising Handwara molestation case and Article 370 from pulpits of mosques, saying since Handwara incident several incidents of molestation have taken place. She said civilians were involved in these incidents of molestation. She said incidents of molestation had taken place during school picnics and in the class rooms. "Is it necessary that you (clergy) talk about it only when men in uniform are involved", she asked.

She said from mosques they raise the issue of the Article 370 being in danger without knowing anything about it.

"What is Article 370? The Article will be relevant only when our rivers, mountains and forest will remain."

"I want to ask these people who sermon from pulpits on Fridays have you ever wondered what has happened to Dal Lake. Have you ever mentioned this in your sermon", she asked.  "Have you ever made people to understand that Dal is dying? Have you ever talked about it", Mehbooba had said.

indiatoday.intoday.in/story/mehbooba-angers-muslim-clergy-with-her-article-370-remark-mirwaiz-leads-charge-against-her-calls-confused-soul/1/700634.html

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South Asia

Buddhist monks serve iftar for Muslims in Bangladesh

25 Jun 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh - Every day during Ramadan, hundreds of Muslim men, women and children queue in front of a Buddhist monastery in the Bangladeshi capital to receive iftar, the food with which Muslims break their fast at sunset during the holy month.

The initiative by Dharmarajika Buddhist monastery to distribute food to poor and destitute Muslims is a rare example of social harmony between two groups from two different religions in a country that has witnessed a spate of fatal attacks against minorities and secular activists.

The Dharmarajika Buddhist monastery began this project six years ago, and monks say Ramadan is the best opportunity to help poor Muslims.

The high priest of the temple, Shuddhanando Mohathero, who initiated the project, believes that "humanity is the ultimate goal of humans".

Abul Basahr, a shopkeeper living in the area, told Al Jazeera that monks at the Buddhist temple engaged in several social welfare activities. "The best thing they are doing is the distribution of iftar food to the poor people," he said.

Established in 1951 in Basabo area of Dhaka, the monastery, monk Karuna Bhikkhu says, works for harmony in the society.

Karuna says it is an effort to build good relations with Muslim community, who form nearly 90 percent of the population. Buddhist comprise less than one percent of this nation of 160 million.

Harun Miah, the owner of a local restaurant, has been working with the monastery for past five years to cook iftar meals.

He says the iftar consisting of potato chops, peyaju (onion tempura), beguni (eggplant tempura), chhola-boot (lentils), khejur (dates), muri (puffed rice), and jilapi (a sweet made of sugar syrup) are served in a box.

Buddhapriya Mahathero, the second-high priest of the monastery, said at least 300 poor people are served daily.

"The people start making queues from 3pm onwards inside the monastery," he told Al Jazeera.

For people like Sakhina, who cannot afford an iftar, the free food at the monastery is a godsend gift.

"Here, we are granted respect that we were supposed to get from our co-religists," she told Al Jazeera.

Despite a recent spike in violence in the South Asian nation, the monks say they are not worried about their safety and have a very good relation with the Muslim community.

Mahathero, a firm believer in inter-religious harmony said: "Why should there be a conflict? We are all Bangladeshis. This land is for all of us. By helping each other, we can make this country great."

aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/06/buddhist-monks-serve-iftar-muslims-bangladesh-160624063418703.html

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Hindu Leader Claims IS Hired Someone to Issue Threat

25 Jun 2016

The head priest at an Indian-run Hindu mission in Dhaka says he believes that the extremist group Islamic State (IS) paid a courier to deliver a letter threatening to hack him to death before the end of June.

“The IS will not do it [kill someone] by themselves; they will outsource it to locals,” Swami Dhruveshananda told BenarNews.

“If you want to kill me, you will hire someone to do it for you,” he said, referring to a letter addressed to him and which he received on June 15.

The swami showed BenarNews the letter. It called on Hindus to leave majority Muslim Bangladesh and directed a specific threat against him.

“You will be hacked to death between June 20 and 30. Eat whatever you want. (I) will hack you with machete inside (your) room,” the letter said.

Since February 2013, Hindus have been among at least 36 members of religious minorities, secular writers, intellectuals, gay-rights activists and foreigners targeted in killings by suspected Islamic militants.

IS has claimed responsibility for a handful of the killings, but Bangladesh’s government has consistently denied that Islamic State has a presence in the country, and has blamed home-grown extremist groups for the killings.

Meanwhile on Thursday and Friday in Washington, U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon hosted Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque at a bilateral meeting on cooperation between the two countries in countering violent extremism and terrorism in Bangladesh, according to a press release issued by the country’s foreign ministry, Bangladeshi media reported.

Violence in Bangladesh hit close to home for the State Department in April when an employee at the U.S. embassy, Xulhaz Mannan, a Bangladeshi gay-rights activist who worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, was hacked to death in his Dhaka home along with another man.

‘Ready to die’

“The killers do not fear death; they are ready to die. What were the faults of the slain priests in Pabna and Jhenaidah? These are murders for faith,” Dhruveshananda said, referring to the recent killings of two Hindu priests in other districts of Bangladesh.

On June 7, Hindu priest Anando Gopal Ganguly, 69, was hacked to death in an attack by suspected Islamic militant Jhenaidah district.

Three days later, Nitya Ranjan Pandey, 60, a staff member at the Sri Sri Thakur Aunukul Chandra Satsangha Ashram in Hemayetpur, Pabna, met a similar end in another machete attack by suspected militants, according to police.

The case of the death-threat letter sent to the Hindu mission, whose home branch is in Kolkata, in the neighboring Indian state of West Bengal, prompted a rare diplomatic intervention.

The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), last week voiced its concern to Bangladeshi officials over the threat made to the Hindu priest.

A spokesman for Dhaka police told BenarNews that the department was taking the threat seriously and investigating the case.

Letter’s contents

According to Dhruveshananda, the letter was delivered by a motorcyclist who came to the mission (pictured below) while he was out to lunch on June 15.

The man handed the letter to a staff member at the mission, and claimed that he represented a private transport company, S.R. Paribahan.

“He left in a few seconds. We played the CCTV footage; he was between 35 and 40 years old and was wearing a red shirt and pants,” Dhruveshananda said.

“His head was covered with a helmet, so we cannot see his face.”

The nine-line letter carried the heading “Islamic States Bangladesh (IS) (Secret Agent)” and claimed that it came from a person in Kishoreganj district named A.B. Siddique.

“Leave this country before time ends. This country is for the Muslims. India is the country of the Hindus. Spreading Hinduism in this country is not acceptable.”

A suspect matching that name and geographic origin was arrested but released, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Spokesman Masudur Rahman told BenarNews on Friday.

A.B. Siddique did not write the letter, according to police.

“He was a retired soldier. He had some enmity with the local criminals over construction of a petrol pump. So, the criminals used his name to victimize him,” Rahman said, adding that police were looking for the people who sent the letter.

benarnews.org/english/news/bengali/death-threat-06242016175140.html

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Intensified security vigil for 68 Bangladeshi jails after terror attack warnings

25 Jun 2016

Dhaka: Bangladesh has ordered an intensified security vigil for 68 jails across the country after warnings of possible terror attacks in the wake of nationwide anti- militants clampdown, senior officials said on Saturday.

"Instructions have been issued to intensify the security of our prisons. Directives have been sent out also for enforcing an extra vigil around the jails premises as well," Inspector general of prisons Brigadier General Syed Iftekhar Uddin said on Saturday.

He said an intelligence report warning against a possible major terror attack to destablise the country prompted the jail authorities to revise the security systems of the prisons.

"We asked our (jail) officials to follow some instructions. They were also asked to keep an extra eye on the security around the jail complexes," the prison chief said.

Dhaka Central Jail officials said they issued a "red alert" to ensure maximum security of the facility deploying extra number of prison guards in and around the complex.

"As part of the measures visitors' entry has been restricted and check in security has been strengthened. We have asked the prison guards to quiz suspicious people around the prisons as well," Dhaka Central Jail Superintendent Jahangir Kabir said.

He said under the intensified security, inmates activities would now be monitored extensively while visitors will be allowed to meet their relatives in jail only after screening.

The prison officials did not elaborate about the intelligence report on the possible militant attack but said the correction facilities could be a target of militant attacks as the major prisons currently hold over 400 militants.

Police said their detective branch alone arrested 107 operatives of different militant outfits last year and 38 in the first five months of the current year.

Dhaka Tribune newspaper quoted unidentified police officials as saying that some detained militants revealed during interrogations that since last year the Islamist outfits were working to wage a massive armed revolution to topple the government and establish an Islamic state.

"The militants were also desperate to free their top leaders from jail or snatch them from the prison vans," the report said.

Another report suggested that the authorities issued the alert two days ago following a warning from the Home Ministry that a car bomb attack might occur in any prison.

Under a nationwide anti-militancy security campaign, several suspected Islamists have been killed in encounters with security personnel.

firstpost.com/world/intensified-security-vigil-for-68-bangladeshi-jails-after-terror-attack-warnings-2855486.html?utm_source=FP_CAT_LATEST_NEWS

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30 ISIS fighters, 3 civilians killed in Nangarhar province

Sat Jun 25 2016

At least 30 militants fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed during clashes in eastern Nangarhar province.

The incident took place in the early hours of Friday morning in the restive Kot district after the ISIS loyalists launched a coordinated attack on police check posts.

According to the local officials, at least 15 civilians were also wounded during the clashes and were shifted to the nearest hospital for treatment.

The officials further added that the ISIS loyalists launched the attack on the check posts of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces.

There are also reports of atrocities committed by the ISIS loyalists against the local residents, including beheading and kidnapping of women.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani however said at least 3 civilians were killed and 12 others were wounded, including children.

This is the first time the loyalists of the terror group have launched coordinated attack on ALP check posts in Nangarhar after several months when they faced major setbacks due to ongoing operations.

The Afghan forces as well as the US forces are regularly targeting the loyalists of the terror group in this province in a bid to curb their activities.

In the meantime, the US forces stepped up airstrikes against the ISIS loyalists earlier this year after they were granted more authorities by President Barack Obama.

The increased raids against ISIS loyalists followed amid concerns that they are attempting to expand foothold in the country besides attempting to consolidate operations with the terror group in Iraq and Syria.

khaama.com/30-isis-fighters-3-civilians-killed-in-nangarhar-province-01341

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President Ghani meets Pakistani President, discuss latest upheavals

Sat Jun 25 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met with his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain in Uzbekistan on Friday afternoon to discuss the latest upheavals in the bilateral relations between the two nations.

The Office of the President said President Ghani met President Mamnoon Hussain before concluding an official visit to Uzbekistan.

The two sides openly discussed the latest issues and tensions and agreed for the formation of an effective political and technical mechanism to assess the current issues and prevent it in the future.

This comes as bloody clashes took place between the Afghan and Pakistani forces in Torkham earlier this month which resulted to the closure of the crossing for several days.

Tensions between the two sides heightened following the construction of a gate by Pakistani side in Torkham which the Afghan officials opposed, calling it a provocative move and violation of an agreement regarding the Durand Line.

Several security personnel lost their lives during the clashes including a senior Pakistani major as the Afghan border guards prevented the Pakistani side to construct the gate.

The Afghan officials are saying that work on any establishment along the zero point of Durand Line should be done with an understanding with the Afghan officials.

khaama.com/president-ghani-meets-pakistani-president-discuss-latest-upheavals-01343

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US launch strikes against Taliban under new authorities granted by Obama

Sat Jun 25 2016

The US forces in Afghanistan have launched strikes against the Taliban militants under the new expanded authorities granted by Obama earlier this month.

The officials in Pentagon have confirmed that the new airstrikes were carried out in the southern parts of the country lately and following the approval of the new broader role for the US forces in the country.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook has said the strikes hit their intended target, though he would not elaborate.

Cook further added that goal of the strikes, “would be a strategic effect on behalf of the Afghan forces that we are enabling.”

Obama approved broader role for the US military to assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to fight the Taliban-led insurgency

The US forces were earlier accompanying the Afghan special forces only when it was needed.

According to the US officials, under the new policy the US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, will be able to decide when it is appropriate for American troops to accompany conventional Afghan forces into the field.

khaama.com/us-launch-strikes-against-taliban-under-new-authorities-granted-by-obama-01344

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Afghanistan, Pakistan agree to constitute mechanism following deadly Torkham clash

Sat Jun 25 2016

Afghanistan and Pakistani officials have agreed to form a high level bilateral mechanism for cooperation following deadly clashes in Torkham earlier this month.

The agreement for the constitution of the mechanism was reached during a meeting on the sidelines of SCO Summit in Tashken on Friday, attended by Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar and Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

“Building upon the ideas generated in the meeting between Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary of Pakistan in Islamabad on 20 June 2016, they agreed to constitute a high level bilateral mechanism for consultation and coordination on various important issues relating to bilateral relations and cooperation, including security, movement of people and vehicles between the two countries and other relevant issues,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)

said in a statement.

The statement further added that the proposed mechanism will be co-chaired by Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and with the participation of the National Security Advisers of the two countries. It will also have a joint technical working group to deal with the concerns of both countries.

According to MoFA, the main purpose of this Mechanism would be not only to address and resolve issues of concern to both sides through amicable means but also to prevent the recurrence of violent incidents like the ones witnessed recently in Torkham.

“The two sides also took this opportunity to review other aspects of bilateral relations. They reaffirmed respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and adherence to the principle of non-interference into each other’s internal affairs,” the statement added.

MoFA also added that “Foreign Minister Rabbani and Adviser Aziz reiterated the mutual desire for strengthening bilateral relations for promoting peace, stability, counter terrorism and economic progress of both the countries. Towards this end, it was agreed to enhance mutual engagement in diverse areas to deepen cooperation.”

“The two sides specifically expressed their firm commitment to continue serious efforts towards eliminating the scourge of terrorism which poses a grave threat to the peace and security of the two countries, and the region,” MoFA said, adding that “In this regard, they emphasized the need for close cooperation and coordination between the two countries at all levels.”

khaama.com/afghanistan-pakistan-agree-to-constitute-mechanism-following-deadly-torkham-clash-01342

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Europe

Islamic State Calls for Attacks to ‘Paralyze’ Europe Following Surprise Brexit Success

Jun. 24, 2016

In the hours following the U.K.’s historic vote to leave the European Union, the Islamic State has reportedly called for attacks in Brussels and Berlin in order to “paralyze” Europe.

Britons voted Thursday my a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU, leading the Islamic State to celebrate the immediate negative economic effects of the monumental decision. The terror group’s message reportedly came through the jihadi Telegram, an encrypted communication service often employed by Islamic State members and backers.

And the U.K. is taking the threats seriously. British military chiefs are warning there is a “serious and direct threat to holiday resorts across Europe” from terror groups like the Islamic State.

“There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against U.K. interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria,” the U.K.’s Foreign Office told the Daily Mirror.

Immigration was one of the key issues that led British voters to ultimately side with the “Leave” camp. A key principle of the EU is porous borders, allowing some 400 million people to move unreservedly throughout the 28-nation union.

That policy was the subject of intense criticism following the deadly terror attacks in Brussels and Paris as well as a thwarted attack last summer on a Paris-bound train.

Salah Abdeslam, the terror ringleader in Europe, was able to move freely from Brussels to Paris and, eventually, back to Brussels, where he hid out for four months. Investigators believe it was the same group that executed both attacks.

theblaze.com/stories/2016/06/24/report-islamic-state-calls-for-attacks-to-paralyze-europe-following-surprise-brexit-success/

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EU referendum results: Did Birmingham vote to Brexit?

Jun 24, 2016

The people of Birmingham had their say in the European Union referendum - and they voted to LEAVE the EU.

A total of 450,702 Brummies voted in the historic referendum, with 223,451 putting their cross for remain and 227,251 voting leave.

It meant 49.5% voted to remain and 50.5% voted to leave.

The result came as a shock, as remain campaigners had expected a a narrow victory in cosmopolitan Birmingham.

The city found itself at the heart of the battle between leave and remain which intensified in recent weeks as the polls narrowed.

Prominent leave campaigner Boris Johnson called the referendum “independence day”, while Prime Minister David Cameron said: “If we want a bigger economy and more jobs, we are better if we do it together.”

The referendum marked the biggest moment in Britain’s relationship the Europe since 1991, when the Maastrict Treaty was signed.

Britain joined the European Community in 1993 but successive Prime Ministers have pushed for clauses to opt out of some parts, including the single currency.

The Electoral Commission’s figures suggested a record number of voters are eligible to take part in the referendum, with the total for the UK (including Gibraltar) estimated to be 46.5 million.

birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/eu-referendum-results-birmingham-vote-11510427

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Muslim Tower Hamlets Voted 67% to Stay In EU

June 24, 2016

The anti-Brexit vote mainly came from major cities, particularly those with large Muslim populations. The biggest Stay support came out of London. And in London, few places were as enthusiastically pro-EU as Taliban Tower Hamlets which voted to stay by 67%.

The mood over in the Islamic outpost in London was "bleak".

In Canary Wharf, the mood at the Tower Hamlets count could only be described as bleak among Remain campaigners.

By 3am, they were hunched around a live news feed, fearing the worst.

By 4am, many had their heads in their hands at the looming nationwide win for Brexit, as Tower Hamlets’ chief executive Will Tuckley announced  the local result of a 67.5 per cent win for Remain.

Here, by the way, is what Tower Hamlets looks like.

Islamic extremists in Britain are ordering women to cover up and issuing threats to gays as they seek to impose Taliban-style sharia law.

Police are investigating a series of religiously motivated incidents, including the case of an Asian shop assistant who claims to have received death threats for refusing to wear a veil even though she is not a practising Muslim.

The pharmacy where she works has been told it will be boycotted unless she is forced to dress more modestly or sacked. Zealots have also daubed black paint on posters for the H&M fashion chain, which feature women in bikinis.

The extremists appear to have taken the law into their own hands in Tower Hamlets, east London, one of the poorest areas of Britain, where native white people are in a minority.

It's Afghanistan in London.

Those familiar with life in Tower Hamlets are not surprised. They say that such attitudes are commonplace. Residents have grown used to the fact that the council-run libraries are stocked with books and DVDs containing the extremist rantings of banned Islamist preachers.

There is a Muslim faith school where girls as young as 11 have to wear face-covering veils. There are plans to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of municipal money to build a set of Islamic arches — the so-called ‘hijab gates’, which would look like a veil — at either end of Brick Lane, which is packed with Indian restaurants and clothes shops.

And there have been allegations of corruption during council elections, with the names of hundreds of Bangladeshi ‘ghost voters’ suddenly appearing on the electoral register.

In October, Bangladeshi-born Lutfur Rahman became the first directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets. He originally stood as the Labour candidate but was deselected by the party amid allegations about his links with an organisation known as the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE).

The fundamentalist group believes in jihad and Islamic sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and other European countries into Islamic republics. Last year, a Labour minister said the organisation had infiltrated the Labour Party and accused it of ‘corrupting our politics’.

frontpagemag.com/point/263294/muslim-tower-hamlets-voted-67-stay-eu-daniel-greenfield

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Pakistan

Pakistan must end majority Vs minority wordage, safeguard its non-Muslims

June 25, 2016

Karachi: A Pakistan-based lawyer and freelance journalist has said that the successful tabling of two landmark private member bills — the Sindh Minority Rights Commission Bill and the Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill — in the Sindh Assembly, may not necessarily guarantee the safety and protection of the country’s minority Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities.

In article published in the Express Tribune, Maria Kari has described both of these proposed Bills to be promising and progressive, but improbable in terms of eventual implementation because of a lack of political will, weak administration and corruption that defines Pakistan.

Praising Nand Kumar Goklani, a Hindu member of the Sindh Assembly, for tabling the two bills, Kari, however, said, “In its current form, the proposed law is promising and progressive. It comes with several built-in special measures that would heighten protection of a victim of a marriage based on forced conversion. It grants the alleged convert an option to study comparative religions. It places a ban on reporting names or the locations of the alleged convert to increase protection of her and her family. It promises heightened security for the prosecution, its witnesses, and investigating officers.

“Most importantly, it promises a punishment to fit the crime: if a marriage is deemed to have been performed on the basis of a forced conversion, the court can fast-track divorce proceedings. Individuals found guilty of forceful conversion face a minimum five-year sentence that can extend to a life sentence. And those, such as the police or religious clerics, who are found guilty of making the marriage happen, face a minimum three-year sentence.”

But she reminds one and all that every year in Pakistan over a thousand non-Muslim women are forced to convert to Islam, and these girls once abducted from the safety of their homes and communities, are raped and then, usually, married off to their assailants who sneakily shield their non-consensual sexual assault behind the veil of a nikkah-nama. Sometimes they are sold into the sex trade.

These girls or women, she further states, live in fear, rarely ever return to their families, and can almost never hope to receive any help from the police, the local clerics and the government often turns a blind eye to their plight. So, the question that arises is – who does one turn to?

The Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, Kari says tackles forced conversions directly.

“By making it illegal for a person under the age of 18 to change their religion, and by providing adults 21 days to make an independent decision on whether they do, in fact, wish to adopt a new faith. The proposed bill hopes to counter the current practice whereby a victim shows up in front of a court, with little to no security, and testifies she converted independently and/or because she was in love with her perpetrator,” she adds.

Pakistan, Kari reminds, has a track record of introducing promising, progressive laws that then go on to collect dust on the shelves of law libraries, and she is convinced that these two private member bills will also face a similar fate.

“Poor implementation or, in many cases, a complete failure to implement, has rendered even the best of Pakistan’s policies worthless. Implementing legislation sounds like a no-brainer. A law is proposed, the law is approved, and the law is implemented. Simple right? Not in Pakistan”.

Why, because the agencies concerned with implementation remain so weak and overrun by corruption that it is well nigh impossible to achieve.

She concludes by saying that she is simply not convinced that the Sindh Assembly’s (admittedly progressive) proposed legislations will accomplish much once they are passed and reach the implementation phase.

She suggests five steps to restore Pakistan’s credibility as a democratic state as envisioned by its founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1947 and the promise of Article 25(1) of the Pakistani constitution.

Do away with the majority/minority wordage and in future legislation simply refer to your protected class of persons as non-Muslim or Muslim.

Turn up the heat on holding accountable our voted-in politicians and policymakers.

Ramp up the quality and availability of pro-bono services across Pakistan. Make pro bono services attractive to young lawyers. Make current lawyers more competent by updating them on changes to the law and legal recourses available to victims of forced conversion.

New laws should not be confined or deliberated upon in the air conditioned halls of the Sindh Assembly, but need to be adopted by the streets i.e. masses, where they have been broken in the first place.

The rampant abuse against non-Muslims must stop in Pakistan, and these ground-breaking legislations in the Sindh Assembly are the way forward.

siasat.com/news/pakistan-must-end-majority-vs-minority-wordage-safeguard-non-muslims-977891/

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Over 1,500 militancy-hit schools in Fata yet to be repaired

June 25, 2016

PESHAWAR: Students from various tribal regions said on Friday that at least 1,500 educational institutions were destroyed or damaged during militancy, but the federal government had so far not initiated work to restore them.

The details about the state of school buildings in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) were issued to the media by Fata Students Organisation (FSO) president Shaukat Aziz at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club.

The report, he said, was prepared by the FSO without any sponsorship just to draw attention of the government to the pathetic situation in Fata.

Flanked by other office-bearers from different tribal agencies, including Haleem Orakzai, Samrina Khan Wazir, Arsalan Afridi, Saeedullah and Arshad Afridi, he said that 50pc of the teachers had abandoned their schools, but drawing salaries, as they had hired services of unqualified people to keep the schools open so that no one could feel their (teachers) absence.

Students compile report on state of schools in tribal areas

Mr Aziz said that the government teachers were doing private jobs in Peshawar and other areas. He said that 80pc of the schools lacked furniture, drinking water, electricity and washrooms and the students were taking classes under the open sky.

In some areas, he said, over 100 students were crammed into a single room. Many of the schools, he said, had been under the influence of local elders who were facing terrorist threats and as a result the students were also facing threats.

He said that in some agencies the school buildings were used by the local elders for personal use or keeping animals in them.

“The data has been collected by the students themselves who have pictures and videos to present them to the government for further action,” the FSO leader said and warned that if practical steps for solution to the problems were not taken then the students would launch a protest campaign against the Fata Secretariat after Eidul Fitr.

He said that Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra should take solid steps for solution of the education problems. The FSO president said that the educational institutions were located in far-flung mountainous areas where access of female students was almost impossible.

He said that through a conspiracy the Fata children were being kept deprived of basic education which was an open violation of human rights.

Samrina Wazir pointed out that most of the school buildings were damaged in upper Orakzai and South Waziristan Agency, but the government had no monitoring system to assess the situation regarding education in Fata.

She said that female education was next to nil because parents did not want to send their daughters to schools located in far-off areas which also lacked water, washrooms and boundary walls.

She said that provision of facilities like water, toilets and boundary walls were the basic requirements, especially in areas where observing purdah (veil) was part of traditions.

“During interviews the parents suggested that schools should be established near the main population,” she said. Ms Wazir also urged NGOs to extend support in rebuilding of the schools so that the students could continue their studies.

dawn.com/news/1267078/over-1500-militancy-hit-schools-in-fata-yet-to-be-repaired

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Pakistan is determined to confront terrorism, says Chief of Army Staff

June 25, 2016

Rawalpindi: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif, speaking at the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad, has re-emphasised Pakistan’s resolution and determination to confront terrorism and extremism.

Sharif’s address was anchored on the internal and external security situation of the country and his vision of an enduring peace within Pakistan and the region.

He stated that during Operation Zarb-i-Azb, the Pakistani nation had emerged as the most resilient nation and explained how progressing through the operation they had transited from hardcore kinetic operations to intelligence-based operations and now combing operations.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations on Friday, Sharif also stated that Islamabad is opposed to using proxies against other countries and neither will it allow other countries to do the same against Pakistan, reports Dawn

He added “we as a nation must pursue our national objective of zero-presence of terrorists and total peace at any cost”.

The army chief said Pakistan is fully determined and capable of defeating its enemies who are stoking terrorism to destabilise the country.

He said: “The contours of future wars are fast changing. While our enemies are stoking terrorism to demoralise us and destabilise our country, we are united, fully determined and capable of defeating their nefarious designs.”

siasat.com/news/pakistan-determined-confront-terrorism-says-chief-army-staff-978003/

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NSG terms NPT bedrock of non-proliferation regime

June 25, 2016

ISLAMABAD: The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on Friday emphasised that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would remain the bedrock of non-proliferation regime as its annual plenary meeting ended in Seoul without any agreement on admitting the countries that have not signed the treaty.

The group said it would continue its deliberations on the issue of accepting non-NPT states in its fold, but did not elaborate how it intended to proceed with the consultations.

The participants “had discussions on the issue of technical, legal, and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT states in NSG and decided to continue with that,” a communiqué issued at the end of the two-day meeting said.

Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Italy, Romania, Belarus, Turkey, China, Austria, Ireland, Belgium and New Zealand oppose extending concessions to India

India and Pakistan are the two non-NPT states aspiring for the membership of the 48-member international nuclear trade cartel.

The absence of a consensus on the matter proved to be a major diplomatic setback for India and its backers US, Japan and some other Western countries, which seemed to be in a hurry to get India admitted to the group. The condition of signing the NPT — one of the five requirements for new entrants — turned out to be the biggest obstacle for developing a consensus on the Indian application.

Although the NSG agreed to continue discussing the matter, its assertion that “full, complete and effective implementation of the NPT” would remain the basis of the non-proliferation regime implied that any forward movement on non-NPT states would not be easy to bring about.

There were sharp divisions among the members at the plenary session with some insisting on adhering to the NPT condition, while a few others called for putting in place a uniform criteria-based process for new admissions, according to a source who had been following the proceedings in Seoul. And then there was a group supporting the Indian application.

Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Italy, Romania, Belarus, Turkey, China, Austria, Ireland, Belgium and New Zealand were strong critics of extending concessions to India.

Media quoted China’s top negotiator at the NSG, Ambassador Wang Qun, as having said there were “many differences on admitting non-NPT members”. He described the differences as “a matter of principle”.

In his comments, Mr Wang clarified that there was “broad-based support” for adhering to the NPT condition.

“Dozens of countries share China’s view that we need to discuss how we can go forward, how can we deal with non-NPT states as a whole, before taking up India’s case,” he said.

However, in an attempt to hide its diplomatic embarrassment, the Indian side tried to portray that it was China alone that had been blocking its application. Different accounts confirmed that some of the countries that originally pledged support to India reneged during the meeting in Seoul. But the Indian External Affairs Ministry, in a statement without naming China, accused “one country” of “persistently raising procedural hurdles”.

In view of the differences, NSG members could not agree on consideration of individual applications and instead remained focused on discussing issues in general terms, according to the insider.

“The NSG haggled on the agenda and whether individual applications can be considered or not,” he said. “Positions were uncompromising, strong and bitter views were expressed,” he added.

Speaking about lobbying efforts by Pakistan, the source said its argument about strategic stability being a critical factor for achieving non-proliferation objectives had made an impact.

The Pakistani argument has been that the country-specific waiver given to India by the NSG in 2008 served the cause neither of non-proliferation, nor of strategic stability in South Asia. A key message has therefore been that South Asian strategic stability is a critical factor for achieving the object of non-proliferation.

“The need for adopting non-discriminatory and criteria-based approach tying Pakistan and India together, gradually gained acceptance with NSG participants,” the source added.

CORRIGENDUM: In Dawn’s earlier report titled “India’s bid to join NSG hits dead end” it was erroneously mentioned that Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry led a delegation to Seoul for presenting Pakistan’s case on the sidelines of the NSG meeting. It was instead Pakistan’s Ambassador in Vienna, Ayesha Riaz, who led the delegation to Seoul.

dawn.com/news/1267070/nsg-terms-npt-bedrock-of-non-proliferation-regime

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‘JITs being formed for Awais Shah kidnapping, Sabri killing probe’

June 25, 2016

KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to set up joint interrogation teams (JITs) on the kidnapping of young lawyer and son of the Sindh High Court chief justice Awais Shah and the killing of renowned qawwal Amjad Sabri, said the home minister on Friday.

Sohail Anwar Siyal added that the JITs composed of representatives of intelligence agencies, Rangers and police would help take forward the investigations into the two high-profile cases.

He announced a reward of Rs5 million for any information leading to the arrest of killers of Amjad Sabri.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Police Office (KPO) after chairing a meeting in which the progress in both cases was reviewed, the home minister said the domain of investigation into the kidnapping of Awais Shah had been enhanced and now the investigators would also work in other provinces.

The minister regretted that the kidnapping incident took place at around 2.30pm, but the police were not aware of it until 9pm.

He said the gap of six hours was huge, however, investigators had got ‘some clues’ and they were working on them.

Mr Siyal deplored that the federal government appeared reluctant to give a no-objection certificate to the Sindh government for access to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) locators.

“Lack of access to GSM locators, geo-fencing and Nadra family tree was creating hindrance for the Sindh police in investigation purposes,” the minister said.

However, he expressed the hope that with taking up this issue at the apex committee, they hoped to get access to GSM locators.

Inspector General of Sindh police A. D. Khowaja, on this occasion, admitted that investigations into both the high-profile cases were still at an ‘extremely initial level’ as the kidnappers had not made any call, nor responsibility was claimed by anyone.

The police had conducted a search operation in Dadu and Jamshoro but they could not get any ‘positive lead’, he said.

Replying to a question, Additional Inspector General of police of Karachi Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar said they had enhanced security to the extent that a few major shopping centres were virtually closed on June 17 over receiving terror threat, but the police had not received any report about the high-profile kidnapping or killing.

The IG police also corroborated his views by saying that the police had not received any intelligence report about high-profile personality’s purported target in Liaquatabad.

Replying to a question about taking action against ‘facilitators’ mentioned in the JITs, the adviser to the chief minister on law, Murtaza Wahab, said no concrete evidence had emerged against the purported facilitators in these reports.

The home minister on this occasion added that ‘last paragraph’ of all JITs reports usually mentioned that ‘further probe’ was needed because JITs were mainly based on statements of suspects.

Replying to a question, IG Khowaja admitted that closed-circuit television cameras were not much help for police in investigation as their quality appeared to be below standards.

He pointed out that there over 2,000 secret cameras installed in the city. Out of which 967 belonged to the Sindh police, 1,400 to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and 100 to traffic police for traffic management.

The provincial police chief revealed that KMC’s 90pc cameras were functional while only 20pc cameras of police were functioning.

Most of the secret cameras of the police had stopped functioning because of lack of provision of funds for maintenance. However, he disclosed that in new financial year, the provincial government had earmarked budget for this purpose and the police were expected to make these cameras ‘functional’, but further improvement would require ‘specific budget provision’ to bring these cameras to meet international standards.

The IG police pointed out that there were 60,000 cameras installed in London, which was a small city as compared to Karachi, indicating that the metropolis needed much more cameras.

He said they were also revamping the Special Branch as this branch had a ‘technical edge’ over other units of the police.

“These cameras had been found less helpful in detecting crimes but it did not mean that these cameras were useless,” opined the IG police.

Replying to another question, the IG police suggested that terrorism would not end in days, but instead it was a ‘constant’ fight against terrorists.

Referring to Friday’s terror act in Quetta and past acts in Peshawar and Lahore, IG Khowaja said after launching Zarb-i-Azb “we are fighting ideological war and this is the war of the whole nation”.

Earlier, at the start of the press conference, the home minister urged the media especially electronic to avoid leaking information or CCTV footages, which may ‘benefit’ criminals.

Mr Siyal also advocated a sort of regulation or some check on social media as unverified news was being shared/commented there.

dawn.com/news/1267062/jits-being-formed-for-awais-shah-kidnapping-sabri-killing-probe

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Four found shot dead near Gwadar

June 25, 2016

GWADAR: Four bullet-riddled bodies were found on Friday in Balochistan, three in the Dashat area of Kech district and one in the Cheetkan area of Panjgur district, sources said.

Officials of the Levies Force said the residents of Dashat area informed them about the presence of three bodies in Balnigore.

The corpses were taken to the Turbat district hospital, where they were identified as those of Inayatullah, Abdul Waheed and Mohammad Aslam, they said. All the victims were residents of the Kombail area of Dashat.

However, some sources alleged that the bodies were those of the men who had surrendered themselves to the authorities after denouncing militancy a few months ago.

They said the militants had kidnapped them about two months ago and now their bodies had been found.

The fourth corpse, found in the Cheetkan area, was moved to the Panjgur district hospital. The name of the victim could not be immediately ascertained.

dawn.com/news/1267074/four-found-shot-dead-near-gwadar

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Southeast Asia

Mosque, Muslim cemetery, school destroyed in Myanmar

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Authorities in southern Myanmar are appealing for calm Friday, the day after hundreds of angry villagers destroyed Muslim landmarks and attacked a Muslim man following an argument over the construction of a religious school.

By late evening, police had restored order to a village in Bago Region, aware that similar incidents between Muslim and Buddhists in the country's recent past have led to the death and displacement of hundreds of people.

Waw Township's police chief, Ohn Lwin, told Anadolu Agency on Friday that security forces had been deployed in Tha Yel Tha Mein village -- around 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest of commercial capital Yangon -- after the mob destroyed a mosque, a religious school and a Muslim cemetery Thursday evening.

"The situation is now under control," he said, of the area in which just 50 of the 1,029 households are Muslim.

Ohn Lwin added that around 70 Muslim villagers, mostly children and women, had been forced to take refuge overnight at the police outpost in the village in fear of the mob.

The violence is understood to have started after an argument between Muslim resident Abdul Sharif and two female Buddhist neighbors. Before police could remove Sharif for his own safety, he had been attacked by a villager, according to local police.

Ohn Lwin said that village elders and monks were unable to control what soon turned into a volatile situation.

Before additional security could arrive, a rampaging mob destroyed a mosque, a religious school in the mosque compound and a building under construction that local Buddhists saw as an unauthorized Islamic school.

Authorities have said that no arrests have been made.

"We are taking great care in how we handle this case," said Ohn Lwin.

In June 2012, communal tensions between Buddhists and Muslims saw violence engulf parts of western Rakhine State

The violence left 200 dead and displaced thousands, and eventually spread to other areas of the country such as Mandalay.

Late Friday, local Muslim resident Khin Oo -- a member of the mosque's caretaker committee -- said the attacks were not down to communal tensions, but rather a personal dispute that escalated dramatically.

"You can't say it is because of religion. The problem is about between him [Sharif] and his neighbors," he told Anadolu Agency.

One of two women engaged in the argument with Sharif has said that he insulted other people, and had made disparaging remarks about a meditation center that opened in the village's monastery.

She claimed that Sharif had personally attacked Buddhists for reporting the "illegal" construction of the religious school building to authorities.

"He is haughty and shows no respect for other religions," she claimed.

Abdul Sharif's father, meanwhile, has said that the problem stemmed from business.

"As my son gets more and more customers to his shop, rivals are getting jealous on him," Myo Swe said.

"I believe this led to the attack."

dailysabah.com/asia/2016/06/24/mosque-muslim-cemetery-school-destroyed-in-myanmar

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Indonesia: More than 60 dead in floods, landslides

24th Jun 2016

TUBAN, (AA): An Indonesian official confirmed Friday that more than 60 people have been killed and thousands displaced in floods and landslides in the Indonesian islands of Java and Sulawesi over the past week.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, national disaster management agency spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that storms that began sweeping through Central Java last Saturday had left 59 people dead and hundreds displaced, with 43 fatalities and three missing persons cases recorded in the hardest-hit regency of Purworejo.

At least five other people were killed after rough weather conditions struck Central Sulawesi province to Java’s east Tuesday, with search teams racing against time to rescue around four people reported missing in Sangihe Islands Regency.

“The search for survivors and victims who were buried by landslides and lost at sea has been hampered due to strong winds and weather which is still uncertain,” Nugroho said.

“After seven days searching for landslide victims in Purworejo [in Java], the operation ended Friday.”

The government has declared a State of Emergency until July 4 as authorities remain on alert for the La Nina weather phenomenon, the cooler counter to the El Nino conditions that affected the equatorial Pacific region earlier this year.

“The phenomenon caused floods and landslides,” said Nugroho, underlining that La Nina conditions are predicted to last until September.

He warned that 274 districts and cities across Indonesia are located in areas prone to landslides, which can pose a threat to a total of 40.9 million people — around 17 percent of Indonesia’s population — particularly those residing near steep hills.

He said the government had already warned residents living near such terrain, but they remained despite the danger.

“Generally they live in areas with limited infrastructure, so that when a disaster occurs, the evacuation would be difficult,” he added.

muslimnews.co.uk/news/south-east-asia/indonesia-60-dead-floods-landslides/

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IGP dares militants to come back

Saturday, 25 June 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has dared Malaysian Islamic State (IS) members to return home.

“Come back if you dare,” the Inspector-General of Police said in reference to a video recorded by a Malaysian militant who threatened the police.

“These militants threaten everyone from afar via video recordings. If you are brave enough, then come back,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

The police, he said, were taking these threats seriously but were not intimidated by them.

“Don’t try to provoke or challenge us. The video is not the first one nor will it be the last. The police are always on alert no matter the circumstances,” he said.

It was reported that the IS had released a chilling new video on Tuesday through its division in the Philippines, in an attempt to recruit Muslims in South-East Asia, especially Malaysia.

The 21-minute clip shows fighters from the region declaring the Philippines a caliphate and inviting compatriots to travel to the Philip­pines if they cannot join them in Syria.

A fighter named Abu Aun al-Malysi is featured in the video.

“Do not be afraid, comrades. All of us here are praying for you,” he said in the video, which is believed to have been filmed in Syria.

Abu Aun has been identified by Malaysian police as Mohd Rafi Udin from Negri Sembilan. He was a member of Kumpulan Mujahiddin Malaysia and left Malaysia for Syria in 2014 to fight alongside IS.

The video also featured militants from Indonesia and the Philippines.

Khalid vowed that Bukit Aman would not allow IS militants to gain any foothold in the country.

“We will always be vigilant to any threat to the country’s safety and security. Entry points are always under our watch,” he said.

On the possibility of lone wolf attacks, he said the police were prepared for any form of terror.

thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/06/25/igp-dares-militants-to-come-back-police-wont-be-intimidated-by-threats-says-khalid/

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Mideast

Turkey determined in fight against terror: PM Yıldırım

June 25, 2016

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has reiterated Turkey's determination in fight against terror organizations.

Speaking after iftar (Ramadan fast-breaking dinner) with the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) executive board members in Ankara on June 24, Yıldırım was referring to the EU's demand of a change in Ankara's legislation on terrorism in exchange for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.

"There is nothing more important than Turkey's unity, togetherness, and territorial integrity," he said.

No deal or EU's visa exemption can change our determination in the fight against terrorism, he added.

Turkey and the EU signed a refugee deal on March 18, which aims to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The deal also allows for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, on the condition that Ankara meets 72 requirements set by the EU.

Although Turkey fulfilled most of the criteria last month, differences between Brussels and Ankara on anti-terror legislation have forestalled the visa-liberalization deal.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-determined-in-fight-against-terror-pm-yildirim.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100891&NewsCatID=341

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Turkish President Erdoğan meets Hamas leader Mashal in Istanbul

June 25, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met the leader of Palestinian group Hamas, Khaled Mashal, in Istanbul on June 24, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Erdoğan and Mashal discussed how to resolve the disagreements among Palestinians as well as Turkish humanitarian assistance, the report said, citing an unnamed source from the Turkish Presidency.

The Turkish leader emphasized during the meeting that Turkey was keen on easing the distress of Palestinians, the source, who was not named due to restrictions on speaking with the media, told Anadolu Agency.

The meeting came at a time Turkey and Israel are expected to announce a deal to normalize their ties.

Turkey has demanded Israel fulfill three conditions prior to any normalization in ties, namely, an apology for Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara aid convoy in 2010 that killed 10 Turkish activists, compensation to the families of the deceased and an end to the embargo on Gaza.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on June 22 that Turkey’s ties with Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel, was not a subject in the talks.

“Our discussions with Hamas were never a secret from the very beginning. Suggestions we have made to Hamas leaders are also not a secret. On one side, we are trying to make a contribution to the Middle East peace process. We know that we haven’t been able to make this contribution adequately because our relations with Israel went off track. But everybody who has been paying attention to the Middle East issue, all of the countries and Israel, today acknowledge that there can be no permanent peace or solution without Hamas,” Çavuşoğlu said.

In April of 2014, rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah signed a long-awaited reconciliation agreement that called for the formation of a Palestinian unity government tasked with overseeing Palestinian legislative and presidential elections.

Although the unity government was unveiled two months later, it has yet to take on a governing role in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, while the relationship between the two factions remains beset by a host of longstanding differences.

Representatives of the two rival groups held a series of meetings in Doha in an effort to discuss means of implementing the agreement, but no breakthrough was made.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-erdogan-meets-hamas-leader-mashal-in-istanbul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100892&NewsCatID=510

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Pope says ‘never again’ to tragedies like ‘Armenian genocide’

June 25, 2016

A somber Pope Francis, "with pain in my heart," paid tribute on June 25 to the Armenians killed in 1915, an event which he has labelled a “genocide,” risking Turkey's ire.

Francis, on the second day of his trip to Armenia, made an early morning stop at the Tzitzernakaberd, the "Genocide Memorial and Museum," a towering granite needle flanked by an eternal flame on a hillside overlooking the Armenian capital.

There, visibly moved, he took part in a prayer service along with President Serzh Sargsyan and leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

"Here I pray, with pain in my heart, so that never again will there be tragedies like this, so that humanity does not forget and knows how to overcome evil with good," he wrote in the guest book in Italian.

On June 24 night in a speech to the president, the government and diplomats, Francis departed from his prepared text to use the word "genocide," a description that infuriated Turkey when he said it a year ago.

As of June 25 morning there was no official reaction from Turkey, which last year recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after the pope used the “genocide” term. The envoy was kept away for 10 months.

Turkey accepts many Christian Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War I, but contests the figures and denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide. It also says many Muslim Turks perished at that time.

"There is no reason not to use this word in this case," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters on June 24 night. "The reality is clear and we never denied what the reality is."

At the June 25 morning ceremony, Francis chatted with descendants of Armenian orphans who were sheltered at the papal summer residence south of Rome at the start of the 20th century.

"May God grant the beloved Armenian people and the entire world peace and consolation. May God protect the memory of the Armenian people. Memory should not be diluted or forgotten. Memory is a source of peace and the future," he wrote in the guest book.

After the memorial service the pope flew to say a Mass in the provincial city of Gyumri, near the border with Turkey and within sight of Mount Ararat, where the Bible says Noah's Ark landed after the Great Flood.

hurriyetdailynews.com/pope-says-never-again-to-tragedies-like-armenian-genocide.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100893&NewsCatID=353

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Turkish Imam Suspended After ‘Pieces of Cucumber Found In His Rectum’

June 25, 2016

An imam from a Central Anatolian province has been suspended from duty after him being hospitalized with "pieces of cucumber" in his rectum.

The 39-year-old imam working in Kayseri applied to the emergency room of a hospital in the early morning hours of June 23 with severe abdominal pain and bleeding.

The doctors reportedly took pieces of cucumber out of his rectum, and the official diagnosis in the incident was “bleeding in the anus and rectum and foreign object in the rectum.”

The imam was discharged on June 24 after treatment.

After the story made it to the local press, an official investigation has been launched by the local branch of the Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet, of which the imam was an employee.

He was suspended immediately.

The Chamber of Doctors, meanwhile, slammed the hospital officials for leaking information about a patient.

“The imam applied to a hospital for a medical condition, it is a crime to have leaked the information of a patient,” said Ardıl Bayram Şahin, a member of the Istanbul Chamber of Doctors’ Human Rights Commission.

“We do not know what the official investigation is about, but suspension is unacceptable,” he added.

“Such rights violations may prevent people with various sexual practices, especially those who are public employees, from seeking medical assistance,” Şahin warned.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-imam-suspended-after-pieces-of-cucumber-found-in-his-rectum.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100894&NewsCatID=339

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RSF, press freedom groups demonstrate outside Istanbul prison over arrested campaigners

June 25, 2016

A delegation from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), accompanied by a number of press groups, staged a demonstration outside Istanbul’s Metris Prison on June 24, demanding the release of the RSF Turkey representative. 

Erol Önderoğlu was arrested on terror charges on June 20 along with two other press freedom campaigners.

RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire described the arrest of Önderoğlu, journalist Ahmet Nesin, and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) President Şebnem Fincancı as “illegitimate” and “an attempt by the authorities to intimate journalists,” the Associated Press reported.

Deloire said the arrest threatened the freedom not only of the trio, but all Turkish citizens.

Meanwhile, the head of the Vienna-based International Press Institute’s (IPI) Turkey National Committee Kadri Gürsel said the three were unjustly under arrest and should be immediately released.

Gürsel also read out letters penned by Önderoğlu and Nesin from prison.

“Turkey has persecuted its journalists and opposition members under different regimes, but in recent years this persecution has broadened and now affects all sectors that are not part of the government. What we have been able to see in Metris prison is that all our colleagues, lawyers and activists who have faith in democracy, media freedom and freedom of expression and opinion can act together in an effective manner,” Önderoğlu said in the letter, vowing to continue their fight for rights.

The demonstration in front of Metris Prison saw the participation of the Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS), the Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), the European Judicial Network (EJN), Amnesty International, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX).

An Istanbul court charged Önderoğlu, Nesin and Fincancı with “making terror propaganda” on June 20 after they served as editors-in-chief of Özgür Gündem for one day as part of the daily’s “Editor-in-chief on Duty” campaign.

hurriyetdailynews.com/rsf-press-freedom-groups-demonstrate-outside-istanbul-prison-over-arrested-campaigners.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100882&NewsCatID=339

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Greek Cypriots delaying resolution, says Turkish Cypriot FM

June 25, 2016

All Greek Cypriots are trying to do is leave the current negotiation process hanging, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has said.       

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ertuğruloğlu said the whole negotiation process was based on “inequality.”       

He referred back to the Annan Plan, which was a United Nations proposal to resolve the Cyprus dispute, through restructuring of the divided island as a federation of two states under the name "United Republic of Cyprus."       

In 2004, a referendum proposed by then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan was held but reunification was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side in a referendum.       

"It does not suit the Greek Cypriot side's interests to say yes to a proposal such as the Annan Plan. They know that they won't approve an agreement that puts the Turkish Cypriots on an equal basis with them.

They also know that saying no a second time will not benefit them either.       

“Therefore, their policy is to avoid going to another referendum, and just leave this process hanging, by suspending it now and then. We should not let this happen. It is clear that the current process is no longer sustainable,” Ertuğruloğlu said.        

“Despite attempts to prove otherwise, we are dealing with a process where the Greek Cypriot side is recognized as Republic of Cyprus, whereas the Turkish Cypriot community is being portrayed as an ethnic minority within this Republic, whose political identity and sovereignty are being refused.

“We are not sitting on equal terms,” he said.       

He added that the proposal of uniting the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation “would carry the possibility of leaving the future of Turkish Cypriots at the mercy of the Greek Cypriot side “if the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriot side are ignored.”

Ertuğruloğlu suggested including the guarantor states of Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom in the process, saying meetings should also be held with these countries.       

“Turkey's guarantorship is indispensable to us. It is something which is not even open to discussion,” he said, adding that the telltale sign of guarantorship was Turkey's right to unilateral intervention.

“We are the equal owners of the Cyprus island. We are not a nation that will be brought under the yoke of the Greek Cypriots, or left at their mercy. Our only assurance and guarantor in this matter is of course our motherland [Turkey],” he said.       

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot side in the north and a Greek Cypriot side in the south after a 1974 coup on the island was followed by the military intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.       

Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot side on the island resumed in May 2015, after having been stalled in October 2014 due to a dispute about gas exploration around the island.       

The talks between Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades were last suspended in late May.       

Anastasiades had canceled a meeting with Akıncı after refusing to attend a dinner hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, upon being told that the Turkish Cypriot leader had also been invited. He thus cut short his trip to Istanbul.

Anastasiades also canceled a meeting set with Special U.N. Cyprus Envoy Espen Barth Eide.       

The interrupted peace talks resumed on June 8.       

hurriyetdailynews.com/greek-cypriots-delaying-resolution-says-turkish-cypriot-fm-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100896&NewsCatID=510

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Turkey backs united and strong EU after Brexit

June 25, 2016

The United Kingdom’s shocking departure from the European Union should be a lesson for the remaining 27 members of the union, senior Turkish officials have urged, reiterating that Turkey prefers a strong and united Europe, which it wishes to join as an “equal and honorable” member. 

“We are in favor of the continuation of the union by gaining strength. This is an important issue for the peace of Europe and stability of the region. However, the EU should abandon the understanding that alienates itself from other regional countries and seek a more embracing vision,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters June 24.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently warned the EU that Turkey could opt to hold a U.K.-style referendum to ask the public whether it wants to continue negotiations for full membership after the passage of 53 years since the two signed the Ankara Agreement.

Turkish officials seemed to soften their language against the EU following the surprising Brexit vote as they called on the bloc to change its vision in a more inclusive way. The EU should read the results of the Brexit vote in a careful way and realize the dissatisfaction of the British people, Yıldırım said, advising Brussels to change its future vision accordingly.

Criticisms against Cameron

Outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron’s frequent use of Turkey’s unlikely full membership in the EU as an argument to convince British people to remain in the union was also on Yıldırım’s agenda.

“Cameron, who was giving a date [for Turkey’s membership], was given a date [to step down] by the British people,” Yıldırım said, referring to the British prime minister’s remarks that Turkey would not be able to join the EU for decades. Earlier, he also claimed Turkey should wait until the year 3000 to enter to the EU.

Yıldırım described Cameron’s statement as “fanciful,” adding that his arguments based on the impossibility of Turkish accession to the EU had been denied by the British people in the vote.

Equal and honorable member of EU

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu emphasized that Turkey’s aim was to join the EU as an equal and honorable member and would not accept second-class membership.

Blaming the EU for not being able to resolve in-house problems that have created sources of dissatisfaction in many member countries, Çavuşoğlu echoed Yıldırım, saying Turkey was also subject to what he called “double standards.”

“We have never denied that EU membership is in our interest,” the foreign minister said, adding that Turkey wanted to continue accession talks but without political obstacles. “We are ready to fulfill technical criteria,” he added.

A union of values

In his evaluation of Brexit, EU Minister Ömer Çelik stressed the rise of extreme rightist politics in Europe that accompanied anti-Turkey and Islamophobic feelings as a major problem.  

“Turkey is a European state and in the center of Europe. The values the EU represent are common values of humanity. We are a country that speaks on behalf of Europe. We also have words to say on how Europe will be afterwards,” he said.

“Turkey needs to be a full member of the EU. Turkey is a key country. The EU needs a fresh injection. The U.K.’s departure has not been good for the continent and the world,” Çelik said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-backs-united-and-strong-eu-after-brexit.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100867&NewsCatID=510

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North America

Ramadan a time to recall Muslims' history in America

June 24, 2016

Over 8 million Muslims in the U.S. are abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, which began June 6. Ramadan this year is especially overwhelming during the long and hot summer days.

While Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States, he has no knowledge of the history of Muslims and their contributions to America. he may not know about Abd el-Kader, known as the George Washington of Algeria after whom a town (Elkader) in Iowa was named, or Anas Hamawi, a Muslim immigrant from Syria who helped create the American ice cream cone by selling wafer-thin Syrian pancakes at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904. It would be helpful for Trump to travel to Elkader, Iowa, to go to the Abd el-Kader Education Project and learn about the contributions of African Muslims in America.

Muslims have been part of the American landscape for centuries. It is estimated that some 10 percent of the slaves brought from Africa were Muslims. American Muslim history can be traced to the day the first slave ship landed on Virginia's coast in 1619. Muslim slaves aboard the ship said their daily prayers while linked together on deck.

While most Muslim slaves were coerced into converting to Christianity, many retained their Muslim identity. African Muslims preserved their faith and maintained their religious lifestyle in the midst of a hostile environment to the best of their abilities.

They came as Muslims and they lived as Muslims, preserving their faith, most notably during Ramadan with fasting and daily prayers. Islam provided hope for the Muslim slaves; it was their strength, comfort, courage, pride and dignity.

Education became the basis of their freedom. Muslims slaves resisted converting to Christianity and went to great efforts to practice Islam secretly, practicing and adhering to the pillars of their faith, praying and fasting.

A plantation owner in Georgia noticed many of the slaves would bow down in the early morning for prayers. Their Muslim lifestyle was never completely lost.

On the island of Sapelo, off the coast of Georgia, certain Islamic practices remain even today, such as men and women sitting on different sides of the aisle, removing their shoes when they enter the mosque, and women covering their hair with a scarf. Also, many churches and cemeteries are built facing Mecca.

If one studies the history of the people of Sapelo Island, one would find that they are the descendants of Bilal Muhammad. He and his wife, Phoebe, and children, Medina and Fatema, resisted converting to Christianity. Bilal could read and write Arabic and in 1829 he authored small books on Islamic beliefs and rules of ablution, morning prayers and call to prayers. These Bilal books, known as Bilali Documents, are housed at the University of Georgia. The descendants of Bilal Muhammad all have the surname of Baily, which is certainly a corruption of the name Bilal.

In the 1960s, boxing champion Muhammad Ali, Malcom X and the Nation of Islam ignited pride and dignity not just within the black community but also among Muslims. One of Malcolm X's most inspiring lines regarding Muslim slave history was, "We didn't land on Plymouth Rock; the rock landed on us."

President Obama summarized American Muslim history in his Cairo speech in 2009: "I also know that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. … And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, they have served in our government, they have stood for civil rights, they have started businesses, they have taught at our universities, they've excelled in our sports arenas, and they've won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Quran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library."'

mcall.com/opinion/mc-ramadan-khaku-yv-0625-20160624-story.html

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Muslim Activists At CAIR Ordered To Trial For Fraud

June 24, 2016

The national Council on American-Islamic Relations, a self-described Muslim civil-rights group that previously was named by the FBI as a front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, has been ordered to stand trial over its potential liability for a fake lawyer it hired and allegedly should have controlled.

The case dates back to 2010 when WND reported legal action was brought by several Muslims who alleged the Washington-based national CAIR organization was aware its “resident attorney” and “manager for civil rights” at its now-defunct Maryland-Virginia chapter, Morris Days, was not an attorney.

DAays, according to the complaint, failed to provide legal services to Muslims who came to CAIR for help even though he accepted fees.

The complaint alleged CAIR purposefully conspired with Days to keep the clients from discovering that their legal matters were being mishandled or not handled at all, according to attorney David Yerushalmi, who is representing the five plaintiffs, three of whom are Muslims.

The case had been dismissed earlier at the district court level, but a panel of judges at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided there are issues that a trial must resolve.

“We find that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether or not Morris Days was the agent of CAIR National,” the ruling said. “We reverse the judgment of the district court and remand for further proceedings.”

See the inside report on CAIR’s real reason for existence.

The ruling said, “It would be reasonable to infer based on these facts, taken together, that CAIR National had the ability to control Days, and in fact exerted that control.”

The opinion cited the “bad acts” of Morris Days, aka Jamil Days, “who held himself out to the public as a civil rights attorney working for the regional chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network … when he was not, in fact, a lawyer.”

The American Freedom Law Center, which is defending the plaintiffs, said CAIR must “stand trial and allow a jury to hear all of the evidence of the massive fraud and attempted cover up carried out by CAIR and perpetrated against hundreds of CAIR fraud victims.”

“The court of appeals not only reversed the trial court, sending the case back for a jury trial, but it carefully went through each fact we argued Judge [Paul] Friedman either dismissed out-of-hand or ignored completely to justify his clearly erroneous ruling, explaining further why each fact supports our claims against CAIR,” said David Yerushalmi, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, whose cases have been consolidated.

The opinion was from Judge Sri Srinivasan, often mentioned as one of the judges on the president’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court, with Judge Robert Wilkins and Judge Douglas Ginsburg.

CAIR, the law firm noted, was identified as a front group during the Holy Land Foundation terror fundraising trial. A number of its staffers also have been charged or convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

Days allegedly acted as an attorney even though he wasn’t and “CAIR knew of this fraud and purposefully conspired with Days to keep the CAIR clients from discovering that their legal matters were being mishandled or not handled at all.”

The organization even “purposefully concealed the truth about Days from their clients, law enforcement, the Virginia and D.C. state bar associations, and the media,” the case alleges.

“CAIR engaged in a massive criminal fraud in which literally hundreds of CAIR clients have been victimized. In his ruling, Judge Friedman inexplicably ignored material facts that establish CAIR National’s liability and then engaged in a transparently disingenuous ‘weighing’ of the factual evidence he did address, which is patently improper when evaluating cross-motions for summary judgment. We are thankful that the appeals court has rectified the trial court’s errors. Now, at long last, our clients will go before a jury and get their day in court,” Yerushalmi said.

The appeals court explained Days originally was hired to perform “non-legal advocacy,” but soon started “to misrepresent to CAIR, to the public, and to his CAIR-VA clients, that he was an attorney and was licensed to practice law.”

He started taking fees for his work, and “later admitted that he used this money for his personal enrichment,” the ruling said.

CAIR officials found out, and told him to return the money, but did “no other investigation,” the ruling said, until the same problem recurred.

“Plaintiffs have also presented evidence that a reasonable jury could rely on to conclude that CAIR National maintained the power to control Days, and Days was thus CAIR’s agent,” the judges wrote.

See the inside report on CAIR’s real reason for existence.

Rogues’ gallery of terror-tied CAIR leaders

As former FBI agent Mike Rolf acknowledges in the book “Muslim Mafia,” CAIR has had “a number of people in positions of power within the organization that have been directly connected to terrorism and have either been prosecuted or thrown out of the country.”

According to another FBI veteran familiar with recent and ongoing cases involving CAIR officials, “Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters.”

A review of the public record, including federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals that CAIR has been associated with a number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations. The list is long and includes:

Ghassan Elashi: One of CAIR’s founding directors, he was convicted in 2004 of illegally shipping high-tech goods to terror state Syria and is serving 80 months in prison. He was also convicted of providing material support to Hamas in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook.

Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director’s home was raided in 2006 by FBI agents in connection with an active terrorism investigation. Agents also searched the offices of his advocacy group, Focus on Advocacy and Advancement of International Relations, which al-Hanooti operates out of Dearborn, Mich., and Washington, D.C. Al-Hanooti, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq, formerly helped run a suspected Hamas terror front called LIFE for Relief and Development. Its Michigan offices also were raided in September 2006. In 2004, LIFE’s Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files and computers. Al-Hanooti is related to Sheik Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

“Al-Hanooti collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,” according to a 2001 FBI report, and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a secret Hamas fundraising summit held in 1993 at a Philadelphia hotel. Prosecutors added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.

Although Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, he has praised Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs” who are “alive in the eyes of Allah.”

Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining that bin Laden hadn’t killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, was one of al-Qaida’s top fundraisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Siraj Wahhaj: A member of CAIR’s board of advisers, Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The radical Brooklyn imam was close to convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and defended him during his trial.

“Muslim Mafia,” citing co-author’s Sperry’s previous book “Infiltration” as well as terror expert Steven Emerson’s research, reports that Wahhaj, a black convert to Islam, is converting gang members to Islam and holding “jihad camps” for them. With a combination of Islam and Uzis, he has said, the street thugs will be a powerful force for Islam the day America “will crumble.”

Wahhaj was a key speaker at CAIR’s 15th annual fund-raising banquet in Arlington, Virginia, in 2009.

Randall “Ismail” Royer: The former CAIR communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator is serving 20 years in prison in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network, which he led while employed by CAIR at its Washington headquarters. The group trained to kill U.S. soldiers overseas, cased the FBI headquarters and cheered the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. Al-Qaida operative Ahmed Abu Ali, convicted of plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, was among those who trained with Royer’s Northern Virginia cell.

Bassam Khafagi: Another CAIR official, Khafagi was arrested in 2003 while serving as CAIR’s director of community affairs. He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming from a federal counter-terror probe of his leadership role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, which has supported al-Qaida and advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to his native Egypt.

Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after 9/11 as part of an investigation into terrorist financing, money laundering and tax fraud. Her husband Mohammed Jaghlit, a key leader in the Saudi-backed SAAR network, is a target of the still-active probe. Jaghlit sent two letters accompanying donations – one for $10,000, the other for $5,000 – from the SAAR Foundation to Sami al-Arian, now a convicted terrorist. In each letter, according to a federal affidavit, “Jaghlit instructed al-Arian not to disclose the contribution publicly or to the media. “Investigators suspect the funds were intended for Palestinian terrorists via a U.S. front called WISE, which at the time employed an official who personally delivered a satellite phone battery to Osama bin Laden. The same official also worked for Jaghlit’s group.In addition, Jaghlit donated a total of $37,200 to the Holy Land Foundation, which prosecutors say is a Hamas front. Jaghlit subsequently was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.

Nihad Awad: Wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR’s executive director at the Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists in 1993 that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving. During the meeting, according to FBI transcripts, Awad was recorded discussing the propaganda effort. He mentions Ghassan Dahduli, whom he worked with at the time at the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Hamas front. Both were IAP officers. Dahduli’s name also was listed in the address book of bin Laden’s personal secretary, Wadi al-Hage, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the U.S. embassy bombings. Dahduli, an ethnic-Palestinian like Awad, was deported to Jordan after 9/11 for refusing to cooperate in the terror investigation. (An April 28, 2009, letter from FBI assistant director Richard C. Powers to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. – which singles out CAIR chief Awad for suspicion – explains how the group’s many Hamas connections caused the FBI to sever ties with CAIR.)Awad’s and Dahduli’s phone numbers are listed in a Muslim Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing “important phone numbers” for the “Palestine Section” of the Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit showed Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.

Omar Ahmad: U.S. prosecutors also named CAIR’s founder and chairman emeritus as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Ahmad, too, was placed at the Philadelphia meeting, FBI special agent Lara Burns testified at the trial. Prosecutors also designated him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Palestine Committee” in America. Ahmad, like his CAIR partner Awad, is ethnic-Palestinian.(Though both Ahmad and Awad were senior leaders of IAP, the Hamas front, neither of their biographical sketches posted on CAIR’s website mentions their IAP past.

Nabil Sadoun: A CAIR board member, Sadoun has served on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which investigators believe to be a key Hamas front in America. In fact, Sadoun co-founded UASR with Hamas leader Marzook. The Justice Department added UASR to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case. UPDATE: In 2010, Sadoun was ordered deported to his native Jordan. An immigration judge referenced Sadoun’s relationship with Hamas and the Holy Land Foundation during a deportation hearing.

Mohamed Nimer: CAIR’s research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S. CAIR neglects to mention Nimer’s and Sadoun’s roles in UASR in their bios.

Rafeeq Jaber: A founding director of CAIR, Jaber was the long-time president of the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2002, a federal judge found that “the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas.” In his capacity as IAP chief, Jaber praised Hezbollah attacks on Israel. He also served on the board of a radical mosque in the Chicago area.

Rabith Hadid: The CAIR fundraiser was a founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was blacklisted by the Treasury Department for financing al-Qaida and other terror groups. Its assets were frozen in December 2001. Hadid was arrested on terror-related charges and deported to Lebanon in 2003.

Hamza Yusuf: The FBI investigated the CAIR board member after 9/11, because just two days before the attacks, he made an ominous prediction to a Muslim audience.”This country is facing a terrible fate, and the reason for that is because this country stands condemned,” Yusuf warned. “It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget, Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands.”

wnd.com/2016/06/muslim-activists-at-cair-ordered-to-trial-for-fraud/

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Africa

Brazilian banned because it's 'not halaal

25 Jun '16

Cape Town - Muslims have been banned from using one of the most popular hair smoothing treatments in South Africa.

This comes after an SA National Halaal Authority (Sanha) probe declared it interfered with the obligatory ablution and ritual bathing necessary before prayers or other acts of worship.

The treatment, Brasil Cacau, offers frizz-free, shiny and easy-to-manage hair, but Sanha said it wasn’t halaal because it created an “impermeable coating” which prevented water from reaching the hair shaft.

The issue has been referred to Islamic jurists across South Africa and, once their rulings are made, Sanha’s theological committee will make a formal pronouncement, its spokesman confirmed.

In the interim, it has advised Muslims to avoid the product.

The warning is likely to have a negative impact on South Africa’s hair industry.

Stats SA says Islam makes up the country’s largest minority religion.

Aron Collins, spokeswoman for Hair Health and Beauty in Johannesburg which imports the brand, said Brasil Cacau was the most widely used treatment of its kind in South Africa.

While BR Beauty Cosmeticos in Brazil and the Brasil Cacau international store disputed that the product coated the hair, Collins said: “Keratin smoothing does, when first applied, form a coating on the hair which limits the amount of water that is allowed to penetrate the hair.”

But the coating was only partially impervious, she said.

“As a consequence, when rinsed in water, the hair still gets adequately wet and can be washed.

“If it were an impervious coating, water would run off the hair and it would remain dry.

“That is not the case as hair does get wet and the hair acts like wet hair, much the same as if it had not had the keratin treatment.”

She said the coating started to wear off one to two weeks after application and, “with that, water penetration into the hair increases”.

Wear and tear and the use of purifying or clarifying shampoos could speed the process.

Of Cacau’s ECOkeratin treatment, which is marketed as formaldehyde free, Collins said keratin systems worked in a similar manner. Sanha’s decision was based on information obtained from the manufacturers, spokesman Ebi Lockhat said this week.

“The information was supplied by the manufacturer’s agent in South Africa following our inquiry directly to the manufacturer in Brazil.

“With the language barrier and the need for technical information, they believed their agent was best placed to discuss and supply the information.

“After discussions and meetings, we accepted (the product’s) non-permeability.” He said Sanha had reconfirmed the facts with them a week ago.

Other brands of keratin treatments and methods of hair straightening were still being investigated.

“In Islam, the golden rule is to exercise caution where there is doubt,” said Lockhat.

“We have accordingly been asking people to abstain while we await a response.”

Cornel Botha, who has trained stylists on the Brasil Cacau application process, has used the brand for six years.

She said other options could include relaxers, a device named a Steampod which straightens hair using a continuous flow of high pressure steam, flat irons with keratin-infused plates, nano hairdryers, ionic hairdryers or thermal styling brushes.

But she conceded these would not produce the same results as keratin smoothing treatments.

She said some of the newer relaxers did not contain the harsh chemicals of the older ones.

For women wanting to strip Brasil Cacau from the hair, she suggested using a shampoo containing salt, swimming in the sea or a salt water pool, or using an Epsom salts solution to rinse the hair.

The more often salt was used, the quicker the product would be removed. Jonathan Lieman of Marica Solutions said most Brazilian treatments worked similarly, but there were differences in the formula between brands.

“The idea of a keratin-based treatment is for the hair to absorb the extra keratin in order to strengthen the hair and, therefore, achieve less frizz and healthier, shinier hair.

“There are chemicals in the treatment that are said to coat the hair during application, but this is more in a sense of sealing the cuticles to avoid the keratin from coming out of the hair.

“When the hair stylist uses the iron at the end of the treatment to seal the hair, they are locking in the treatment and not ironing the treatment to the surface of the hair.”

He conceded, however, Sanha was the authority on how this seal affected Muslims.

The Inoar brand works on the same principle as the Cacau brand, according to the company’s national sales and marketing manager, Karen Botha, but the coating created could be penetrated by water.

While she conceded Inoar was not certified halaal, she said she would look into the possibility of having the brand scrutinised by halaal authorities.

She added the brand was used in the Middle East, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries with large Muslim populations.

iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/brazilian-banned-because-its-not-halaal-2038511

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/gaza-based-pro-isis-group-urges-muslims-on-social-media-to-donate-for-weapons/d/107763

 

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