Forum Panellists Accuse Selangor Islamic Religious Department of Harassing,
Intimidating Female Activists
Mps Back Constitution Changes to Extend Sisi Rule
Security Council Denounces Taliban’s Spring Offensive
Hints At Involvement of Foreign Hand in Deadly Attack on Hazaras
Trump Vetoes Bill To End US Support For Saudi Led Yemen War
Legislature Labels US Troops in Mideast as Terrorist
Chief Demands Ahmadiya Muslims Be Declared As Non-Muslims
of Afghan Delegates To Meet With Taliban In Doha
in Kunduz province kill 4 Taliban militants
mocks government over list of 250 delegates for Qatar talks
toll rises to 18 in Taliban, ISIS-K infighting in Nangarhar
militants suffer heavy casualties in week-long operations in Zabul
Widodo Looks Set For Comfortable Win in Muslim Majority Indonesia
metal band's Easter concert cancelled in Malaysia
police: 4 wives of Abu Sayyaf commanders arrested
Al-Sha'abi Goes on Alert along Iraq-Syria Key Road to Block ISIL Penetration
court sentences Islamists to five years in prison
Abdul-Mahdi rejects US claim about IRGC role in Iraqi economy
FM demands restoration of Syria’s Arab League membership
grows in Syrian town once besieged by Islamic State
Spreads Anti-Muslim Rhetoric after Notre Dame Fire
Court Grants Early Release to Would-Be Islamic State Bride
rejects Israeli claim to Golan, other occupied territory
Zealand disarms police as terror threat level lowered
police ban anti-Muslim provocateur’s protest
Worrying Response By Muslims To The New Zealand Terrorist Attack: A Secular
Killed In Peshawar Operation Belonged To TTP, Says Police
vows to resist move for presidential system
‘TTP men’ killed in 17-hour Peshawar gun battle
Omar is ‘disrespectful’ to US and ‘disrespectful’ to Israel: Trump
US defense chiefs hold talks in Washington
briefs Pompeo on Afghan peace talks
Foreign Minister Zarif in Damascus ahead of talks in Kazakhstan
politician backs Netanyahu but tough coalition talks ahead
Assad denounces US for blacklisting Iran’s IRGC
top diplomat in Turkey to discuss Syria, Libya
grabs Palestinian land, isolates villages in Jordan Valley
of Army Action As Sudan Protesters Toughen Stand
Protesters Slam Arab Backing Of Military Council
least four people killed in heavy shelling in Libya's Tripoli
says Sudan new regime can exit terror list if progress made
military ruler sacks prosecutor general
gov't says held pro-Haftar soldiers in Tripoli
forces attack pro-Hafter camp in southern Libya
Seizes Rs 6-Crore Assets of Kashmiri Businessman Who Funded Hurriyat
Pakistan officials hold technical meeting on Kartarpur corridor
by New Age Islam News Bureau
chief Shah Ahmed Shafi has demanded the Ahmadiyya Muslim community—also known
as Qadianis—be declared as non-Muslims
stated his demand and remarks on Ahmadiya Muslim community on the grounds of
Bir Muktijoddha Sirajul Islam Stadium in Panchagarh over a Islamic convention.
written speech was read by his son Anas Madani.
demand to declare the Qadianis as non-Muslims is part of being a Muslim. Those
who think Qadianis as muslim they are non-Muslim. Those who don't believe
Qadianis are Qafir are also Qafir," said Shafi.
the speech Shafi intensely criticized Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon
who supported Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
Previously on February 13, Shafi made the same demand
during a press briefing at a madrasa, in Chittagong.
LUMPUR, April 17 — The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) is abusing
its power to harass and intimidate female activists, said three women currently
being investigated by the agency for a forum on Malay women and discarding the
a joint statement, the three women said they are ready to cooperate with
authorities, but unequivocally insisted that they have not broken any laws in the
condemn this unnecessary investigation as abuse of power to harass and
intimidate women activists who are speaking up on issues affecting women, and
organisers for intellectual discussions that do not serve the status quo.
implore the public and the authorities to explore the subject at hand with
rational thinking and dialogue, as we believe in healthy discourse and the
defense of democratic spaces for all minorities in Malaysia,” they said in the
all do our part to stop a culture of misinformation and fear of intellectual
discourse,” they added.
trio consists of activist and writer Maryam Lee, legal professional and social
media commentator Dian Sofia, and journalist and women’s rights activist Mohani
were panellists in a forum in conjunction with the launching of Maryam’s book
event organised by publisher and book store Gerakbudaya received backlash from
some Muslims on social media, after positively presenting the perspectives and opinions
of several Malay women who “dehijab”, or no longer cover their hair.
trio said the three-hour discussion was an intellectual discourse based on the
women’s lived realities, looking at the phenomenon from sociological and
historical perspectives, alongside discussions on the socio-political realities
of Malaysian girls and women today.
to them, the backlash on social media only started a day after the event, which
had ended on a positive note.
comments of the event largely came from those who did not attend the
discussion, as a result, they spread misinformation of what was being discussed
and distorted perceptions of the book, the author, and the panelists,” they
trio said they were only informed of the investigation via a statement by
minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa on Facebook
Tuesday morning, Jais officers had visited Gerakbudaya to obtain copies of the
book and interview the store’s representative, in response to reports against
the event lodged with them.
are differing views among Muslim scholars as to whether it is obligatory for
Muslim women to cover their hair as part of the aurat, or “intimate parts”.
MPs back constitution changes to extend Sisi rule
of Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday approved changes to the constitution that will
allow President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030, state media
changes to extend presidential terms are part of amendments initially
introduced in February by a parliamentary bloc supportive of al-Sisi and
updated this week after several rounds of debates.
president’s current term shall expire at the end of six years from the date of
his election as president in 2018,” reported the official Al-Ahram news website
and broadcaster Nile TV.
can be re-elected for another (six-year) term.”
approved other sweeping changes to the constitution including allowing the
military a greater influence in Egyptian political life as well as granting
Sisi greater control over the judiciary.
final votes on all the amendments package have yet to be tallied,” MP Mohamed
Abu Hamed told AFP.
amendments are expected to be put to a public referendum later this month.
parliament, which is packed with Sisi supporters, was elected in 2015.
former military chief, Sisi became president in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018
with more than 97 percent of the vote, after standing virtually unopposed.
Security Council denounces Taliban’s spring offensive
United Nations Security Council has denounced the Taliban’s launch of a spring
offensive in Afghanistan, urging all parties to instead “seize the opportunity”
to reach a political settlement.
UNSC said in a unanimous statement on Monday that the Taliban’s announcement of
the new offensive would “only result in more unnecessary suffering and
destruction for the Afghan people.”
Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States are permanent members
of the Security Council. Belgium, Cote d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, the
Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland, and South Africa
are the other members.
Taliban announced the beginning of their spring offensive on Friday.
after the announcement, the militants launched attacks near the northern city
of Kunduz and in the capital, Kabul, leaving at least nine people dead and
scores of others wounded, according to Afghan officials.
offensive comes despite the group’s involvement in peace talks with the US, and
ahead of a new round of negotiations.
last round of talks between the US and Taliban wrapped up last month, with both
sides citing “progress.”
Taliban have so far refused to negotiate with the government of President
Ashraf Ghani, who has said talks should include Kabul.
round of negotiations is expected to take place later this month in Qatar,
where the Taliban have a political office, and will include representatives
from a variety of Afghan groups.
UNSC “called on all parties to the conflict to seize the opportunity to begin
an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations that result in a political
settlement,” according to the Monday statement.
special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, condemned the
announcement of the offensive as “reckless” and “irresponsible.”
Ghani announced his government’s own spring offensive, dubbed Operation Khalid,
against the militant group last month.
Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the US invasion of the country in 2001; but, 18 years on,
Washington is seeking truce with the militants, who still control large swathes
of land in the country.
hints at involvement of foreign hand in deadly attack on Hazaras
Minister of State for Interior Shaheryar Khan Afridi on Tuesday hinted at
involvement of foreign elements in the recent attack on members of the Hazara
community in Quetta.
at a press conference at his office, he said the government had taken all
necessary steps and would soon place the facts regarding the Hazarganji suicide
attack before the nation and the world.
enemies always tried to isolate us in the world and we will expose them with
facts,” he remarked.
the press conference, he was flanked by some representatives of the Hazara
community and members of the All Siyasi Ittihad of Waziristan.
to heal the wounds of the Shia Hazara community, the minister said both the
federal and Balochistan governments had assured its leaders that their
grievances would be addressed.
Afridi said that on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan he along with
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari had
visited Balochistan to condole with the bereaved families of the community and
hear their grievances.
said the federal government stood with the Hazara community and concrete steps
would be taken to end the crimes against its members.
community’s members ended their protest sit-in in Quetta despite many
reservations, he said, adding that all key stakeholders — including the political
parties, chief minister of Balochistan and the armed forces — played their role
in persuading them to end the protest.
Hazara community’s members just told us that we are Pakistanis and we must be
considered as Pakistanis. It is the vision of the prime minister that whatever
sects he/she comes from, the protection of life and prosperity is the
responsibly of the state,” he said.
a question, he said that no written agreement had been signed with members of
further said the civil and military leaderships and all other stakeholders were
united and “on the same page” to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.
minister said the National Action Plan (NAP) would be implemented in letter and
spirit. “The government has taken concert measures to implement NAP and has
formed expert groups to submit reports to it for improvement in the
counterterrorism plan,” he said, adding that professionals had been included in
Afridi said that no one would be allowed to take the law into his/her hands and
appropriate steps were being taken in this regard. “There will be no compromise
on the law and the Constitution,” he remarked.
made it clear that the state would act against all those who were bringing a
bad name to the country. Effective steps would be taken to curb terrorism and
Afridi said the visa policy announced by the government would play an important
role in improving the tourism industry and create a conducive environment for
investment in the country. “We have opened doors to visit different parts of
Pakistan,” he said, adding that earlier tourists were facing problems to visit
various parts of the country.
to a question, he said that Pakistani prisoners in Saudi Arabia would be released
said the government had assured members of the All Siyasi Ittihad of Waziristan
that their legitimate demands would be met soon.
had called for steps for rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons as
well as bringing back the people who had gone to Afghanistan during the
minister said that over 5,800 people of Waziristan had moved to Afghanistan
during the operation and the Afghan government had been contacted in this
President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a resolution from Congress directing
him to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the second such move of
resolution was a harsh bipartisan rebuke to Trump that took the historic step
of curtailing a president's war-making powers - a step he condemned in a statement
announcing his veto.
resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional
authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service
members, both today and in the future," Trump said.
veto was the second of his presidency, after he overrode a congressional
resolution that aimed to reverse the border emergency he declared in order to
secure more funding for his wall between the United States and Mexico in March.
the measure is an "effective green light for the war strategy that has
created the world's worst humanitarian crisis to continue," said
International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband.
is at a breaking point with 10 million people on the brink of famine. There are
as many as 100 civilian casualties per week, and Yemenis are more likely to be
killed at home than in any other structure." Trump argued that US support
for the bloody war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-aligned
Huthi rebels was necessary for a variety of reasons, "first and
foremost" to "protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans
who reside in certain coalition countries." These countries "have
been subject to Huthi attacks from Yemen," he said, referring to drone and
missile strikes the Saudi-led coalition has either claimed were intercepted or
president also said the resolution would "harm the foreign policy of the
United States" and "harm our bilateral relationships."
it would "negatively affect our ongoing efforts to prevent civilian
casualties and prevent the spread of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, and embolden Iran's malign activities in
Yemen," Trump said, referring to two Sunni Muslim militant groups and his
Shiite bete noire.
resolution, which passed the US House of Representatives earlier this month and
the Senate in March, was a historic milestone, as it was the first time in
history that a measure invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution reached the
argued that US involvement in the Yemen conflict - through
intelligence-sharing, logistical support and nowdiscontinued aerial refueling -
is unconstitutional without congressional authority.
of the House Nancy Pelosi - the country's most senior Democratic politician -
took aim at Trump's veto in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the
conscience of the entire world," Pelosi wrote. "Yet the President has
cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress
& perpetuate America's shameful involvement in this heartbreaking
crisis." Senator Bernie Sanders, a lead author of the Yemen resolution and
a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, said that "the people of Yemen
desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs."
am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bi-partisan
resolution to end U.S. involvement in the horrific war in Yemen," Sanders
of the intervention warn that Saudi forces are likely using US weapons to
commit atrocities in the four-year war.
10,000 people have been killed in Yemen over the past four years, according to
the World Health Organization, although rights groups say the toll could be
five times higher.
the Saudi-led alliance and Huthi rebels have been accused of acts that could
amount to war crimes, while the coalition has been blacklisted by the United
Nations for killing and maiming children.
legislature labels US troops in Mideast as terrorist
Iran’s lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill labelling US forces
in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after the US terrorism designation for
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect, state TV reported.
Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill authorising the government to act
firmly in response to “terrorist actions” by US forces. It demands authorities
use “legal, political and diplomatic” measures to neutralise the American move,
US move aims at “thwarting Iran’s influence,” and shows that America’s
longstanding sanctions against Iran have become ineffective, Hatami told
the debate, some hard-liner lawmakers had demanded listing the entire US army
and security forces as terrorist.
TV report said 204 lawmakers approved the bill, out of 207 present at the
session in the 290-seat chamber. Two lawmakers voted against the bill and one
it remains unclear how the bill’s passage in parliament would affect the
Gourd’s activities in the Persian Gulf, where the US Navy has in the past
accused Iranian patrol boats of harassing American warships.
Revolutionary Guard has forces and wields influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and
Yemen, and is in charge of Iranian missiles that have US bases in their range.
Guard’s designation the first-ever for an entire division of another government
adds another layer of sanctions to the powerful paramilitary force and makes it
a crime under US jurisdiction to provide it with material support.
of Afghan delegates to meet with Taliban in Doha
Afghanistan published Tuesday a lengthy list of delegates who will meet with
the Taliban in Doha this week, including government officials, in what could
become the highest-level dialogue between the sworn enemies in years.
massive roster published by the presidential palace comprises 250 names,
including President Ashraf Ghani's chief of staff, Abdul Salam Rahimi, as well
as his election running mate, Amrullah Saleh, the former head of Afghan
delegates named on the list come from many walks of Afghan life including youth
leaders, tribal elders and — significantly — 52 women.
last time the Taliban met with the Afghan government was at secretive talks in
Pakistan in 2015, which were quickly derailed by the news that Afghan Taliban
leader Mullah Omar had died.
three days of talks in Qatar, scheduled to start Friday, come amid a
months-long push led by Washington for peace nearly 18 years after the US
invasion, and as fresh violence rips across Afghanistan.
contact between the Kabul government and the Taliban is seen as hugely
significant, because the insurgents view Ghani as a US stooge and his
government as a puppet regime, and have long refused to speak with them
have insisted that any government officials attending this week's talks will be
doing so only in a "personal capacity".
US, which has cited significant progress after holding direct talks with the
militants in Doha several times since September, is not expected to attend.
militants have not announced a final list of who is headed to Doha, and
distanced themselves from a report that suggested their delegation might also
peace process thus far has been widely criticised for a lack of female
representation, and US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has pushed for greater
the Taliban previously met with Afghan representatives and politicians in
Moscow in February, those talks did not include members of Ghani's government.
spokesman for former president Hamid Karzai, who was at the Moscow talks, said
Karzai supported the "intra-Afghan" conference in Doha but would not
has also been left out of the talks with the Khalilzad and the US delegation,
prompting concerns the Afghan government is being sidelined in its own peace
process and underscoring the importance of this week's meetings in Doha.
month, the United Nations said it had lifted travel bans for 11 Taliban
delegates so they could attend talks.
list includes Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Islamist movement
and its top political leader, as well as Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the
Taliban's chief negotiator and former deputy minister of foreign affairs.
Taliban last week announced the start of Operation Fath, this year's spring
offensive, and violence has continued apace across Afghanistan despite
Khalilzad calling for a ceasefire.
least four Taliban militants were killed in the airsrikes which were carried
out in norther Kunduz province, the military sources said Tuesday.
sources further added that the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of
comes as Taliban militants intensified their attacks on Kunduz and some other
key northern provinces soon after announcing their spring offensive early on
the Afghan military says the attacks were repulsed leaving at least 179
militants dead and dozens more wounded.
209th Shaheen Corps in a statement said Monday that the militants were killed
during the clashes in Badakhshan, Kunduz, Baghlan, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, and Faryab
statement further added that 77 militants including their 6 commanders were
also wounded during the same clashes.
Taliban group has mocked the Afghan government over the list of 250 delegates
for Qatar talks, saying ‘the creators of the list must realize that this is an
orderly and prearranged conference in a far-away Gulf country and not an
invitation to some wedding or other party at a hotel in Kabul.’
group has also claimed that the government has fears regarding such gatherings
and progress made in peace efforts.
Kabul administration has published a list of 250 participants for the said
conference but the hosts of this conference have no plans of accepting so many
people from Kabul and neither is such participation normal in such
conferences,” Taliban said in a statement earlier today.
statement further added that “Only a limited number of political and national
figures from this list are selected for the finalized list and only they shall
government on Tuesday released the initial list of individuals who are due to
participate in talks with the Taliban group in Qatar.
spokesperson Shah Hussain Murtazawi sid the individuals have been introduced by
political parties, intendent political figures, and other institutions and
Afghan military in the East has confirmed that the death toll from infighting
among Taliban and ISIS Khurasan militants in Nangarhar province has climbed to
18 on Tuesday.
201st Silab Corps said at least 12 Taliban and 6 ISIS Khurasan militants were
killed during the infighting which erupted on Monday.
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said Tuesday that the
clash broke out in Haidar Keli, Asman Kala, Ibrahim Khel, and Wadi Sar areas of
Khogyani district on Monday.
had earlier said that eight militants of the Red Unit of Taliban and four ISIS
Khurasan militants were killed during the clash.
Afghan military in the South and the Ministry of Defense have confirmed that
Taliban militants have suffered heavy casualties during the operations in
southern Zabul province in past one week.
to the statements released by 205th Corps of the Afghan Military and the
Ministry Defense, the 2nd Brigade, 205th Hero Corps conducted clearing
operations this past week in Mezan, Shah Joi, and Daichopan areas of Zabul
province as part of the new security plan Operation Khalid.
statements further added that that the operations were jointly conducted with
the Afghan Police police and the National Directorate of Security leaving 20
Taliban militants dead dead, 13 wounded while 5 IEDs were discovered and
the 205th Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Emam Nazar spoke about hopes for
peace at a recent graduation for the Afghan National Army territorial force
since there has been an increase of violence from the Taliban since the
announcement of their spring offensive.
Lamb in Jakarta
17 Apr 2019
Widodo looks likely to have secured a comfortable win over his rival in
Indonesian elections, according to unofficial “quick counts”.
counts, conducted by several credible polling agencies, show the incumbent
president ahead of his political rival, the former Special Forces commander
Prabowo Subianto, by almost 9 percentage points.
have seen everything from the exit poll and quick count indications, but we
must be patient and wait for calculations from the KPU officially,” Jokowi said
on Wednesday, referring the national elections commission.
us reunite as brothers and sisters of the country after this election,
establish our harmony and brotherhood.”
official results of the election – a mammoth logistical undertaking in a nation
stretched across thousands of islands – are not expected for another month but
the unofficial quick counts, based on samples of votes, have proved to be
reliable early indicators in the past.
quick count from the survey institute Litbang Kompas, based on a sample of
almost 75% of votes, placed the president, better known by his nickname
“Jokowi”, and his running mate, the Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin, with 54.19% of
the vote, and Prabowo and the former investment manager Sandiaga Uno with
poll by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), based on a
sample of 86% of the vote, echoed these findings, showing Jokowi and Ma’ruf
ahead with 55.75%.
election is the first time the world’s third-largest democracy has held
simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, and despite some hiccups
the process appeared to run smoothly in most areas.
festive and celebratory atmosphere dominated polling stations across the
capital, with voters proudly showing off purple-stained fingers, dipped in
indelible ink after voting.
booths across the city were decorated in red and white cloth, the colours of
the Indonesian flag, as well as flowers and balloons, while some stations
adopted fancy dress attire, with people dressing as superheroes and zombies.
Dyah Widarti, a volunteer for Jokowi, spent her morning cycling around various
polling stations in south Jakarta to check on the voting process. “People are
enthusiastic, smiling, and it’s been smooth,” she said.
said she strongly supported the president because he “has a vision, is sincere
and works hard”.
has high integrity and is honest and he doesn’t have a problematic background,
or any baggage,” she said, “There is already evidence of his leadership, from
when he was Solo mayor, Jakarta governor and also a president. He has built a
lot of infrastructure and not just for Jakarta, but all over Indonesia, for all
president, Jokowi has impressed voters with his commitment to building
infrastructure and expanding social welfare, but has drawn criticism for
failing to address past human rights abuses and chronic corruption, and most
recently for leveraging the state apparatus, including law enforcement agencies
and Islamic groups, to solidify his support base.
the lead-up to the election some voters, disillusioned with the president and
also unimpressed with the challenger, a former general accused of human rights
abuses including in East Timor, had vowed to “golput”, or abstain, in protest.
on who should lead the country appeared divided in the capital on Wednesday,
with many voters saying they would remain at polling stations to watch the
open-air vote count and ensure it was transparent. “Should be tight, maybe
50/50,” said Bambang Sukanto, a council worker, at one Jakarta polling station.
“So we are going to watch and see.”
one of the only remaining democratic bright spots in south-east Asia, the
election campaign has been marked by a deluge of fake news, and in the world’s
largest Muslim-majority nation, attempts by the candidates to outdo each other
in displays of religiosity.
Jokowi has for months maintained a double-digit lead, there had been a feeling
on the ground that it could be a closer race than predicted. In the bitterly
divisive election of 2014, Jokowi defeated Prabowo by 6 percentage points.
the quick count results, the Prabowo camp is claiming its exit poll shows the
former general won by 55.4%.
recent months the opposition has also claimed the integrity of the electoral
list is undermined by the existence of millions of “ghost” voters – a move some
analysts believe indicates it is laying the groundwork for a legal challenge if
to reporters near his home in Bogor, West Java, after voting, Prabowo said he
could not guarantee there would not be any post-election chaos, but said it
would not come from his team.
promise that we will work for the good of the country. If it’s chaos, it’s not
from us, that I guarantee,” he said. “But, we don’t want to be cheated any
more. People don’t want to be cheated any more.”
the archipelago there were also several logistical hiccups. In some areas of
West Papua ballot papers did not reach remote areas in time, with the vote in
several subdistricts postponed until Thursday.
after a video was circulated last week allegedly showing bags of ballots pre-marked
for Jokowi in Kuala Lumpur, the elections commission has announced voting there
will be rescheduled, while an inundated overseas polling station in Sydney will
be reopened after hundreds of voters missed out.
heavy metal rock concert planned for Easter Sunday in Kuala Lumpur has been
canceled after outrage by the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) that it was
promoting an anti-Christian sentiment.
spokesman for the organizers, Goatlordth Records, said they were canceling the
show by Singapore black metal band Devouror as they do not want to get into trouble
with Malaysian authorities.
reversal follows objections to the concert by Reverend Herman Shastri,
secretary-general of the council, questioning the authorization of an
“anti-Christian and pro-Satanic” performance in the Muslim-majority multi-ethnic
CCM calls upon the relevant authorities to explain the basis for granting
permission to such bands that promote their music using extremely offensive and
denigrating language that can hurt the religious feelings of others,” he said
in a press release on April 15.
top of that, the live performance of the band will be on one of the holiest
days of the Christian calendar, namely Easter.
will be considered an affront to the religious sentiments of Christians in the
country,” Shastri had said.
Singaporean black metal band Devouror identifies itself as iconoclastic and
promotes itself for shock effect with brutish imagery.
the cancellation of the concert on its Facebook page last night, the organizers
said that they were “devastated that the Devouror’s Kuala Lumpur debut show has
to submit to its fate of cancellation”.
(the) organizer, we are frustrated that almost a year of effort has been
suppressed to nothing, as we intend no harm or beef with the righteous authority,”
Goatlordth Records said.
belittle the fans of extreme music with shameful judgment is scrutiny of your
own personal values,” they said.
Records also argued that “extreme music” by bands like Devouror which are
intended to be provocative is no different from other extreme genres of art
such as gory horror movies.
five-man band Devouror consists of veterans in Singapore’s black metal scene.
They describe their sound as “Bestial Deathcult Warfare” with influences from
metal bands such as Possessed, Sarcofago, Necrovore, Blasphemy, Death, and
complaint comes in the wake of a decision by neighboring Singapore’s decision
to cancel Swedish black metal band Watain on March 7, hours before it was due
to perform there.
authorities cited concerns over the band’s history of denigrating religions and
promoting violence. Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority
initially allowed the performance to take place.
cancellation followed security concerns raised by the Singaporean Ministry of
Home Affairs, who said the band’s performance had the potential to cause enmity
and disrupt the city state’s social harmony.
week, a concert called Sarawak Metal Regime originally scheduled for this
Saturday in Sarawak state was also canceled due to religious complaints.
Philippines: Philippine police on Tuesday arrested four women they said were
wives of Abu Sayyaf commanders who took care of their financial transactions,
helped procure guns and bomb parts and arranged the travels of foreign
militants to the country.
women were arrested in raids on houses in southern Zamboanga city where
authorities seized two grenades, a bag of suspected ammonium nitrate and
electrical parts that can be used in making bombs, police officials said.
women worked under Abu Sayyaf leader Hajjan Sawadjaan, the main suspect in the
Jan. 27 bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral during a Mass that killed 23
people in nearby Sulu province’s capital town of Jolo. The cathedral attack by
two suspected suicide bombers sparked the latest military offensive against the
women are the wives of Abu Sayyaf group leaders,” a police report said without
identifying the militant husbands of the women. They “are being utilized by the
ASG for their financial transactions, procurement and transportation of
firearms and explosives and the facilitation of recruitment and travel of
foreign fighters to the Philippines,” it said.
has been regarded as the current leader of small armed groups aligned with the
Daesh group in the southern Philippines, homeland of minority Muslims in the
largely Roman Catholic nation. Police officials suspect he may be harboring at
least one more potential suicide attacker, an Arab militant, in his jungle
encampment near mountainous Ptikul town in Sulu.
forces of divisions 17 and 18 of Iraq's Hashd al-Sha'abi have been stationed along
Akashat-al-Qaem international highway from al-Ratabeh Intersection to the West
of al-Anbar Province, the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted
commander of Hashd al-Sha'abi's Division 17 Jasem al-Nouri as saying on
noted that Hashd al-Sha'abi forces are in dominant control of security along
the international highway, and said his forces are prepared to confront the
ISIL from Syria towards Iraq's territories, including Wadi Houran region.
also said that Hashd al-Sha'abi has maintained security of 70 kilometers of the
international road upto Akashat.
reports said on Saturday that the US military men stationed in occupied bases
in al-Anbar province use the ISIL terrorists in disguise of ordinary people to
target the Iraqi forces in desert areas of the region.
of Badr Organization's Office in al-Anbar Qusai al-Anbari was quoted by
al-Ma'aloumeh news website as saying that the US forces deployed in Ein
al-Assad and al-Habaniyeh bases in al-Anbar deserts in Western Iraq are using a
new method to attack the Iraqi security forces.
added that they disguise the ISIL terrorists as shepherds and tribesmen to
launch on against the Iraqi security forces, Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular
forces) and civilians in al-Anbar desert.
said that the US forces have even prepared livestock for the ISIL terrorists to
disguise them as shepherds.
head of Badr organization's office in al-Anbar province had also last month
warned of the American forces' suspicious moves in the Western deserts of the
province, saying that the US was aiding the terrorists stationed in the region.
quoted al-Anbari as saying at the time that the Americans were assisting a
terrorist group called Ghosts of Desert in desert areas of al-Anbar, adding
that they had been airdropping foodstuff packages for the ISIL from helicopters
hovering over the region in the past few days.
He also warned that the US army was training
hundreds of ISIL terrorists in al-Anbar province after relocating them from
Syria to Iraq to prepare them for a new round of insecurities in the country.
Egyptian court has sentenced 36 people convicted of joining the outlawed Muslim
Brotherhood organization to five years in prison.
Alexandria criminal court on Tuesday also sentenced the defendants to five
years of probation. They were arrested in Alexandria in 2017.
sentences can be appealed.
Muslim Brotherhood won a series of elections following Egypt's 2011 uprising
but was branded a terrorist group after the military overthrew an elected but
divisive Islamist president in 2013. Since then, courts have held mass trials
and sentenced hundreds of people to death.
has resolutely refuted a recent US claim that Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards
Corps (IRGC) plays a part in the Arab country’s economic affairs, saying
Washington is lying about the role of the elite military force, which in fact
helped the Baghdad government defeat the terror group Daesh.
at a weekly presser on Wednesday, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi of Iraq
rejected as mere “lies” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s allegations that
“some 20 percent of the Iraqi economy is controlled by the IRGC.”
Iraqi premier expressed surprise at the US top diplomat’s claim and asserted
that the elite Iranian defense force was not engaged in any economic activity
Americans speak of “20 percent, 10 percent, five percent or whatever other
proportion…I don’t know how they have calculated these figures,” Abdul-Mahdi
enjoy advanced economic ties and business transactions with Iran, but this is
different from maintaining economic relations with the Corps,” he added.
week, the United States designated the IRGC as a “foreign terrorist
move – the first of its kind in US history – sparked global criticism, with
several states arguing that targeting another country’s military forces is
against international regulations.
designation drew strong criticism from Iraqi officials, personalities and
military groups, which had received advisory assistance from the IRGC in the
course of the Arab country’s anti-Daesh operations.
on Tuesday, a major Iraqi parliamentary bloc issued a statement, warning about
the US recent attempts at stoking tensions in the region, including its
blacklisting of the IRGC.
statement was issued by the Reform and Construction Alliance parliamentary
bloc, which is led by senior cleric Ammar al-Hakim and also features Hakim’s
fellow prominent cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Alliance Towards Reform (Saairun) as
well as former premier Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Alliance.
demanded that Iraq’s president, premier, and parliament speaker as well as other
political leaders hold an urgent meeting to address Washington’s push, and
adopt decisions to protect the country against such measures.
bloc also urged Baghdad to retain its policy of neutrality, and be mindful of
protecting the country’s integrity.
Baghdad’s request, the IRGC started providing military advisory support to
Iraq’s Army and allied volunteer fighters in its battle against Daesh in 2014,
when Daesh began its terror campaign.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has called for restoring Syria’s membership in
the Arab League, amid growing Arab overtures towards the Damascus government
now that the country seems to be on the verge of full victory against
time we meet, there is a vacant chair. ... It is not permissible for Syria to
remain outside the Arab fold,” Bassil said during a speech at the fifth
Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum in the Russian capital city of Moscow on
added, “Our Arab people are counting on us and are waiting for the Arab League
to play an essential role in bringing together Arabs and solving our many
top Lebanese diplomat then described the Middle East region’s list of issues as
“long and difficult,” but emphasized that addressing the Syrian crisis should
Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011, citing alleged
crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria denounced the move as
“illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on February 3 that his country will
eventually return to the Arab League, stressing that the Damascus government
will never surrender to blackmail or accept conditions for the restoration of
its membership to the regional organization.
who are trying to ignore Syria or to impose conditions for its return to the
Arab League will not succeed, since Syria will not surrender to blackmail and
is not primarily concerned with anything other than its domestic problems,”
added that certain anti-Syria decisions are being made by some Arab states on
the instructions of extra-regional powers.
Arab countries have recently stepped up efforts to normalize ties with Syria as
the country’s troops have been making sweeping gains against the foreign-backed
terrorists operating to topple the Damascus government.
issue of possible restoration of Syria’s membership in the Arab League comes
especially after a recent move by some Arab countries to re-open their
embassies in Damascus.
Foreign Ministry announced in a statement on December 28 last year that work at
the kingdom’s embassy in the Syrian Arab Republic was going on while the
embassy of the Syrian Arab Republic to Bahrain was carrying out its duties and
flights connecting the two countries were operational without interruption.
United Arab Emirates had earlier officially reopened its embassy in Damascus.
Syria (Reuters) - A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from
Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and
where the tide turned against the militants four years ago.
converts say the experience of war and the onslaught of a group claiming to
fight for Islam pushed them toward their new faith. After a number of families
converted, the Syrian-Turkish border town’s first evangelical church opened last
State militants were beaten back by U.S. air strikes and Kurdish fighters at
Kobani in early 2015, in a reversal of fortune after taking over swaths of Iraq
and Syria. After years of fighting, U.S.-backed forces fully ended the group’s
control over populated territory last month.
Islamic State’s ultra-radical interpretation of Sunni Islam has been repudiated
by the Islamic mainstream, the legacy of its violence has affected perceptions
in the mostly Kurdish areas of northern Syria, whose urban centers are often
secular, say agnosticism has strengthened and in the case of Kobani,
is one of the region’s minority faiths that was persecuted by Islamic State.
view the new converts with suspicion, accusing them of seeking personal gain
such as financial help from Christian organizations working in the region, jobs
and enhanced prospects of emigration to European countries.
newly-converted Christians of Kobani deny those accusations. They say their
conversion was a matter of faith.
the war with Islamic State people were looking for the right path, and
distancing themselves from Islam,” said Omar Firas, the founder of Kobani’s
evangelical church. “People were scared and felt lost.”
works for a Christian aid group at a nearby camp for displaced people that
helped set up the church.
said around 20 families, or around 80 to 100 people, in Kobani now worship
there. They have not changed their names.
meet on Tuesdays and hold a service on Fridays. It is open to anyone who wants
to join,” he said.
church’s current pastor, Zani Bakr, 34, arrived last year from Afrin, a town in
northern Syria. He converted in 2007.
was painted by IS as a religious conflict, using religious slogans. Because of
this a lot of Kurds lost trust in religion generally, not just Islam,” he said.
became atheist or agnostic. “But many others became Christian. Scores here and
more in Afrin.”
man, who lost an arm in an explosion in Kobani and fled to Turkey for medical
treatment, said he met Kurdish and Turkish converts there and eventually
decided to join them.
seemed happy and all talked about love. That’s when I decided to follow Jesus’s
teachings,” Maxim Ahmed, 22, said, adding that several friends and family were
now interested in coming to the new church.
in Kobani reject the growing Christian presence. They say Western Christian aid
groups and missionaries have exploited the chaos and trauma of war to convert
people and that local newcomers to the religion see an opportunity for personal
people think that they are somehow benefiting from this, maybe for material
gain or because of the perception that Christians who seek asylum abroad get
preferential treatment,” said Salih Naasan, a real estate worker and former
of Christians have fled the region over decades of sectarian strife. From Syria
they have often headed for Lebanon and European countries.
President Donald Trump in 2017 banned entry for all Syrian refugees
indefinitely and imposed a 90-day ban on travel from several other
predominantly Muslim countries.
might be a reaction to Daesh (Islamic State) but I don’t see the positives. It
just adds another religious and sectarian dimension which in a community like
this will lead to tension,” said Naasan, a practicing Muslim.
like the vast majority of Muslims rejects Islamic State’s narrow and brutal
interpretation of Islam. The group enslaved and killed thousands of people from
all faiths, reserving particular brutality for minorities such as the Yazidis
of northern Iraq.
Christians preferred not to give their names or be interviewed, saying they
fear reaction from conservative sectors of society.
spreads anti-Muslim rhetoric after Notre Dame fire
supporters have used the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in Paris to spread
xenophobic rhetoric on social media.
massive blaze that erupted on Monday in the French capital destroyed much of
the timber roof and toppled the spire of the cathedral, which was in the middle
of a $6.8m renovation.
fire was extinguished on Tuesday around 15 hours after it broke out.
are still investigating the reason behind the fire, but have ruled out arson.
media reported that the fire might have been linked to the renovation work. The
Paris prosecutor's office said that "as matters stand" it was
investigating a count of "involuntary destruction by fire".
alt-right provocateurs were quick to peddle conspiracy theories and spread
insinuations against Muslims in the wake of the blaze, that gutted parts of the
Spencer, a white supremacist and the leader of the alt-right, said the fire
would have "served a glorious purpose" if it pushed the "White
man into action".
If the Nortre Dame fire serves to spur the
White man into action--to sieze power in his countries, in Europe, in the
world--then it will have served a glorious purpose and we will one day bless
AM - Apr 16, 2019
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people are talking about this
is a loosely knit coalition of far-right groups that include populists, white
supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis.
alt-rightists promote various forms of white supremacy, white nationalism,
anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
Pamela Geller, an anti-Muslim public figure, posted a photograph of two men who
appeared to stand near the scene of the Notre Dame fire. In her post, she said:
"Jihadists reveled … sharing media photos of the flames billowing smoke,
and comments expressing their joy".
reveled in the fire engulfing the Notre Dame Cathedral in #Paris, France,
sharing media photos of the flames and billowing smoke, and comments expressing
AM - Apr 16, 2019
people are talking about this
Jazeera could not verify the circumstances behind the photo, nor identify the
men in the image.
politicians in Europe have also attempted to link the fire to rising
"intolerance" against Christians on the continent.
Weidel, the parliamentary group leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD),
Germany's largest opposition party and first far-right nationalist movement to
enter parliament since World War II, linked the incident to previous attacks in
AfD's original purpose was to promote a eurosceptic agenda, but the party has
since shifted its focus to immigration and Islam.
Holy Week #NotreDame burns. March: second largest church Saint-Sulpice burns.
February: 47 attacks in France," Weidel wrote on Twitter.
Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe
speaks of a significant increase," she added, including a link to an
article published in March in a German Catholic magazine.
In der #Karwoche brennt #NotreDame.
zweitgrößte Kirche Saint-Sulpice brennnt
47 Angriffe in 🇨🇵
Beobachtungsstelle gegen Intoleranz und Diskriminierung von Christen in Europa
spricht von einer signifikanten
PM - Apr 16, 2019
people are talking about this
brief fire on March 17 at Saint-Sulpice, a Roman Catholic church in Paris, left
no one hurt and caused little damage. Investigators have opened an inquiry into
Arab and Muslim organisations and public figures shared their concerns over
conspiracies spreading on social media and on French and Western media outlets.
Abunimah, the cofounder of Electronic Intifada, an online magazine that
documents the Israeli occupation, warned in a Twitter post that a narrative is
being created "based on nothing".
6️⃣ Glenn Beck
Beck: If Notre Dame fire "was started by Islamists, I don't think you'll
find out about it"
who boasts almost one million Twitter followers, made a similar dog-whistle
argument about “Judeo-Christian” culture following the #NotreDameCathedralFire
such narratives and Islamophobic dog whistles. pic.twitter.com/GiiQgbdrCR
PM - Apr 16, 2019
image on Twitter
people are talking about this
MAMA, a UK group which monitors hate crime, called on people to "reject
such narratives and Islamophobic dog whistles", as it highlighted a series
of posts from figures including Katie Hopkins, Frank Gaffney, Stefan Molyneux
and Paul Joseph Watson.
French TV @BFMTV a commentator is comparing #NotreDame fire to Taliban’s
destruction of Bamyan Buddhas and 9/11. They are creating a narrative, based on
nothing, that Muslims are to blame.
AM - Apr 16, 2019
people are talking about this
- A Russian court on Tuesday granted parole to a Moscow student who was sent to
prison for trying to join the Islamic State group in Syria.
court in Russia’s northwest upheld Varvara Karaulova’s plea to cut her prison
sentence by one year and 10 days. The 23-year old Moscow State University
student was sentenced to 4½ years in prison in December 2016. She was arrested
in Turkey, where she was trying to cross into Syria after her father filed a
missing person’s report.
least 4,000 Russian citizens, mostly from predominantly Muslim regions, have
traveled to Syria and Iraq to join IS. Philosophy major Karaulova, from a
middle-class, non-Muslim Moscow family, was unusual among Russian IS recruits
who typically hailed from impoverished provincial backgrounds in the North
a convert to Islam, insists that she fell in love with a man she met online and
wanted to marry him in Syria but did not share the radical ideology of the IS.
Her father had pleaded with the court to acquit Karaulova, saying that he was
seeking help from Russian authorities by filing a missing person’s report, not
vengeance against his daughter.
who was expelled from university shortly after her arrest, told the court on
Tuesday that her trip to Turkey was “the most foolish thing I have ever done in
my life and the one I’m still punishing myself for.”
father, Pavel Karaulov, who attended the hearing in Vologda, told the RIA
Novosti news agency that he was “over the moon” with the ruling and hoped that
his daughter can soon return to her studies and “live to the full.”
Fedotov, chairman of the Russian presidential human rights council, who visited
Karaulova in custody, welcomed the ruling, saying in remarks carried by Tass
that she was a “victim of terrorism.”
recently Russia, unlike many European countries, has been repatriating women
and children who followed their husbands to IS-controlled areas, considering
them less of a security threat if kept at home.
European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has once again
expressed the 28-nation bloc’s disapproval of the Israeli regime’s claim of
“sovereignty” to Syria’s Golan Heights and other Tel Aviv-occupied territories.
at the plenary session of the European Parliament in the French city of
Strasbourg on Tuesday, Mogherini stressed that the EU’s position on the status
of Golan “has not changed.”
EU has a very simple and clear position,” she said. “The EU does not recognize
Israeli sovereignty over any of the territories occupied by Israel since June
1967, in line with international law and with UN Security Council Resolutions
242 and 497. And this also applies to the Golan Heights.”
EU’s top diplomat also noted that she had already issued a declaration on
behalf of all the 28 member states and clarified their stance on the Golan
she said, the five EU member states of the UN Security Council – including the
UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland – had expressed the bloc’s common
position on Golan in a joint stake-out.
seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of its 1967 Six-Day
War with Arab countries, which also saw the regime occupy the Palestinian
territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip.
Aviv unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 in a move not recognized
has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the
territory must be completely restored to its control.
March 25, US President Donald Trump signed a decree recognizing Israeli
“sovereignty” over the occupied Golan at the start of a meeting with Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.
controversial policy shift came over a year after the hawkish US president
recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and transferred
Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.
by Trump’s highly anti-Palestine agenda, Netanyahu has talked of plans to annex
the occupied Palestinian region of the West Bank.
in her speech, Mogherini complained that Israel’s settlement construction
activities in the occupied Palestinian lands were eroding any prospect of a
a recent announcement by Israel to build 4,600 new settler units, the EU
emphasized that it considered “all settlement activity illegal under
international law, and that settlements erode the viability of the two-state
solution,” she said.
in fact, the two-state solution is not only fading away. It is being dismantled
piece by piece,” she added, warning that abandoning the solution would bring
greater chaos, not only to the occupied territories but also to the entire
has over the past months stepped up its settlement construction activities in
the occupied lands in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution
New Zealand police on Wednesday ended the routine arming of frontline officers
as the terrorism threat level was lowered a month after the Christchurch
and security agencies reduced the threat level from high to medium, meaning
authorities judge that another attack, violent criminal behavior, or violent
protest remains “feasible” rather than “very likely.”
level is still higher than it was before the March 15 attacks, when the threat
was deemed to be “low.”
Minister Jacinda Ardern said “there is no current specific threat,” but the
security agencies believed the medium level “accurately reflects our current
New Zealand police have historically not carried firearms and many people were
shocked to see them heavily armed after 50 Muslims were gunned down while at
commissioner Mike Bush said with the easing of the security threat level, the
police had reassessed their position on arming frontline staff and the carrying
of weapons would now be decided on a case-by-case basis.
decision was made after “significant consultation” with mosques and Islamic
Centers in relation to ongoing security, although Bush said he would not
was never any intention for the routine carriage of firearms to continue
indefinitely,” Bush said.
this means frontline staff will transition back to our normal approach
regarding carriage and access to firearms.
Danish police have banned a second demonstration by an anti-Muslim provocateur
in a neighborhood in Copenhagen with a large population of immigrants to avoid
said Tuesday they are investigating an object resembling a hand grenade found
in the square where Rasmus Paludan was to stage his demonstration.
on Monday canceled a similar demonstration in suburban Copenhagen by Paludan,
but counter-demonstrators then set garbage containers on fire and police had to
use tear gas to disperse them.
started Sunday after Paludan, a lawyer who has held dozens of anti-Muslim
demonstrations across Denmark under heavy police protection in recent months,
threw the Qur’an in the air several times on a square in the Copenhagen
neighborhood of Noerrebro before a raging crowd.
worrying response by Muslims to the New Zealand terrorist attack: a secular
white supremacist racist prepared, carried out, and posted his murderous
rampage live on social media for the world to see. He didn’t differentiate between
men and women, old and young, or even innocent mosque attendees and Islamists.
To him, all Muslims are the same: invaders and extremists, hell-bent on
destroying western civilization by taking over through the sheer weight of
overwhelming numbers, and thereby changing the values of society.
there have been only a few incidents where (non-Muslim) right-wing terrorists
have murdered or attempted to do so. From the attack on Finsbury Park mosque in
East London to the attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh, the incidents can
still be counted on the fingers of one or two hands. However, to assume the
number of such right-wing attacks will remain a handful is wishful thinking.
stages that humans go through when faced with grief are well established. The
most natural human response to these sorts of attacks is that of grievance and
sorrow, anger towards the perpetrators, and overwhelming sympathy for the
communities at the receiving end. However, in this case, there is another
sinister element that has become part of the narrative: the Islamist
is important to bear in mind that responses to tragedies vary depending on the
victims, the perpetrators and the location of such atrocities. Attacks that
happen in Muslim-majority countries, by Muslim fanatics against minorities or
even other Muslims, do not receive extensive local or international coverage,
nor do they generate the level of outrage amongst Muslims as they do if the
attackers are non-Muslims, white, and where the victims are Muslims.
outrage naturally multiplies when the attacks happen somewhere in the West.
Take for example the Taliban or ISIS blowing themselves up in mosques, or even
mobs torching churches. These instances are rarely brought up by Muslim
communities in the West when discussing the levels of anti-Muslim hatred they
experience, and never by their representatives. Though such outrages are all
too commonplace, it seems they don’t warrant discussion, too often on the basis
of their being inconvenient to an anti-West, Muslim-victimhood narrative.
response to the Christchurch tragedy has brought out immense levels of sympathy
for Muslims around the western world, which is greatly appreciated by many
Muslims, including myself. From the New Zealand Prime Minister starting her
address to the parliament with an Islamic greeting to the recitation of Quran
there, and a top Muslim female Police officer doing the same at a rally, the
response is overwhelmingly supportive and full of love for all Muslims. So much
so that kind-hearted non-Muslim women pledged to wear the hijab for a day in
solidarity with Muslims. The kind intention is there for all to see and feel.
it is ironic that neither non-Muslim nor Muslim men would offer such a gesture,
and why would they: the head-covering is only an obligation imposed on women,
and never on men. This aspect of Western sympathy, though good-intentioned,
makes painful viewing since no Muslim women ever organise the opposite of World
Hijab Day by removing their hijabs in solidarity with millions of women who are
forced to wear it and face serious consequences for not conforming to the
diktats of men.
only are we seeing the normalisation of Islamist doctrines and their
endorsement by unsuspecting westerners in the wake of this attack, but there is
also a shrewd attempt by Islamist outfits and mosques to take advantage of
western sympathy following the atrocity by means of silencing the criticism of
Islamism: the twisted interpretation of Islamic teachings for political
are being labelled ‘insensitive’, ‘hateful’, and ‘bigoted’ for daring to point
out the hypocrisies and double standards applied by Muslim leaders when
minorities are maltreated and murdered in the Muslim nations such as, inter
alia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt. The conversations and debates that
could—and should—be held on many platforms and forums are being denied and
shouted down with claims that any criticism of aspects of Islam or behaviours
of fanatical Muslims at this ‘sensitive’ time is akin to the mindset of the
far-right and supportive of the NZ killer’s manifesto.
going beyond that, a large selection of self-appointed Muslim leaders from
Islamist organisations as well as individuals—seemingly academics,
professionals and religious figures—have penned an open letter in the Guardian,
demanding that the media be held accountable for the atrocity associating Islam
and Muslims with extremism and terrorism. They also find academics responsible
for being critical of Islam.
challenging the content of the letter, it should be noted that whilst a
sizeable number of Muslim women have signed the letter, not a single one boasts
the title of Imam, or Imamah, that is, prayer leader, as if there were such a
possibility within mainstream mosques anywhere even in the western world. The
same leaders who are citing bigotry, ill treatment of Muslims, and negative
media portrayal have no problem whatsoever forbidding Muslim women from
entering mosques or, if they are allowed, only on the condition that entrances
are gender-divided, seeing women relegated to completely segregated side or
back rooms and squashed up spaces as if their presence, whilst somehow
permitted, is otherwise utterly intolerable.
signatories to the letter cite examples of attacks on mosques and synagogues as
well as a prevailing anti-Muslim environment as a result of unsavoury media
headlines and academics deliberating on certain aspects of Islam. Not
surprisingly, they seem to have ignored the number of mosques and other
religious spiritual establishments attacked across the world by Muslims
themselves, and which remain persistently and abundantly high in number. Do the
Muslim terrorists who attack fellow Muslims, blow themselves up in mosques and
bomb shrines also get manipulated by the same alleged western rhetoric about
Islam and Muslims, or do these letter signatories wish to block out the
presence of a strong extremist, often sectarian, strain thriving within Muslim
communities that instigates such attacks? They warn of double standards within
the West while being seemingly oblivious to how unashamedly hypocritical they
are in signing a letter that ignores the fact that it’s Islamism, political
Islam, that is the major risk to ordinary Muslims. And this is so because
Muslim communities are not bold enough to challenge Islamism within their midst
due to tribalism, or are simply complacent about its spread across the globe.
is also alarming and telling is the sheer absence of any progressive Muslim
groups and individuals in the list of signatories. This surely makes the
motivations of the signatories suspect. It also demonstrates the lack of
willingness of these religious figures to engage with those who wish to bring
Islam, and Muslims along with it, into the modern era.
hard-line religious groups and individuals tend to jump at any opportunity to
coerce politicians into not reprimanding fellow Islamists when their words or
behaviours are anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic, or bigoted in some other
way. Yet, when it comes to reformation of how Islam is being interpreted, their
response is stonewalling and censorship, or throwing around labels such as
‘Islamophobes’ to intimidate politicians, authorities, and individual Muslims
trying to make a difference into silence. Sadly, many politicians, NGOs and
individuals support Islamists in such endeavours for the sake of political
correctness and what they view as inclusivity.
reflection, it’s not just the Islamists who’ve signed this letter, but
unsurprisingly and disappointingly, also members of a growing body of Muslim
communities living lives highly segregated away from the rest of the society,
and who are invariably perpetuating the notion of Islam being at odds with the
western values of openness, liberalism, tolerance and respect for each other.
is well known, there are Muslim parents openly picketing a school in Birmingham
and bullying the teachers into abandoning plans to introduce LGBT relationship
classes, arguing that such lessons corrupt children. Such is the feeling of
success in their campaign that they are spreading the idea to have undesirable
lessons eliminated from the curriculum across the country, spearheaded by other
like-minded Muslim parents. In the same breath, the same families also invoke
perpetual victimhood when claiming wider society, politicians and the media are
biased against them. Ironically, the same parents and their leaders label any
non-Muslim parents who do not allow their children to learn about Islam ‘racist
danger of this self-exclusionary mind-set and the exploitation of the attack in
New Zealand is a deepening of the fissures that already exist between various
segments of society. The disillusionment with the political class surrounding
Brexit and the growth of anti-immigration and populist governments across major
Western countries will undoubtedly contribute towards widening the gulf between
the left and the right-leaning, indigenous and new arrivals, and definitely
between Muslims and non-Muslims across Europe, North America and Australasia.
killed in Peshawar operation belonged to TTP, says police
Five terrorists killed in an anti-terrorism operation in Peshawar’s Hayatabad
area on Tuesday belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), police
sources said on Wednesday.
operation, which concluded after a 17-hour standoff with five terrorists killed
and a policeman martyred, was conducted on an intelligence tip-off, police
to the sources, “The terrorists belonged to TTP and were involved in four major
incidents, including attacks on a high court judge, an additional
inspector-general of police and a FC vehicle.”
Muhammad, a 20-year-old Afghan suicide bomber, was among those killed,” they
police sources further said, “An explosive-laden motorcycle and suicide vests
were found from the building where the terrorists had taken cover.”
suspects had taken cover in a residential building in Phase 7 of the Hayatabad
locality, from where they attacked security forces. The building was demolished
with explosives soon after the operation concluded.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) would oppose any move to nudge the country
towards a presidential system, said former president and PPP co-chairperson
Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday.
Zardari was speaking to the media after appearing before an accountability
court in the federal capital in a fake accounts case which he is facing along
with his sister Faryal Talpur.
it was shifted to Islamabad on March 16, a Karachi banking court was conducting
the proceedings of the fake accounts case. It was shifted to Islamabad on the
plea of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Zardari and Ms Talpur filed applications in the accountability court to submit
surety bonds but since their pre-arrest bail applications are pending before
the Islamabad High Court the court put it off till the next date.
asked whether Pakistan was moving towards a presidential form of government, Mr
Zardari replied, “We are not inclined towards this system ... let them make
their efforts, we will stop them.”
have been circulating in various political and social circles for the past many
days regarding a plan for introducing presidential form of government in the
country and the issue is being debated on the social media even though
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has refuted all such reports.
the PPP, almost all the major parties of the country, including the Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), are opposed to the idea of imposing a presidential
system, saying that any such move would be detrimental to the country’s
of the Pak Sarzameen Party Syed Mustafa Kamal, however, recently stated that
Pakistan would not progress without having a presidential system of governance.
Senator and former minister Mushahidullah Khan expressed concerns over reports
about the presidential system, saying that such rumours were being floated by
those who simply could not “digest” democracy.
Khan regretted that they had not learnt any lesson from history as the country,
which had remained under the presidential system for most of the time since its
creation in 1947, had already suffered a lot due to such experiments.
PML-N senator warned that the federation would be in danger if any attempt was
made to impose the presidential form of governance in the country.
to reporters on Sunday, the information minister had dismissed talk about the
establishment of the presidential form of government in the country as rumours,
terming it a “non-issue” being discussed only on social media.
said: “Such things are circulating in social media only. It is difficult to get
simple amendments to laws and routine matters take long; so how can we expect a
major change in the Constitution that requires a two-thirds majority in
minister said one prerequisite for the presidential form of government was to
have small but many provinces in the country.
Police and security personnel killed five terrorists holed up in a house in the
Hayatabad area here on Tuesday after a fierce gun battle lasting over 17 hours,
which also left a police officer martyred.
outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in an email message issued here claimed
that six of its members were involved in the gunfight with law enforcement
gun battle started at 7.30pm on Monday evening as police tried to enter the
house in E-sector, Phase-VII Hayatabad, during an intelligence-based operation
(IBO). Assistant Sub-Inspector Qamar Alam lost his life while trying to enter
the house. A terrorist was also killed during an initial exchange of fire that
triggered a fierce gunfight which continued till the killing of the four
remaining terrorists around Tuesday noon.
security personnel and two civilians, including a woman, were injured during
police chief Qazi Jamil-ur-Rehman told reporters that it was a major operation
in which a terrorist was killed a day earlier, while four others were killed on
Tuesday. He said the militants were holed up in the house and were opening fire
whenever security personnel tried to enter the house. He said city police
units, army’s Special Services Group and 102 Brigade personnel had taken part
in the operation.
Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement that the army and Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa police had conducted a joint IBO in Hayatabad against a terrorist
hideout. It said that during the exchange of fire five terrorists were killed,
while a police officer lost his life, adding that the bodies of the terrorists
had been recovered and their identities were being ascertained.
Bomb Disposal Unit during the clearance found an explosives-rigged bike on the
ground floor, which was connected with explosive materials planted in the
basement of the house. The BDU destroyed the bike with an explosive charge,
which brought down the two-storey house, sending a plume of thick dust into the
rain-soaked air of the neighbourhood.
house and bike were rigged with about 60kg explosives, which had been destroyed
with a 250-gram explosive charge,” BDU chief AIG Shafqat Malik told Dawn.
security official requesting anonymity told Dawn that the suspects were very
trained and even the house was chosen strategically. “It was a small five-marla
house that had strong basement plus two storeys and stairs leading to the
basement were just with the front gate,” the official said, adding that it allowed
them to hit anyone trying to enter immediately. He said that apparently it was
a temporary hideout which they used to plan terrorist attacks as it was very
difficult to enter the city from outside.
and remnants showed that the terrorists were frequently moving between basement
and other storeys, which showed they were highly trained and determined,” the
official said, adding that that was why they managed to hold on for about 17
the afternoon, as rain pattered the crisscrossing of streets, two excavators
were loading house debris into trucks to be hauled away before curious gazes of
a large number of onlookers. The street was littered with shards of glass and
other debris, while nearby houses were pock-marked with bullet holes. A nearby
house and two cars owned by a resident of Kohat were badly damaged as a series
of blasts and gun attacks rocked the street.
owner of the house where the incident took place was identified as Abdul Nasir,
a resident of Swat, currently living abroad.
resident living in the same street told Dawn that it was around 7.30pm when
after hearing gunshots they came out of their house and found the street filled
with security personnel. “The cops told us to stay inside and army personnel
arrived at 9pm,” the resident said, adding that intermittent firing continued
throughout the night.
said his family members, including women and children, spent the night awake in
a terrified state as heavy blasts and firing rocked the area. The women and
children were shifted to another relative’s house at around 11.30am and shortly
afterwards the house came tumbling down with a bang.
President Donald Trump has said Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is
"disrespectful" to the United States and “disrespectful” to Israel.
an interview on Monday in Minnesota, Trump said that Omar has "got a way
about her that's very, very bad for our country."
been very disrespectful to this country. She's been very disrespectful,
frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn't really understand life, real
life. What it's all about,” he told a reporter.
got a way about her that's very, very bad for our country," Trump added.
Trump censured House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for
defending Omar, saying the Minnesota Democrat is "out of control."
Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done,
decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic,
anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made,” Trump tweeted
is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!” he added.
week, Trump made a sarcastic reference to Omar and said the lawmaker “doesn’t
like Israel,” one day after a New York man was arrested and charged with
threatening to murder her.
thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota,” Trump said while delivering
remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday afternoon. “Oh, I
forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.”
is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in the US House of
Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress. She is a member of the
37-year-old lawmaker was born to a family of Somali refugees and represents
Minneapolis, Minnesota, a district with a large Somali population.
has accused pro-Israel lawmakers of showing “allegiance to a foreign country,”
and has criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for its
role in shaping US policy.
a fierce backlash from Republicans and Democrats for her allegedly
"anti-Semitic" comments, Omar "unequivocally" apologized
for her earlier statements on Twitter and deleted them.
Senator Bernie Sanders and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has defended
Omar against “outrageous, racist” attacks by Trump and the sections of
right-wing US media.
talked to Ilhan about twice in my life. I respect her but this is what I do
support — I support a Muslim member of Congress not to be attacked every single
day in outrageous, racist remarks,” Sanders said at a Fox News town hall
meeting on Monday.
will do everything in my power, and I hope that every member of Congress will
fight not only anti-Semitism, but racism and anti-Muslim activity so that we
create a non-discriminatory society," Sanders said. "But it is not
anti-Semitic to be critical of a right-wing government in Israel. That is not
slams Fox News after Sanders town hall
on Tuesday censured Fox News for its town hall event with Sanders and its addition
of former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile.
weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews," Trump tweeted. "Not
surprisingly, @BretBaier and the 'audience' was so smiley and nice. Very
strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?"
weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews. Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the
“audience” was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?
PM - Apr 16, 2019
people are talking about this
Bret Baier thanked the president for watching and inviting him on for an
for watching Mr. President - we’d love to have you on a town hall soon — or
even an interview on @SpecialReport —it's been awhile. We cover all
sides," Baier tweeted.
defense minister and his U.S. counterpart on Tuesday met in Washington to
discuss recent political and military developments.
to a statement by the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, Hulusi Akar and
Patrick Shanahan discussed developments in Syria, bilateral relations, other
regional security issues, and defense industry cooperation between both
Akar "reiterated Turkey’s views and
expectations on the proposed Safe Zone in Syria, S-400 procurement, F-35
aircraft and latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean," according
to the statement.
said Akar underlined the importance of cooperation between Turkey and the U.S.
on the basis of strategic partnership that would ensure stability and security
of both countries.
Pentagon said the two leaders met as "strategic partners."
US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is now in Washington to brief the Trump
administration on his long visit to various allied nations for promoting peace
talks in Afghanistan.
this morning, I spoke with our ambassador who is working to bring peace in
Afghanistan,” said US Secretary State of Michael Pompeo in his remarks at the
Texas A&M University on Monday evening.
trying to end the longest war in the US history and save the lives of Afghans
and American soldiers alike.”
Mr Khalilzad also confirmed in a tweet that he was in Washington, “enjoying a
windy spring day” and met Turkey’s chief presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin.
“Appreciate Turkey’s commitment to Afghanistan. Turkey’s willingness to support
the Afghan Peace Process is welcome,” he wrote.
US special envoy began his latest peace mission on March 25, visiting
Afghanistan, Britain, Belgium, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Qatar. The
mission focused on “bringing all Afghan parties together in inclusive
intra-Afghan negotiations,” said the US State Department while announcing the
Kabul, Mr Khalilzad consulted with the Afghan government and other Afghans
about the status of US talks with the Taliban. He also encouraged Afghans, both
in and outside the government, to form an inclusive negotiating team and
discuss next steps in intra-Afghan discussions and negotiations. The Afghan
High Peace Council announced on Monday that they had formed a 150-member
delegation, which included dozens of Afghan women as well.
other destinations, the US special envoy met “allies and partners” and
discussed with them “the status of peace talks and to coordinate sustained
commitment by the international community to peace and development in
Afghanistan,” the state department said.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Damascus on Tuesday ahead of a
fresh round of talks next week in Kazakhstan towards ending Syria’s eight-year
and Russia are key allies of the Damascus regime, and along with rebel backer,
Turkey, have sponsored the so-called Astana negotiations track to end the conflict.
is to host a fresh round of talks on April 25-26 in its capital, last month
renamed from Astana to Nur-Sultan.
Damascus, Zarif and President Bashar al-Assad discussed “the next round of
Astana talks and the importance of lasting communication between Damascus and
Tehran for continued cooperation”, the presidency said in a statement.
countries are facing a flurry of sanctions by Western nations including the
United States, with Washington this month designating Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps a terrorist organization.
is in the grips of a growing fuel crisis that it blames on these sanctions.
and Assad accused Western countries headed by the United States of “launching
wars and economic terrorism against anyone who did not agree with them” in
regional matters, the presidency said.
on Tuesday, Zarif met his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem.
the meeting, Zarif told journalists Iran, Russia and Turkey would be focusing
on the militant -held bastion of Idlib in northwestern Syria, pro-government
newspaper Al-Watan said.
region on the border with Turkey is held by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate,
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and is in theory protected from a massive regime
offensive by a Russia-Turkey deal.
September accord aimed to set up a buffer zone around Idlib but was never fully
implemented as militants refused to withdraw from it.
Astana guarantors... need to abide by the commitments linked to the Idlib
file,” including “disarming terrorists groups and them leaving Idlib”, Zarif
said, according to Al-Watan.
forces have continued to bombard Idlib despite the deal, increasingly so in
is expected to visit Turkey after Damascus.
rounds of UN-backed Syria peace talks have failed to stem the bloodshed, and
Iran, Russia, and Turkey have sponsored the parallel Astana negotiations track
since early 2017.
has provided steady political, financial and military backing to Assad
throughout the war, which has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced
millions since 2011.
Syrian regime has made a military comeback with Russian military support since
2015, and now holds almost two-thirds of the country.
key politician on Tuesday threw his backing behind Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu following last week’s elections but signaled tough
negotiations to form a coalition were ahead.
defense minister Avigdor Lieberman’s public endorsement of Netanyahu came as
President Reuven Rivlin wrapped up consultations with party heads on the
must choose who will form the next government and is expected to pick Netanyahu
to do so on Wednesday night after final election results are announced.
head of the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, had held off on publicly backing
Netanyahu until Monday night when he did so before supporters.
party also told Rivlin on Tuesday that it would back Netanyahu, and Yisrael
Beitenu’s five seats will be crucial for the prime minister as he forms his
so far from the April 9 vote show Netanyahu’s Likud and allied right-wing
parties, including Yisrael Beitenu, with 65 seats in the 120-seat parliament.
Lieberman also said he would condition his joining the coalition on the
adoption of a law aimed at having ultra-Orthodox Jews serve in the military
like their secular counterparts.
has insisted that the version of the law he proposed when he was defense
minister be adopted in full and says he will even remain in the opposition or
be prepared to go to new elections if he does not receive assurances on the
Jews studying in religious seminaries are currently exempt from mandatory
military service, a practice many Israelis view as unfair.
attempts to change the law have met with strong opposition from ultra-Orthodox
political parties, which will control 15 seats in the next governing coalition.
Jews make up some 10 percent of Israel’s nearly nine million population.
in passing a law on the subject contributed to the holding of early elections
Bashar al-Assad of Syria has censured the US for blacklisting Iran’s Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), which has been greatly contributing to his
country’s fight against terrorists.
a meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in
Damascus on Tuesday, the Syrian leader said the recent designation of the IRGC
as “foreign terrorist organization” was yet another “wrong” move by Washington,
which could further destabilize the region.
the meeting, the two sides emphasized that the hostile policies of the US and
certain Arab countries cannot prevent Iran and Syria from defending the rights
of their nations, the statement added.
and Zarif further urged the US and its Western allies to stop waging wars and
using economic terrorism against other states which refuse to do their bidding
and return, instead, to diplomatic means in dealing with them.
his part, Zarif censured Washington for recognizing the occupied side of
Syria’s Golan Heights as Israeli territory, saying the measure showed the
defeat of the American agenda for the region.
said he and the Syrian president explored ways to promote bilateral ties.
two sides also discussed the Astana peace process for Syria and the progress in
the bilateral deals signed during Assad’s trip to Iran in February, he added.
to his meeting with Assad, Zarif sat down for talks with his Syrian
counterpart, Walid al-Muallem.
top Iranian diplomat arrived at the Damascus International Airport earlier on
Tuesday at the head of a delegation and was welcomed by Syrian Deputy Foreign
Minister Faisal Mekdad.
to reporters upon arrival, Zarif said his trip was aimed at coordinating
efforts among regional countries to counter “hostile” US policies, including
the recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, the
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's “capital” as well as its “illegal
and unprecedented” decision to designate Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps
(IRGC) a “terrorist” group.
measures, Zarif added, stem from Washington’s repeated defeats both on the
battlefield and the political front in the region.
then visited the holy shrine of Hazrat Zeinab, the granddaughter of the Prophet
Mohammad (PBUH), south of Damascus.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has traveled to Ankara to hold talks with
Turkish officials on bilateral ties, the restoration of peace in Syria, and the
latest developments in North Africa.
was announced by Zarif upon arrival in the Turkish capital, Ankara, which is
his second visit to the country during the past few weeks.
to reporters, the top Iranian diplomat said during his one-day stay in Turkey,
he will “discuss regional issues, in particular Syria and matters related to
Northern Africa”, particularly the situation in Libya, where the self-styled
commander Khalifa Haftar has attempted a “coup” against the
internationally-recognized government, according to the UN.
will also discuss bilateral ties, on which we have already had good talks with
Turkey,” he added.
said economic cooperation between Iran and Turkey, and following up on the
implementation of agreements earlier reached between the two sides will also be
on the agenda of his talks with top Turkish officials.
trip to Turkey comes after he visited the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Tuesday.
During his stay in the Arab country, the Iranian top diplomat discussed
Tehran-Damascus cooperation, and the process of restoring peace to the war-torn
Syria, we made good arrangements on the upcoming meeting of the Astana Process,
as well as international cooperation within the framework of the UN with the
aim of finding a political solution to Syria [crisis],” Zarif said in Ankara.
arrangements of Astana talks were particularly discussed in a meeting between
Zarif and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Astana Process refers to an initiative by Iran, Russia, and Turkey which
mediate peace negotiations between representatives from the Damascus government
and opposition groups in a series of rounds held in the Kazakh capital Astana -
recently renamed as Nur-Sultan - and other places since January 2017.
authorities have confiscated thousands of square meters of private Palestinian
land and isolated five villages in the northeastern part of the occupied West
Bank, as the Tel Aviv regime goes ahead with land expropriation and settlement
construction policies in violation of international law and UN Security Council
Bisharat, an official who monitors Israel’s settlement activity in the Jordan
Valley, told Arabic-language Voice of Palestine radio station on Tuesday that
officials had seized 51,000 dunams (51 kilometers meters) of Palestinian-owned
land, isolated 5 villages and took control of water springs, agricultural
machinery as well as solar cells in the regions.
added that the Israeli regime’s policy in isolating villages of the Tubas
district is very clear, stressing that these areas were marked as closed
military areas banning their owners from entering without an Israeli-issued
stressed that Israel aims to expel Palestinians from the area under its plan to
seize the Jordan Valley area.
February, Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Tel Aviv’s settlement expansion
activities, published a new map that illustrated an “accelerated, intensifying
chain of new facts on the ground in the most historically contested and
politically sensitive part of Jerusalem [al-Quds]: the Old City and adjacent
ring of Palestinian neighborhoods,” which help reinforcement of settlement
NGO pointed to a number of Israeli-sponsored settlement campaigns inside
Palestinian neighborhoods, including “settler initiated evictions of
Palestinians, takeovers of their homes, and the expansion of settler
compounds,” in addition to the use of the so-called “touristic settlement
sites” as “key points” contributing to the campaigns.
Amim said the supposed tourism and archaeology projects “assume a central role
in Israeli settlement policy.”
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the
occupied territories in several resolutions.
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to
“immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied
Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
of army action as Sudan protesters toughen stand
Sudanese protesters have hardened their stand, demanding a transitional
military council be scrapped and immediately replaced with civilian rule as
Tuesday they refused to end a days-long sit-in outside army headquarters.
fear the army is seeking to hijack the revolution on the streets which saw
veteran President Omar Al-Bashir, whose three-decade reign was toppled on
Thursday by top commanders after four months of nationwide demonstrations.
Monday, activists accused commanders of launching an abortive attempt to clear
the sit-in outside army headquarters, ending the relative calm that has reigned
since Al-Bashir’s overthrow.
said several army vehicles had surrounded the area and that troops were seen
removing the barricades which demonstrators had put up as a security measure.
voiced fears that the army would make a new attempt on Tuesday.
vehicles carrying paramilitary forces deployed on a bridge that connects the
protest site with north Khartoum, a witness said.
army will try to make another attempt to disperse the protesters because it is
under huge pressure,” said protester Ahmed Najdih.
we are not going anywhere. We will not lose our patience. We know what happened
in Egypt and we don’t want that to happen to us.”
neighboring Egypt, the so-called Arab Spring revolution of 2011 toppled veteran
president Hosni Mubarak and replaced him with elected Islamist Muhammad Mursi
only for him to be overthrown in 2013 by then army chief, now President Abdel
laders have gradually toughened their approach toward the transitional military
council, as policy announcements from its uniformed officers have multiplied.
widespread anger at the number of faces from the old regime, the protesters
secured the replacement of its first chairman, a longtime Al-Bashir loyalist
after just 24 hours last week.
the honeymoon of his successor, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, lasted just
weekend talks on the transition failed to make headway, protest leaders who
initially demanded a “swift” handover to civilian rule, began demanding first
an “immediate” handover then the military council’s dissolution.
want the military council to be dissolved and be replaced by a civilian council
having representatives of the army,” said Mohamed Naji, a senior leader of the
Sudanese Professionals Association, which has spearheaded the protests.
sides in the standoff have sought to woo international support.
protesters have highlighted their sacrifices in murals painted outside army
headquarters of some of the more than 60 of their comrades killed in clashes
with the security forces.
military council has pledged that individuals implicated in killing protesters
would be held to account and that demonstrators detained under a state of
emergency imposed by the president during his final weeks in power would be
has held briefings with Western diplomats and sent an envoy to the African
Union’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa before it met on
Sudan on Monday.
the 55-member African Union stood by its longstanding opposition to all
military coups, giving the military council just 15 days to hand over to
civilian rule or face suspension from the body.
foreign ministry said the military council was “committed to having a complete
civilian government” and urged foreign governments to back it in order to
achieve “the Sudanese goal of democratic transition.”
council said Sudan would continue to provide ground troops to a Saudi-led
coalition fighting rebels in Yemen.
a bid to woo Western opinion, the military council has also backtracked on its
position toward longstanding warrants for Al-Bashir’s arrest issued by the
International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of war crimes, crimes
against humanity and genocide.
initially refused to deliver Al-Bashir or any other Sudanese abroad for
prosecution, a member of the council said Monday that the decision would be up
to a civilian government.
leaders say Al-Bashir must face justice, along with officials from his feared
National Intelligence and Security Service whose chief Salih Ghosh resigned on
Protesters slam Arab backing of military council
in Sudan blasted Arab countries Tuesday for backing the country’s ruling
military council following the ouster of long-serving President Omar al-Bashir.
the declaration of a curfew last week, they gathered near the military
headquarters in the capital and chanted slogans against Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
do not want your support”, one banner said, in an apparent reference to
countries backing the council, while another said "No to intervention in
Sudan by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt".
Friday, Defense Minister Awad Ibn Auf, the head of the transitional military
council, stepped down and named Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah Burhan as his
successor. The council also announced sweeping changes to the army’s
shelling in the Libyan capital Tripoli has killed at least four people, an
official said on Wednesday, as Europe and certain Persian Gulf Arab states
remain divided over the push by renegade commander Khalifa Haftar to seize the
two weeks into Haftar’s assault, the general’s eastern-based Libyan National
Army (LNA) is stuck in the city’s southern outskirts battling armed groups
loyal to the internationally recognized Tripoli government.
the southern district of Abu Salim got shelled late on Tuesday with explosions
being heard even in the city center where life had been going on largely
untouched by the violence.
artillery killed at least two people and wounded eight, Osama Ali, spokesman
for a Tripoli emergency body, told Reuters, without saying who was behind the
shelling. Another official told Libya’s Alahrar channel four had been killed
and 20 wounded.
district is located near the road to the old airport in southern Tripoli, which
has changed hands several times since the fighting started. Abu Salim lies
north of forces loyal to Tripoli seeking to stop the LNA troops coming from
allied to Tripoli have accused the LNA of firing rockets into residential
areas, but the LNA said in a statement it had nothing to with the shelling,
accusing instead a Tripoli-based group.
the rockets fell, the UN Security Council was due to consider a British-drafted
resolution that would demand a ceasefire in Libya and call on all countries
with influence over the warring parties to ensure compliance.
powers are worried but unable to present a united front over the latest
flare-up in the cycle of anarchy gripping Libya since dictator Muammar Gaddafi
was toppled in 2011.
conflict has brought a growing humanitarian toll - 174 people killed, 756
injured and almost 20,000 displaced, according to the latest United Nations
tallies - and sunk for now an international peace plan.
threatens to disrupt oil flows, foment migration across the Mediterranean Sea
to Europe, and allow extremists to exploit the chaos.
The United States is willing to remove Sudan from its blacklist of state
sponsors of terrorism if its new military leaders take tangible steps, a US
official said Tuesday.
officials have for years sought to get off the list, engaging in inconclusive
talks with the United States.
State Department official said that Washington had renewed its willingness to
consider a delisting during meetings with the military rulers who last week
ousted veteran leader Omar Al-Bashir in the wake of months of street protests.
way to rescind the designation “may be available if there is a fundamental
change in the leadership and policies and if the Transitional Military Council
is not supporting acts of international terrorism and provides assurances that
it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” the
official said on condition of anonymity.
the official said that the US was not considering delisting Sudan “at this
comments come two days after the top US diplomat in Khartoum, Charge d’Affaires
Steven Koutsis, met with the deputy head of the military council, Mohammad
US official said that the United States was also encouraging the military
council to “move quickly” to include civilians in the interim government and
have remained on the street, calling on the military council to step aside.
US had turbulent relations with Sudan during Bashir’s three decades in power,
in which he allied himself with Islamists, was accused of plotting genocide in
the Darfur region and during the 1990s gave refuge to Al-Qaeda founder Osama
The head of Sudan’s ruling transitional military council has fired the three
highest-ranking public prosecutors, after protesters demanded an overhaul of
the judiciary as part of steps toward civilian government.
Sudanese Professionals’ Association spearheading the revolt has issued a long
list of demands for wholesale change to end repression and ease an economic
crisis after the military deposed veteran autocrat Omar Al-Bashir last week.
a statement, the military council said its chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan had
sacked chief prosecutor Omar Ahmed Mohamed Abdelsalam and deputy public
prosecutor Hesham Othman Ibrahim Saleh, as well as head of public prosecutions
Amer Ibrahim Majid.
Sayed Ahmed Mahmoud was appointed to carry out Abdelsalam’s duties, it said.
Mahmoud’s background was not immediately known.
announcements came as the military council received important international
backing from Egypt. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called Al-Burhan to offer
his support, a spokesman for El-Sisi said.
Egyptian president affirmed "Egypt's full support for the security and
stability of Sudan and its support for the will and choices of the Sudanese
its first news conference on Monday, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association —
which led weeks of protests that led to Al-Bashir’s overthrow after 30 years in
power — called for the military council to be dissolved in favor of an interim
civilian ruling council with military representatives.
also called for Abdelsalam’s removal along with the chief of the judiciary and
his deputies, and added that mass protests would not cease until the demands
were met. The judiciary chief was not mentioned in the council's statement.
Tuesday, hundreds of University of Khartoum professors carrying signs reading
“civilian transitional government” and “democracy” marched to a protesters’
sit-in outside the Defense Ministry that began on April 6, a Reuters witness
are among the most respected groups in Sudanese society, adding powerful
symbolism to the march.
council member Jalal Al-Deen Al-Sheikh met African Union Commission Chairman
Moussa Faki Mahamat in Addis Ababa and gave him a letter from Burhan on the
situation in Sudan and inviting Mahamat to visit, the state news agency SUNA
quoted Sheikh as saying Mahamat had expressed “understanding” for the decisions
the military council had taken so far.
Monday, the AU’s Peace and Security Council called for the military council to
transfer power to a transitional civilian-led authority within 15 days or risk
Sudan being suspended from the AU.
of the UN-backed unity government claimed Tuesday to have captured a group of
soldiers affiliated with East Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar.
statement issued by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) did
not give details about the number of the captured soldiers, saying that it also
seized a tank and an armored vehicle from Haftar's forces south of Tripoli.
was no comment from Haftar's forces on the claim.
Tuesday, the GNA forces carried out an airstrike on a military camp of Haftar's
forces in the southern city of Al-Jufrah.
this month, Haftar, who commands forces loyal to East Libya-based government,
launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli, where the GNA is based.
GNA announced Monday that at least 76 people, including 24 civilians, had been
killed since clashes erupted in the surroundings of capital Tripoli.
of the UN-backed unity government carried out an airstrike on Tuesday on a
military camp belonging to East Libya-based commander Khalifa Hafter in the
southern city of Al-Jufrah, according to local media.
attack targeted the camp in the oasis town of Houn in southern Libya, 218 news
channel, citing local sources, said the air defenses of pro-Haftar forces fired
back at the warplane that carried out the airstrike.
has been no reports of casualties.
this month, Haftar, who commands forces loyal to East Libya-based government,
launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli, where the UN-backed Government
of National Accord (GNA) is based.
seizes Rs 6-crore assets of Kashmiri businessman who funded Hurriyat
Enforcement Directorate has seized Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah
Watali’s assets worth Rs 6 crore in its terror financing probe that targeted
terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed.
order to seize the businessman’s assets worth Rs 6.19 crore was issued after
the central probe agency came across evidence that established his role in
raising funds and acting as a financial conduit for Hurriyat leaders, a
statement by the probe agency mandated to investigate financial crimes said.
statement said the central agency’s probe had also been able to directly
establish that the Pakistan high commission was one channel of funding for the
a search at the house of Watali’s cashier Ghulam Mohd, it seized a document
that makes it clear that the businessman “was receiving money from Hafiz Saeed
(Head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa), from ISI, from the Pakistan High Commission at New
Delhi and also from a source based in Dubai”, the ED statement said.
Ahmad Shah Watali was remitting the same to the Hurriyat leaders, separatists
and stone-throwers in the Kashmir valley. The document, the probe agency said,
is signed by Watali.
initiated investigation under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA)
based on charges sheet filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) against a
group of people including Hafiz Saeed and Watali.
along with other nine accused are under judicial custody in Delhi’s Tihar Jail
in the case terror funding and money laundering case investigated by the NIA.
and Pakistan on Tuesday held a meeting on technical aspects of the proposed
Kartarpur corridor linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal with to
Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab, officials said.
the nearly four-hour-long meeting, which took place in makeshift tents at “Zero
point” of the proposed corridor, experts and technicians from both the
countries discussed “timing for completion of bridge, alignment of roads and
engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points”, they said.
sources said India proposed the meeting to address outstanding technical issues
for the corridor and Pakistan agreed to it, adding implementation of the
project is progressing with “speed”.
the meeting was on, civilians were not allowed access to a point on the Indian
side from where they can have see Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib through binoculars.
issues were discussed for speedy completion of the proposed project, the
Pakistani team included 8-10 delegates from the foreign ministry, and religion
and federal works departments, while the 12-member Indian team comprised
officials from the Land Ports Authority of India, National Highways Authority
of India, Centre Public Work Department and Border Security Force.
November 2018, India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the border crossing
linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh
faith founder Guru Nanak, to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district.
is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi, about four km from
the Dera Baba Nanak.
first meeting to finalise the modalities for the corridor took place on the
Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border on March 14.
experts of the two countries met on March 19 during which alignment,
coordinates and several other engineering aspects of the proposed corridor were
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