New Age Islam
Wed Nov 25 2020, 07:27 PM

Islamic World News ( 5 Jul 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Images of Global Terror Attacks Used To Draw Support for Tunisia







The campaign asks onlookers "would you stop visiting" alongside a picture of the 9/11 attack in New York on the World Trade Centre. (Selim Ben Hadj Yahia, Facebook)

 



Africa

Images of Global Terror Attacks Used To Draw Support for Tunisia

Bombs at Mosque, Restaurant in Central Nigerian City Kill 44

5 killed in northeast Nigeria church bomb attack

Boko Haram attack caps week of bloodshed in Nigeria

Buhari Urges Muslims to Reject Boko Haram

Kenya Muslims Ease Hunger in Ramadan

Nigerian Muslims Race to Recite Qur'an

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Europe

How Britain and the EU Allowed Jihadists to Wage War on Their Own Tourists

Manchester Mosque Shares Ramadan with Non-Muslims

Increasing Islamophobic Attacks Rattle France

Bosnian Families Wait To Bury Victims

Merkel Attends First Ramadan Iftar

Rocket Taking Russia to Moon to be Built in Sibir

‘High risk of terror attack’ in Spain: Minister

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Pakistan

Pakistan, India to Start Process of Joining China Security Bloc

Seven Soldiers Killed In Anti-Taliban Offensive

Policeman, 2 Hazaras Killed In Quetta Firing

People of Barelvi and the Deobandi Schools Of Thought Clash over Management of Mosque

People living abroad have engaged Baloch youth to fight in name of freedom: Lt. Gen Janjua

Pagara’s ‘reluctance’ puts Shujaat’s United Muslim League bid in limbo

Religious leaders pledge support in anti-polio drive

Musharraf calls Qadri, discusses political situation

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Arab World

Egyptian Army Kills 63 Militants in Sinai

At Least 35 ISIL Terrorists Killed In Iraq by Army Airstrikes

Mosque Bombing Kills 15 Al-Qaeda Fighters in Syria

Saudi fighter jets target Yemen, killing at least 10

Syria, Hezbollah forces make advances in Zabadani city in Qalamoun

Tranquility Restored to Western Aleppo, Tens of Terrorists Captured

Bahrain Mosque Feeds Thousands in Ramadan

Little hope in Gaza ruins a year after devastating war

Syria regime forces enter rebel bastion Zabadani

Egypt military releases footage of airstrikes in Sinai

Over 5,500 Fresh Volunteers Join Iraq's War on ISIL

Syrian Army Wins Back Strategic Town in Hama Province

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South Asia

9 Soldiers Martyred, 41 Militants Killed In Afghanistan +Military Operations

Bomb Blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan Kills 3, Injures Others Including Police

IS In Afghanistan On Xi, Putin's Summit Agenda: China

Khaleda predicts crisis if national polls not held soon, Nasim says no polls before 2019

Hasina to BBC: We have taken steps immediately after bloggers' murders

Unidentified armed men shot dead three Hazaras in Quetta

17 militants killed in drone strike and internal clash of insurgent groups in Nangarhar

Three people killed, 13 wounded in Kandahar explosion

Normalising ties: Pakistan, Afghanistan try to ease tensions

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India

Adopt Family Planning: Shiv Sena's Advice for Muslims to Control Population

India’s Crackdown on Madrasahs Exposes Rift over Islamic Education

Sankaracharya surprise for Muslim scholar

BJP Hosts Three Iftar Parties, Invites No Non-Muslim Leaders

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Mideast

Turkish President Admits Direct Support for Militants in Syria

Yemen Shoots Down another Saudi Spy Drone

Yemenis Protest UN's Negligence towards Saudi Aggressions

Yemen airstrikes hit Saleh’s party headquarters

Israeli Cabinet reverses policy easing conversion to Judaism

Kerry: Iran nuclear talks ‘could go either way’

Senior Iranian Official: 70% of Technical Annex to Draft Nuclear Deal Written

IAEA Team Due in Iran Tonight

Austrian FM Hopeful about Final N. Deal between Iran, Powers

Army Commander: Nuclear Deal Never Means Iran-US Rapprochement

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Southeast Asia

Ignore Extremists, Liberalism Ingrained in Malaysia’s Foundation, Politics: Says Think Tank

Ramadan Interfaith Event Connects Malaysians

Pekanbaru family joins IS

West Java District to Ban TV in Favor of More Islamic Studies for Kids

Police Say They’re Too Scared to Fight Religious Hard-Liners

Najib: Stop atrocities in the name of Islam

Gov’t offices will surely bar Ibans in traditional dress too

Komnas HAM Finds Religious Freedom Still Under Threat

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North America

US Muslims Urge Muslim Killing Investigation

Reverts First Ramadan: Tests, Rewards

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/images-of-global-terror-attacks-used-to-draw-support-for-tunisia/d/103786

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Africa

 

Images of Global Terror Attacks Used To Draw Support For Tunisia

July 05, 2015

TUNIS — Images of previous terror attacks on Western capitals have been featured as part of an online advertising campaign calling tourists not to stop visiting Tunisia after a recent militant attack, the Independent reported Saturday.

The campaign that surfaced on social media asks onlookers “would you stop visiting?” along with showing pictures of the 9/11 attack in New York on the World Trade Centre, the 7/7 bombings in London and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

The creator of the ads, Selim Ben Hadj Yahia, posted the campaign images on his Facebook account with a caption that reads: “Support Tunisia, land of peace.”

He reportedly created them in the wake of “shock and sadness” that followed the terror attack outside a five-star hotel in Sousse on June 26.

Many tourists fled Tunisia in horror following the incident, which claimed the lives of 38 people, 30 of them were British holidaymakers. The campaign was met with mixed reactions. It was hailed by some and others were critical of it, saying the attack on Sousse was of terrorist nature but it primarily targeted tourists. — Al Arabiya News

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150706249467

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Bombs At Mosque, Restaurant In Central Nigerian City Kill 44

July 6, 2015

JOS: An emergency agency official says 44 people were killed by two bombs that exploded at a crowded mosque and an elite Muslim restaurant in Nigeria's central city of Jos.

Abdussalam Mohammed of the National Emergency Management Agency says 67 other people were wounded and are being treated in hospitals.

Witnesses who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals say the explosion at Yantaya Mosque came as a leading cleric who preaches peaceful co-existence was addressing a crowd during the holy month of Ramadan.

Another bomb exploded at Shagalinku, a restaurant patronised by elite politicians.

Jos is located where Nigeria's majority Muslim north and mainly Christian south collide.

The city has been targeted in the past by bomb blasts claimed by Boko Haram Islamic extremists that have killed hundreds of people.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1192696/bombs-at-mosque-restaurant-in-central-nigerian-city-kill-44

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5 killed in northeast Nigeria church bomb attack

Jul 5, 2015

At least five people have been killed in a bomb attack that targeted a church in the volatile northeastern Nigerian city of Potiskum.

According to a police officer and witnesses, the attack took place on Sunday when an assailant blew up his explosives inside an uncompleted church in the Jigawa area on the outskirts of the city in Yobe State.

“Four worshipers died instantly while the fifth victim gave up shortly after she was taken to hospital,” a police officer said.

The unnamed officer, who was involved in the evacuation operations, added that a woman and her two children were among the dead.

Meanwhile, a witness said that the attacker was disguised as a worshiper and detonated his explosives as soon as he entered the church.

"I saw when the bomber alighting from a motorized rickshaw and entering the church and as soon as he entered a loud explosion ripped through the church which is under construction," the witness said.

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. However, Boko Haram Takfiri militants have repeatedly hit Potiskum, the commercial capital of Yobe.

Over the past few days, the extremist militants have also carried out a fresh wave of attacks on mosques, villages and markets in neighboring Borno State, killing over 200 people.

Soldiers speak to people standing away from houses burnt by Boko Haram militants at Zabarmari, a fishing and farming village near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on July 3, 2015.  ©AFP

Boko Haram, which has pledged allegiance to the ISIL Takfiri group, started its campaign of terror in Nigeria in 2009 and has recently expanded its terrorist activities to Nigeria’s neighboring countries as well.

Boko Haram militancy has claimed the lives of some 15,000 people and displaced around 1.5 million others over the past years.

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/07/05/418892/Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Potiskum-bombing-

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Boko Haram attack caps week of bloodshed in Nigeria

5 July 2015

A suicide bomber has attacked a church in Nigeria, capping a week in which more than 200 people died in Boko Haram violence.

At least five worshippers were killed in Sunday's attack as they were entering the church in Potiskum in the north-east of the country.

The Islamist extremists of Boko Haram have carried out a six-year campaign of violence in Nigeria's northeast.

The recent attacks have brought condemnation from Nigeria's president.

Muhammadu Buhari, speaking on Friday, described as a "heinous atrocity" the latest wave of violence.

The recent attacks include:

Friday: several suicide bombers kill large numbers in Zabarmari village

Thursday: two female suicide bombers attack another village in Borno state

Wednesday: more than 50 gunmen kill 97 people in the village of Kukawa, near Lake Chad

Tuesday: 48 men shot dead after prayers in two villages near the town of Monguno

Sunday's attack was carried out at the Redeemed Christian Church of God on the outskirts of Potiskum in Yobe state.

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President Buhari has called for a regional force to be deployed more rapidly

Witnesses and the police told AFP news agency that the pastor, a woman and her two children were among those killed.

Boko Haram took control of a large area of north-eastern Nigeria last year and declared a caliphate (a state governed in accordance with Islamic law).

However, Nigeria's military, backed by troops from neighbouring countries, has recaptured most of the territory.

In an effort to counter the growing violence, Nigeria is leading a military effort with neighbouring countries. Mr Buhari called for the regional military force to be deployed more rapidly.

According to Amnesty International, at least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent uprising to try to impose militant Islamist rule.

Will new military HQ make a difference?

Why Boko Haram remains a threat

The group is still holding many women, girls and children captive, including 219 schoolgirls it kidnapped from a school in Chibok in April last year.

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Boko Haram at a glance

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Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education - Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa language

Launched military operations in 2009

Joined Islamic State

Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls

Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate

Regional force has retaken most territory

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33401810

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Buhari Urges Muslims to Reject Boko Haram

05 July 2015

ABUJA – Responding to a surge in bloody attacks since the start of Ramadan, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Muslim community to condemn attacks by extremist group Boko Haram, the calls welcomed by Muslims.

“Once you are a Muslim you are entirely controlled by the Quran and Sunna [teachings] of the holy prophet, and there is no terrorism in Islam. … And you should live in peace and harmony with your fellow Muslims and even the non-Muslim alike,” Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, national chairman of the prominent Muslim Group JIBWIS, told Voice of America on Saturday, July 5.

“So with preaching … we are trying our possible best to see that our teaching is in line with the doctrine of the Quran and that of the Sunna of the holy prophet and we cannot go beyond that.”

Buhari's call Saturday came after a surge of deadly suicide bombings in Nigeria's Borno state since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Lau lauded Muslim scholars' calls to follow the peaceful teachings of Islam, adding that scholars would not be deterred from denouncing the violence carried out by Boko Haram militants.

The prominent scholar added that Boko Haram is not an Islamic group, repeating that Islam was far from what they preach.

“We have said it is not Islamic. What you are doing if you want to teach people or you want to tell them about the goodness of Islam, [violence] is not the way you present Islam, then you are giving Islam a bad name,” he said.

“So we have been saying if you want to present Islam to the Muslim world or to non-Muslim, then you cannot present Islam with [violence] or the way they are presenting it.”

Though the Nigerian army has made significant gains against the militants this year, Lau said the military option alone would not be able to resolve the security threats Boko Haram poses.

He suggested direct talks between the government and the militants.

“Let them bring them out to a table for discussion so that other people will not accept their way of teaching,” he said.

"But if you sit with them on a table to discuss with them and understand what their mission is, then bring the Islamic scholars to tell them that what they are doing is un-Islamic."

Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning “Western education is sinful”, is loosely modelled on Afghanistan's Taliban.

For the last five years, Nigeria has battled a fierce Boko Haram insurgency that has ravaged the country's volatile northeastern region and claimed thousands of lives.

But 2014 has been the bloodiest year of the insurgency yet, with increasingly frequent attacks, higher death tolls and a deluge of displaced persons.

The militant group has been kidnapping females for years and has hundreds in their custody.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram militants killed around 2,000 people and burned down homes in the northeast Nigerian town of Baga, according to Amnesty International.

Buhari, a retired army general and former military head of state between 1983 and 1985, was declared winner of Nigeria's presidential ballot on March 28. He beat the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan who quickly conceded defeat defeat and congratulated the winner.

Buhari has, among other election vows, promised to deal Boko Haram a final blow as well as address the problems of corruption which he warned could kill Nigeria if not urgently tackled.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/488989-buhari-urges-muslims-to-reject-boko-haram.html

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Kenya Muslims Ease Hunger in Ramadan

02 July 2015

NAIROBI – Addressing the increasing economic challenges in the society, Kenya's largest mosque has opened its door to people wishing to help their needy Muslim brothers and sisters by offering free Ramadan iftar and clothing.

"I must help my Muslim brothers and sisters, or that child who doesn't have any means of getting food during Ramadan," 41-year-old entrepreneur Swaleh Mwangeka told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, July 1.

"I must show generosity as God has shown to me."

Mwangeka was speaking while uploading his pick-up truck with cooking oil, flour and other foodstuffs intended for distribution to the poor.

The food items were being sent to Jamia Masjid, Kenya's largest mosque, located in the capital Nairobi's central business district.

It is also a vital location for Muslims from all over East Africa, as it frequently hosts major Islamic events.

"This is how I show gratitude for the blessings I have received. I don't want to imagine less fortunate Muslims going without iftar [evening fast-breaking meal] or sahur [pre-fasting meal] this month, when Muslims abstain from food and drink during daylight hours," Mwangeka said.

"I save up every year just for this. We're welcoming the holy month by feeding and clothing the less fortunate during this time of intense prayer and fasting," he added.

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

Fewer Restrictions

Marking the holy month, Kenya Muslim leaders thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for ordering security authorities to lift curfews to allow Muslims to observe Ramadan.

"The Muslim community is grateful that the government has decided to remove the curfews, as they would have disrupted our Ramadan schedule," Sheikh Hamisi Mungai, chairman of Kenya's Council of Imams and Muslim Preachers said.

Jamia mosque, an important center for Muslims in Nairobi, draws thousands of worshippers from across Kenya to observe Taraweeh and night prayer.

"We will pray, fast and recite the holy Quran throughout the month, as we seek forgiveness and guidance from God," said Sheikh Mohdar Khitamy, chairman of Kenya's Supreme Council of Muslims in Mombasa.

He expressed thanks to the government for lifting curfews in Muslim areas "to allow us to conduct our religious activities."

He went on to urge police to provide security for Muslims during Ramadan, asking them "not to arrest those participating in night time prayers."

Receiving food and clothes, Halima Mohamed said she will now focus on prayer without having to worry about finding food and shelter.

"I have no job or means of getting food," the mother-of-two said.

"It took me two hours to walk from the Kibera slums to the mosque today, but - thanks to my Muslim brothers and sisters - I now have something to eat."

Muslims in Kenya are 20 to 30 percent of the 43 million population, with the religion having arrived in East Africa more than a thousand years ago thanks to Muslim traders from Oman.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/488721-kenya-muslims-ease-hunger-in-ramadan.html

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Nigerian Muslims Race to Recite Qur'an

By Rafiu Oriyomi

02 July 2015

LAGOS – Muslims in Nigeria are in a race to complete recitation of the Qur'an as many times as possible before  Ramadan winds down, with many parents enticing their children to memorize the holy book in return for gifts, among other things.

"In my family, because my wife and myself are both working, we challenged ourselves to see who reads the Qur'an how many times during the holy month," Hassan Abubakar, a banker and father of two children, told OnIslam about how his family observe spirituality in Ramadan.

"Last year, she beat me by reading it three times while I only read it once and then another half. But I'm determined not to lose to her this year.

"Alihamdulillahi, I have finished reading the Qur'an once this year just a day after she finished hers. But curiously, I am now leading her in the second. Maybe she's deliberately slowing down for me," Abubakar said, adding he hopes to also recite the while Qur'an three times this year.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, kicked-off in Nigeria on June 18.

In Ramadan, Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah (swt) through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/488705-nigerian-muslims-race-to-recite-quran.html

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Europe

 

How Britain and the EU allowed jihadists to wage war on their own tourists

By Richard Spencer

04 Jul 2015

If the attack on British tourists, many of them elderly, lying on Tunisian beach sun-loungers had been an unexpected jolt from the blue, it would have been shocking enough.

How much more shocking, then, to know that Britain and its European allies have watched jihad lap the shores of its southern neighbours and done nothing to stop it, and little to warn its citizens travelling there of what was happening?

The European Union - and in particular France - is Tunisia’s closest ally and trading partner. The EU has rightly hailed the Arab state’s successful political transition to a democratic model following its overthrow of President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali four years ago.

But other than that, it has stood by as the deeply troubling security consequences of this startling event, the launchpad for the Arab Spring, unfolded. For more than two years, a jihadist group called Ansar al-Sharia, run by an high-ranking associate of Osama Bin Laden who had lived for several years in London, mobilised and recruited without being touched.

Seifallah Ben Hassine - who may, coincidentally, have been killed in a US air strike in Libya last month - was not unknown to the authorities. Indeed, they released him from prison in an amnesty in March 2011, two months after the revolution.

Offering social services to the poor and inspiring videos to the religious, Ansar al-Sharia denied its clear links to al-Qaeda made it a terrorist organisation, even after Ben Hassine and his followers stormed the US embassy in Tunis in September 2012.

From the embassy they moved on to a nearby mosque, from where Ben Hassine gave a sermon and then disappeared, drifting with his family through the police lines supposedly surrounding the place.

The case of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia - mirrored almost exactly in Libya at the same time - is a study in the ambiguity of radical political Islam, one with which the West has still to grapple fully.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/tunisia/11718577/How-Britain-and-the-EU-allowed-jihadists-to-wage-war-on-their-own-tourists.html

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Manchester Mosque Shares Ramadan with Non-Muslims

05 July 2015

CAIRO – Seeing Ramadan an opportunity to raise awareness about Islam, a Manchester mosque offers free tours during the holy fasting month along with a three course dinner with hundreds of worshippers.

“We have had a really good response so far, for many of the people on the tour it’s the first time they’ve been to a mosque,” Khirza Mosque volunteer and trustee Sajjad Amin, 35, told Manchester Evening News on Saturday, July 4.

“The idea behind the tours is sharing the occasion of Ramadan with our neighbours and helping to have understanding in the community.

 Ramadan Around the World

“When people come along and you get talking you find out there’s not a huge amount between us that separates us.”

Hosted by the UKIM Khirza Mosque on Cheetham Hill Road, the free tours and iftar meals aim at correcting the image of Muslims in England.

At the huge doomed mosque, visitors are invited to join 300 worshippers for a meal including samosas and bhajis, kebabs, curries and traditional Asian sweets.

Visitors are also offered a brief tour of the Cheetham Hill mosque.

Since the start of Ramadan, the mosque Ramadan events have been attended by Royal Mail staff, local police officers and groups of teachers

Manchester faiths are urged to join the tours and the iftar that will be hosted on Tuesday, July 7, Wednesday, July 8, Thursday, July 9 and Monday, July 13.

Britain is home to an estimated Muslim minority of nearly 2.7 million.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/489181-manchester-mosque-shares-ramadan-with-non-muslims.html

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Increasing Islamophobic Attacks Rattle France

04 July 2015

PARIS – Reflecting growing anti-Muslim sentiments, a French governmental organization revealed that Islamophobic acts in France have increased by 23.5 percent in the first six months of 2015, compared with the same period last year.

“Attacks against mosques, death threats against veiled women, school kids humiliated by their teachers, female students prohibited from wearing long skirts, religious profiling of Muslim children, propagation of hate speeches and even declarations of war on Muslims whom are portrayed as a fifth column… the consequences have been and still are dire for Muslims,” the report by the Paris-based Collective against Islamophobia in France organization read, Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday, July 4.

The report was released on Thursday under the title “Islamophobia in France six months after the January 2015 terrorist attacks.”

It warned that physical assaults increased by 500 percent and verbal attacks by 100 percent during the initial months of 2015, adding that women were among the first victims of Islamophobia.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/488985-islamophobic-attacks-rattle-france.html

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Bosnian Families Wait To Bury Victims

03 July 2015

CAIRO – Amid preparations to mark the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre, families of hundreds of victims are waiting the discovery of their dear ones bones to bury them and have peace.

“I live for that call. Every year I think this is the year I will bury my son,” Hajra Catic, whose son disappeared at the age of 26, told the Guardian on July 3.

Suffering a mix of despair and relief, Catic have been waiting over the past two decades for the discovery of the remains of her son, Nino, who had been the town’s radio operator at that time and sent out its last forlorn appeals for help.

Nino was one of thousands of local men who preferred to flee into the wooded mountains rather than trust their lives to the Serb forces or their supposed UN protectors.

While the body of her husband, Junuz, who was shot in one of the mass executions, was eventually found in 2005 with many others, Catic is still waiting a call to find her son’s bones.

“When the call comes, your memory goes straight back to 95,” Catic said.

“It is a terrible thing but I wish Nino was in a mass grave. Then I would know where he was.

“Every night I wake up thinking about him. For us, this is not history. For us, it’s like it happened yesterday.”

Waiting for years, the traumatized mother gave up waiting and went into the woods with one of her son’s friend in 2012 and started a risky journey where she found a skull of another victim.

“He took me to the place they said they had seen Nino wounded from a mortar,” Catic said.

“It was mined all around. I tried to clear the surface looking for something, but I found nothing. But walking back I found a skull by a creek.

“I couldn’t leave it there. I put in a bag and took it back. It stayed in my study for 18 months before anyone came to pick it up.”

Anniversary

Out of total of 8,372 missing bodies, the remains of 7,100 have been found, the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute figures showed.

“We are the first generation in human civilization in which bodies are buried and then dug up and scattered,” was Amor Masovic, the chairman of the Bosnian Missing Persons Institute, the man entrusted by the state with the endless task of accounting for the dead, told the Guardian

“As far as I know, no one else did this.”

Enduring a challenging mission, Masovic always receives calls from the families of the victims asking for news.

Masovic recalled the case of a 23-year-old, Kadrija Music, six of whose bones were found in five different locations up to 32km apart.

Many survivors are haunted by the bad memories of the massacre that will be commemorated next week.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/488919-bosnian-families-wait-to-bury-victims.html

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Merkel Attends First Ramadan Iftar

02 July 2015

CAIRO – Attending her first Ramadan iftar as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has stressed that Islam “is a part of Germany,” deploring increasing anti-Muslim hate attack in the European country.

“It is obvious that Islam is a part of Germany,” Merkel said in her speech at the iftar held at Villa Borsig, the official guest house of the German Foreign Ministry, in Berlin on Tuesday, Today's Zaman reported.

Merkel speech was given during attending her first Ramadan iftar with Muslim leaders including Integration Minister Aydan Özoğuz.

The iftar was also attended by Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany (KRM) spokesperson Nurhan Soykan, Central Council of Jews in Germany (ZJD) President Josef Schuster, Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) President Heinrich Bedford-Strohm and Central Committee of German Catholics (ZDK) President Alois Glück.

According to spokesperson of the German government Steffen Seibert, the Iftar dinner will become an annual event for the German Chancellor.

Addressing attendants, Merkel described the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during daylight hours, as a time when Muslims reflect and examine their lives.

The Chancellor also highlighted that the majority of Muslims in Germany were law abiding citizens who abided by the constitution.

She added that she does not approve discrimination against German Muslims.

“Hatred, racism, and extremism have no place in this country. We are a country based on democracy, tolerance, and openness to the world,” she commented.

Germany is believed to be home to nearly 4 million Muslims, including 220,000 in Berlin alone. Turks make up an estimated two thirds of the Muslim minority.

Germans have grown hostile to the Muslim presence recently, with a heated debate on the Muslim immigration into the country.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/488711-merkel-attends-first-ramadan-iftar.html

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Rocket Taking Russia to Moon to be Built in Sibir

06 July 2015

The Russian Federation still manages to take advantage from the natural and human resources of the Muslim countries it occupies.

After benefiting from the capabilities of the two Tatar Muslim countries which it invaded, Crimea and Tatarstan, a third Tatar Muslim country received its turn.

The Vice Premier says 'majority' of work on the replacement to Soyuz rocket for future of space travel likely to be in the city of Omsk in the Muslim country of Sibir.

The rocket that will be at the forefront of the new Russian era of space exploration will be manufactured, assembled and tested in Sibir, a Muslim country located in southwest Siberia.

The Angara-A5V rocket is being quickly developed with Omsk city which lies in Sibir earmarked as the location for much of the work.

It has already been announced that the eagerly anticipated first manned launch from the new multi-billion rouble Vostochny cosmodrome in 2020 will use the rocket.

In what is being heralded as a strategic move away from the old Soyuz technology first used in the 1960s, the Angara will also take the first Russians to the Moon.

Speaking to Rossiya-1 Channel, Rogozin said the majority of the hardware for the Angara will be manufactured in the Muslim city of Omsk which was invaded by Russians in the 1500s. However, he gave no timeline for when this would happen.

It is believed there will be an 'urgent meeting' in the city within a week with the Vice Premier and Igor Komarov, the head of Roskosmos, meeting with Polyot, the manufacturers of the rocket, to discuss the quickest way to move to the new technology.

Chief engineer Vladimir Kolobkov, the First Deputy to the General Director at Polyot, said: 'Rogozin's plans aren't reflected in any documents yet, but they are very likely to be followed by decisions.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/health-and-science/news/488707-rocket-taking-russia-to-moon-to-be-built-in-sibir.html

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‘High risk of terror attack’ in Spain: Minister

5 July 2015

Spain is facing its highest level of terror threat since 2004 because of the danger posed by militants, said the country’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz on Sunday.

“We are at the maximum alert level since the attacks of March 11, 2004 in Madrid,” said Fernandez Diaz in an interview published Sunday, referring to the attacks that left 191 dead and nearly 2,000 injured.

The minister said he did not want to incite panic, but “the level 4 alert (out of a maximum of 5) corresponds to a reality”.

The risk is heightened particularly because the head of Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, recently urged the mujahideen to commit attacks in their countries for the one-year anniversary of the jihadist organization, said the minister.

There has been a lot of activity since on social networks, he said, without giving details.

Some 116 people have left Spain to fight alongside ISIS militants, with 16 people registered as having since returned.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/05/-High-risk-of-terror-attack-in-Spain-Minister.html

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan, India to start process of joining China security bloc

July 6, 2015

BEIJING: Pakistan and India will start the process of joining a security bloc led by China and Russia at a summit in Russia later this week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday.

It will be the first time the grouping has expanded since it was set up in 2001.

“As the influence of the SCO's (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) development has expanded, more and more countries in the region have brought up joining the SCO,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a news briefing.

"...India and Pakistan's admission to the SCO will play an important role in the SCO's development, it will play a constructive role in pushing for the improvement of their bilateral relations.”

The SCO groups China, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers.

The bloc was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.

Cheng said that the summit, to be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, would also discuss security in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1192687/pakistan-india-to-start-process-of-joining-china-security-bloc

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Seven soldiers killed in anti-Taliban offensive

July 05, 2015

DERA ISMAIL KHAN- Taliban ambushes and bombings killed at least seven Pakistani soldiers in the northwest as the military made a new push into the militants' last major stronghold near the border with Afghanistan, intelligence officers said today.

Pakistan began a major offensive in North Waziristan last summer to drive out Pakistani Taliban and other extremist Islamist militants who launch attacks on government and civilian targets.

The army is meeting fierce resistance as it moves further into the lower-lying areas of the Shawal Valley, the Taliban's last stronghold, military officials said.

Pakistan's army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, visited troops on Friday and said the initial phase around the surrounding peaks of the Shawal Valley was successful and it was now time to begin a final push into the lower areas.

"We will not stop unless we achieve our end objective of a terror-free Pakistan," he said.

Militants ambushed a military convoy on Saturday in the valley's Pir Ghr area, killing two soldiers and wounding three others, intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Azam Tariq saying five soldiers were killed.

The intelligence officials added that troops moving from both the North and South Waziristan sides into the Shawal Valley were encountering tough resistance from militants.

The heavily forested ravines in the area are dotted with Taliban hideouts and the area is a key smuggling route into neighboring Afghanistan. Two other attacks in the northwest killed five more soldiers outside the Shawal Valley.

The first, a remote-controlled bomb attack on army vehicles in North Waziristan, killed three and injured six.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/05-Jul-2015/seven-soldiers-killed-during-anti-taliban-offensive

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Policeman, 2 Hazaras killed in Quetta firing

SYED ALI SHAH

July 6, 2015

Hospital for a postmortem examination.

The deceased received multiple bullets in their heads, police said. In the aftermath of the attack, shops in the area were also closed.

The incident comes a day after a blast killed one person and injured 19 others in Quetta's Bacha Khan Chowk.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1192684/policeman-2-hazaras-killed-in-quetta-firing

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People of Barelvi and the Deobandi Schools Of Thought Clash over Management of Mosque

July 6, 2015

KARACHI: Some people belonging to what was described as rival religious groups fought with each other on Sunday in a dispute over a mosque in Clifton’s Block-8, officials said.

The groups belonging to the Barelvi and the Deobandi schools of thought initially had a heated argument over members of the mosque’s management committee and then resorted to firing into the air, said South SSP Dr Mohammad Farooq Ahmed.

The officer said that the dispute between the groups over Moti Masjid management was going on for more than eight months.

Contingents of police rushed to the spot and fired shots into the air to disperse the embattled groups, said the SSP.

However, he added, the police had received no report about anyone getting wounded.

Later on, members of the Sunni Tehreek staged a sit-in on the main Chaudhry Khaliquz Zaman Road near Punjab Chowrangi which resulted in a traffic jam. The traffic flow was diverted to alternate routes.

The sit-in continued till the filing of this report late on Sunday evening.

The South SSP said that the situation was brought under control while talks were under way with the participants in the sit-in to clear the road.

‘BLA man’ found shot dead

A purported member of the banned Baloch Liberation Army was found shot dead in Pak Colony on Sunday, police said.

They added that suspects kidnapped 45-year-old Nasir Behram and killed him somewhere and later on threw his body in Hasan Oliya village near Lyari River.

“The deceased belonged to the BLA,” claimed Pak Colony SHO Aslam Baloch. He was also a drug peddler and hit man, the officer claimed. His two accomplices had recently been killed by Rangers in an ‘encounter’, the officer added.

The murder appeared to be an outcome of the turf war between supposed rival gangs in the area, he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1192590/rival-groups-clash-over-management-of-mosque

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People living abroad have engaged Baloch youth to fight in name of freedom: Lt. Gen Janjua

July 05, 2015

Quetta: Commander Southern Command, Lieutenant General Nasir Janjua has said it is a good omen, that Baloch Youths have started joining the national mainstream, by leaving the course of extremism.

Addressing the concluding session of Sports Festival at Bugti Stadium, General Nasir Janjua asked the Baluchistan youth to recognize their enemy, saying that how can people who have fled from the country be their leaders.

The Corps Commander said that people who have fled abroad and now playing with dollars and pounds, are engaging innocent youth in fight in the name of freedom. He went on to say that flood of masses in the ceremony shows, love of people for peace. He said he was optimistic that sense of deprivation in Baluchistan has ended. Janjua said, “We all are travelling on the same path of peace and prosperity.”

http://nation.com.pk/national/05-Jul-2015/people-living-abroad-have-engaged-baloch-youth-to-fight-in-name-of-freedom-lt-gen-janjua

N’s govt lacks sincerity, says Qadri

July 05, 2015

LAHORE: PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on Saturday has claimed the PML-N government is not sincere in implementing the National Action Plan.

Talking to journalists after chairing a joint meeting of the Central Executive Council and Central Working Council, the PAT chief demanded death sentence for those getting foreign funding and involved in terrorism. “Sharifs are playing politics in the name of NAP and befooling the army and the nation. In fact they (Sharifs) are backing the terrorist organisations in the country,” he further alleged.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/05-Jul-2015/n-s-govt-lacks-sincerity-says-qadri

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Pagara’s ‘reluctance’ puts Shujaat’s United Muslim League bid in limbo

Mian Abrar

July 6, 2015

Pir Rashidi says leader of new Muslim League to be decided on basis of political muscle, Musharraf could not be appointed head

PML-Q’s Haleem Shaikh says leaguers will hear good news soon after Eidul Fitr as contacts had frozen for the moment owing to Pir Pagara’s departure for London

Source says after Shujaat’s ‘bitter experience’ with Tahirul Qadri, he wanted to launch another effort to help form an alliance between three factions

It seems that the covert planning to launch a new chapter of Muslim League has crashed halfway as a cold shoulder by Pir Pagaro has put Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s efforts to form United Muslim League (UML) in limbo, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.

A senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML) told this scribe that Pir of Pagaro has a “valid claim” on the leadership of the new alliance, claiming that the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) was the “only potent political force” in the country.

“The cold shoulder by Pir Pagaro aims at sending a clear message to Shujaat and Musharraf that they have no political standing. The only political reality among the PML factions is PML-F which is fifth major political force in the parliament,” the source said.

Federal minister Pir Syed Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi told Pakistan Today that the leader of the new Muslim League was yet to be decided on the basis of political muscle and that Musharraf could not be appointed as the head of the new league.

“We will see once we sit together to discuss the new party affairs. Musharraf’s party is smallest among the PML factions. So should be his share in the new league. Shujaat should also get his party united in Punjab which is already in tatters,” he added.

He also referred to his statement in Hyderabad, saying that the forces who had weakened the Muslim League now wanted to strengthen it. He said all contentious matters would be decided after Eid when the matter would be discussed again.

On the other hand, the senior leaguer said that the efforts to form another chapter of Muslim League was a brainchild of Chaudhry Shujaat who wanted an alliance between PML-F, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/07/06/national/pagaras-reluctance-puts-shujaats-united-muslim-league-bid-in-limbo/

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Religious leaders pledge support in anti-polio drive

QUETTA:

July 6, 2015

Religious clerics and prayer leaders in Quetta have agreed to help in persuading parents to allow their children to be immunised against the deadly polio virus.

At a conference held under the auspices of the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) Balochistan, religious leaders, including Maulana Anwarul Haq Haqani, Dr Athaur Rehman, Maulana Abdul Raheem Raheemi, Qari Mateen, Malvi Azizullah, Qari Abdul Rahsid and prayer leaders of mosques  gave their assurances to the ECO of their support.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/07/06/national/religious-leaders-pledge-support-in-anti-polio-drive/

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Musharraf calls Qadri, discusses political situation

LAHORE:

July 6, 2015

Dr Tahirul Qadri, Chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehreek, and Pervez Musharraf, President of All-Pakistan Muslim League, discussed the political situation in the country on phone on Sunday, as per sources.

A PAT official said that the former army chief inquired about Dr Qadri’s health and also invited him for a meeting in Karachi, reportedly.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/07/06/national/musharraf-calls-qadri-discusses-political-situation/

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Arab World

 

Egyptian army kills 63 militants in Sinai

5 July 2015

Egypt’s military launched air strikes and ground operations that killed 63 Islamist militants in North Sinai on Sunday, security sources said, as the country grapples with an increasingly ambitious insurgency based in the

region.

Security sources said on Sunday troops killed the 63 militants in villages between the towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah.

The army found four militant hideouts and attacked them with Apache helicopters and ground troops.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group’s Egypt affiliate, recently renamed Sinai Province, has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Mursi’s removal.

Though the vast peninsula has long been a security headache for Egypt and its neighbors, the removal of Mursi brought new violence that has grown into an Islamist insurgency that has spread out of the region.

On Monday, a car bomb in Cairo killed Egypt’s top prosecutor, the highest-profile official to die since the insurgency began.

Egyptian government officials have accused Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood of links to Sinai attacks. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement that wants to reverse what it calls a military coup through street protests.

Egypt’s interior ministry said on Sunday it had arrested 12 Brotherhood members who had formed three cells with the intention of carrying out attacks on policemen, soldiers and military and police bases.

Also on Sunday, the prosecutors referred to trial 22 people charged with planting bombs near targets including the high court and cabinet buildings, state news agency MENA reported.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has also expressed concern about militants based in neighboring Libya, where Egypt has launched air strikes on ISIS targets.

Gunmen wound four military recruits

Four military recruits were severely injured after unknown gunmen hit a security camp with a mortar shell in the Egyptian border town of Rafah, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent reported on Sunday, citing security sources.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/05/Gunmen-wound-four-military-recruits-in-Egypt-s-border-town-Rafah.html

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At least 35 ISIL terrorists killed in Iraq by army airstrikes

Jul 6, 2015

At least 35 ISIL members have been killed by the Iraqi army in the northern Salahuddin province, officials say.

According to a Sunday statement by Iraq's Ministry of Defense, the airstrikes were launched on Tikrit Air Academy, a former US-military base called COB Speicher, in the southwest of Salahuddin.

The Iraqi army forces, joined by volunteer fighters mainly the Popular Mobilization Forces, are seeking to retake control of regions being held by the militants.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces also launched airstrikes on the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk against what was reportedly cars laden with explosives.

Reports said that the Yabani Bridge in Iraq’s western province of Anbar was liberated by Iraqi forces, who also destroyed five car bombs in the area.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/07/06/418945/Dozens-ISIL-terrorists-casualties-Iraq-Salahuddin-province

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Mosque bombing kills 15 al-Qaeda fighters in Syria

4 July 2015

Activists say a bomb has exploded inside a mosque where al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria was holding a fast-breaking meal, killing at least 14.

Activists say the bombing inside the Salem Mosque in the northern town of Ariha occurred shortly after sunset Friday when scores of Nusra Front members gathered to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday that the explosion killed 31 Nusra Front members including five commanders.

Syria-based activist Ahmad al-Ahmad said 15 Nusra Front fighters were killed and more than 30 wounded.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/04/Mosque-bombing-kills-15-al-Qaeda-fighters-in-Syria.html

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Saudi fighter jets target Yemen, killing at least 10

Jul 6, 2015

Saudi fighter jets have once again targeted various areas in war-torn Yemen, killing at least 10 people in the Arab country.

At least 7 people were killed on Sunday night after Saudi warplanes pounded residential areas in the town of al-Ma’ala in Yemen’s southwestern Aden Province, the country’s al-Masirah television reported.

Another two people lost their lives in airstrikes carried out against the al-Zamah district in the northwestern Yemeni city of Sa’ada.

Saudi planes also bombarded Yemen’s coast guard base in the town of al-Makha in the southwestern province of Ta’izz, killing one person.

A school in the town of Midi in the northwestern province of Hajjah was also targeted in air raids.

In the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, Saudi jets reportedly pounded the houses of tribal chiefs and businessmen loyal to the Houthi Ansarullah movement in addition to the Republican Guard Academy.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/07/06/418965/Saudi-Arabia-new-airstrikes-Yemen-alMaala-alZamah

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Syria, Hezbollah forces make advances in Zabadani city in Qalamoun

Jul 5, 2015

Syrian government forces and the fighters belonging to Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, have gained the upper hand in the fight against the militants operating in and around the city of Zabadani in the border region of Qalamoun.

“Army forces in cooperation with the Lebanese resistance took control of the al-Jamaiyat neighborhood in western Zabadani and the al-Sultana neighborhood in the east of the city,” Syria’s officials news agency, SANA, said on Sunday, adding, "Operations are continuing with dozens of terrorists killed and wounded."

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed Syria's advances in the area, saying that Syrian fighter jets have been bombarding the area since early morning.

The UK-based group added that at least 14 members of the Syrian and Hezbollah joint forces and 11 terrorists were killed in the clashes on Sunday.

Zabadani is the last city under the control of terrorists in the Qalamoun region on the Lebanese border.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/07/05/418878/Hezbollah-Qalamoun-Zabadani-Lebanon-Syria-

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Tranquility Restored to Western Aleppo, Tens of Terrorists Captured

Jul 05, 2015

In their Saturday night attacks against militants' positions in Jamiat al-Zahra district in Western Aleppo, the Syrian security forces made them withdraw from the buildings they had occupied recently.

According to early reports, the ISIL terrorists are now controlling only a little part of Jamiat al-Zahra region.

At present tranquility has returned to the region, with some sporadic clashes underway between the Syrian forces and the terrorists North of Rasoul A'zam mosque.

During the battles in Western Aleppo in the last 24 hours, the Syrian forces also captured 51 members of Savar al-Sham terrorist group.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army thwarted a series of attacks by the Takfiri terrorists on a strategic region in Northern Aleppo province.

The Jeish al-Islam terrorists in three convoys of vehicles were trying to attack a strategic region in Western Aleppo, but they failed.

Aleppo has been the scene of heavy clashes between the terrorists and the Syrian troops in the last several days.

The Takfiri terrorists intended to seize the strategic region of Jamiat al-Zahra in the Western parts of Aleppo city to pave their way to the city center.

Tens of terrorists, including several commanders, have been killed and dozens more injured during the past 48 hours in the Western Aleppo.

On Friday, hundreds of the ISIL terrorists were killed and scores of others sustained serious injuries after Syrian warplanes pounded the Takfiri group's positions in Aleppo city.

According to local reports, the Syrian fighter jets targeted the militant hideouts in the troubled city and claimed the lives of more than 100 terrorists.

The reports added the strikes also left several ISIL compounds and ammunition depots destroyed across the area.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001440

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Bahrain Mosque Feeds Thousands in Ramadan

05 July 2015

MANAMA – Sharing the spirits of the holy fasting month, a Bahraini mosque offers hundreds of free iftar meals each day of Ramadan for Muslims and non-Muslims, seizing the opportunity to reveal the beauty of the faith.

“It started in 2000 and this person, who wished to remain anonymous, has been generous enough to ensure that there is enough food to feed anyone who walks into the tent to break their fast,” mosque supervisor Abdulrahman Bukhammal told the Gulf Daily News on Sunday, July 5.

“Every year, close to 12,000 people attend the iftar during Ramadan and they are served with dates, ghouzi (rice and meat), water, laban and juice.”

Funded by an anonymous Bahraini Philanthropist, the daily iftar meals are served at Bahrain’s biggest mosque, Ahmed alFateh Islamic Center (Grand Mosque) in Juffair.

With more than 400 meals offered every day, food is served in a tent at the mosque at evening prayers in Ramadan.

“A total of 70 big plates of ghouzi, each enough to serve six people, is supplied.  Some people also bring in small amounts of fruits and juice as part of their contribution,” Bukhammal said.

“As soon as the prayer call goes out we gather in the tent and share the meal. It is 15 minutes before the next prayer call, where the men gather in the mosque, pray and depart.”

Started in 2000, the charitable initiative served only five persons at its first iftar, compared to hundreds at the time being.

“When we first started the iftar, it was just five people to whom we served food in a corner inside the mosque,” Bukhammal, who is a former oil engineer, stated.

“Then it went up to 200 and the mosque was getting dirty, so we put up a tent outside. Today this massive tent itself costs BD4,000 ($10,600) for a month – all borne by the (anonymous) sponsor.

Non-Muslims Too

Opening its doors for people from different faiths and nationalities, the Grand Mosque aims to represent the true-face of Islam by dispelling misconceptions.

“We don’t restrict meals to Muslims, as it is meant for the hungry,” Muharraq, who took voluntary retirement to serve at the mosque 20 years ago, stressed.

“We also at times have visitors, like those from the US Navy base, who say that they want to experience the custom.

“They are welcome, but we tell them they have to sit down and eat with their right hand, sharing with five others from a plate. This is the fellowship and sharing that the holy book teaches us.”

Besides serving free iftar meals, the mosque offers daily religious lectures in Urdu, Hindi, English and Arabic on the importance of Ramadan and its benefits.

It also hosts Qur’an lessons for non-Arabic speaker women.

With a library and Qur’an science section, the mosque hosts daily tours from 9 am to 2 pm during the holy month.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/middle-east/489141-bahrain-mosque-feeds-thousands-in-ramadan.html

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Little hope in Gaza ruins a year after devastating war

July 06, 2015

Sarah Benhaida - In the ruins of what used to be his home, Gaza Strip resident Rabah Abu Shanab reflects on what used to be - and what little hope remains.

“We were doing better a year ago,” the 57-year-old said while sitting on a plastic chair in his living room, now just concrete slabs and twisted iron bars.

“The whole world was paying attention to Gaza, but today nobody cares.

This week marks one year since Israel’s devastating war with Palestinian militants in Gaza, and despite a tacit ceasefire that has largely held, there has been little reason for residents caught up in the conflict to believe their suffering will soon end. Thousands of homes destroyed by Israeli strikes are yet to be rebuilt, a strict Israeli blockade and tightly controlled borders have added to Gazans’ misery and the risk of yet another conflict remains a threat.

On top of that, internal tensions have seen Salafist extremists in Gaza challenge Hamas angry over its ceasefire with Israel and what they see as its lack of zeal in enforcing Islamic law.

Militants - and not Hamas - have claimed credit for recent rocket fire into Israel.

They have claimed links to the Islamic State group, and whether or not there is any truth to such statements, their emergence has further complicated the task of setting Gaza on a path to recovery.

‘Another conflict becomes inevitable’

Residents find themselves trapped in the besieged coastal enclave, which has seen three wars in six years and where 39 percent of the 1.

8-million population lives below the poverty line.

Last year’s 50-day war was the longest and deadliest of the three, with 2,251 Palestinians killed, including 551 children, compared with 73 people on the Israeli side.

“I think what is different after this last conflict than even after the previous two was a much higher sense of hopelessness, that there really was not a feeling that the conditions were going to improve,” said Robert Turner, director of operations in Gaza for UN relief agency UNRWA.

“We have not addressed any of the underlying causes, so I think conventional wisdom would be that another conflict becomes inevitable at some point.

Indirect talks between Hamas and Israel’s right-wing government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the aim of shoring up the ceasefire - and potentially easing the blockade that has been in part blamed for the slow progress in rebuilding - have not convinced war-weary residents.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/06-Jul-2015/little-hope-in-gaza-ruins-a-year-after-devastating-war

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Syria regime forces enter rebel bastion Zabadani

5 July 2015

Syrian government forces backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah movement on Sunday entered Zabadani, the last rebel-held town in the Qalamun region on the Lebanese border, state media said.

The advance was also confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor, and reported by Hezbollah's Al-Manar television station.

"Heroic army forces in cooperation with the Lebanese resistance took control of the Al-Jamaiyat neighborhood in western Zabadani and the Al-Sultana neighborhood in the east of the city," state television said in a breaking news alert.

"Operations are continuing with dozens of terrorists killed and wounded," it added.

The Britain-based Observatory confirmed that regime forces and Hezbollah had entered the city, adding that army helicopters had dropped at least 12 barrel bombs on the town since Sunday morning.

It said at least 14 regime forces and Hezbollah fighters had been killed in fighting for the town over the past 24 hours, along with at least 11 rebels.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar television aired what it said was footage of its fighters and Syrian soldiers entering the town.

Zabadani is around 20 kilometers north of the capital and was one of the first towns to fall into rebel hands in early 2012.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/05/Syria-regime-forces-enter-rebel-bastion-Zabadani-.html

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Egypt military releases footage of airstrikes in Sinai

 5 July 2015

The Egyptian army released new videos showing a series of air strikes conducted against militants of the Sinai Province group -- a branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group (ISIS) based in the Sinai Peninsula.

The tapes, which are available on the Facebook page of the Egyptian armed forces, show the aerial attacks on the group.

It was not clear when exactly the aerial attacks took place.

بالفيديو ... ضربات الثأر من جرذان الإرهاب...ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــضربة الثأر الثانية لمركز تجمع جرذان الإرهاب

Posted by الصفحة الرسمية للمتحدث العسكري للقوات المسلحة on Saturday, 4 July 2015

On Saturday, Egyptian warplanes killed 25 Islamist militants in North Sinai, security sources said, as the Egyptian president visited the province after a major escalation of the conflict there.

The aerial attacks in Rafah, Al-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid came only days after militants launched a coordinated assault on military checkpoints in North Sinai, leading to day-long fighting which left more than 100 militants and 17 soldiers dead.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/05/Egypt-military-releases-footage-of-airstrikes-in-North-Sinai.html

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Over 5,500 Fresh Volunteers Join Iraq's War on ISIL

Jul 05, 2015

"A sum of 5,583 Iraqi volunteer forces have completed their military training in the centers of Dhiqar province," al-Nasseri said.

He also added that a sum of over 30,000 volunteer forces have already received military training in Dhiqar's military training centers.

Early last month, 15,000 fresh volunteer forces joined Hashd al-Shaabi.

"At least 15,000 volunteers from the Dhiqar province and the capital city of Naseriah have joined the Hashd al-Shaabi gunmen and will take up arms against the ISIL,” Naman Ibrahimi, a representative of the province’s security committee said.

Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Units, is an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organization composed of several, almost exclusively, Shiite militias with up to 100,000 members.

On Saturday, 500 Sunni Iraqis from different tribes of the Western province of al-Anbar joined the army and the popular forces to defend the country against the ISIL terrorist group.

Al-Mesri al-Youm news website quoted Colonel Mohammad Jaloub, one of the commanders of military operations against the ISIL in Anbar, as saying that the trainings of 500 Sunni Iraqis have ended.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001127

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Syrian Army Wins Back Strategic Town in Hama Province

Jul 05, 2015

The army units took control of al-Karima town before starting their advances towards Sahl al-Qab region in Western Hama.

Al-Karima town is of strategic importance because it links the three provinces of Homs, Idlib and Lattakia.

The victory in Karima paves the way for the Syrian army to move towards Shal al-Qab region.

Last week, military sources said the Syrian warplanes targeted positions of the militant groups in Hama, and destroyed their logistical equipment.

The sources said that in addition to the high death toll of the rebels in al-Qastal, Hammadi Omar, al-Hadaj, Um Edoul and Eidoun, a long convoy of the rebels' vehicles and a large depot of their weapons and ammunition were destroyed in the Syrian air attacks in the strategic Hama province.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414000961

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South Asia

 

9 Soldiers Martyred, 41 Militants Killed In Afghanistan +Military Operations

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jul 06 2015,

Nine soldiers have embraced martyrdom and 41 militants killed in military operations in past 24 hours, officials announced on Monday morning.

Four policemen were killed and two others wounded after Taliban attacked a number of security check posts in Khushamand District of Paktika province late on Sunday.

Nabiullah Peerkhil, spokesman for the police headquarters of Paktika province confirms the report.

Also, a statement issued by the Ministry of Defense states that five Army soldiers embraced martyrdom in IED explosions and militant fire while on duty.

The statement does not specify the exact location of the incident.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/9-soldiers-martyred-41-militants-killed-in-newest-military-operations-3609

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Bomb Blast In Kandahar, Afghanistan Kills 3, Injures Others Including Police

By Kerry Flynn

July 05 2015

A bomb set off on a motorcycle in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killed three and left at least 11 injured, Afghanistan’s 24-hour television network TOLOnews reported Sunday. Among the dead is a member of the Afghan National Army. Two police officers were injured, Kandahar journalist Mamoon Durrani reported via Twitter.

The bombing was reported to be a suicide attack by an assailant on a motorcycle. The blast was set off near Shiyas’ Masjid, a mosque in Kandahar's first district. Feroz Mahbobi, another Kandahar journalist, reported “serious damage” and "casualties everywhere” in a message sent on Twitter at 9:38 a.m. EDT. A local hospital is accepting casualties and treating those injured, Mahbobi wrote.

A roadside bomb killed 14 people and injured five in Kandahar on June 20, News24 reported. That event was the first major attack in the area in June. Following that event, a suicide bombing wounded at least 22 people and led to at least one death in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 30, the New York Times reported.

Full report at:

http://www.ibtimes.com/bomb-blast-kandahar-afghanistan-kills-3-injures-others-including-police-1996138

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IS in Afghanistan on Xi, Putin's summit agenda: China

July 6, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders will discuss the threat the Islamic State group poses in Afghanistan at a Eurasian security summit in Russia this week, a Chinese official said Monday.

Xi travels to the Russian city of Ufa for a summit on Thursday and Friday of leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

It will be preceded by a meeting of leaders of the BRICS group of emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"Due to the spillover effect of the Islamic State terrorist activities, Afghanistan now faces a grim security situation," Chinese vice foreign minister Cheng Guoping told reporters.

SCO leaders "will certainly have in-depth discussions on the Afghan issue", he added. "And they will talk further about how to respond to the security situation there."

China is seeking business interests in Afghanistan and is sensitive to any spillover of Islamic-inspired extremism from the country, which has a short border with its mostly Muslim western region of Xinjiang.

Afghanistan's militant Taliban are seeking to halt defections to IS after some insurgents adopted its flag to rebrand themselves as a more lethal force as NATO troops depart the country.

Last month the Taliban warned the leader of IS group against waging a parallel insurgency in Afghanistan, after reported clashes between militants loyal to the two groups.

Afghanistan has "observer" status in the SCO, along with India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, according to the group's website.

- Security co-operation -

The summit will begin procedures for India and Pakistan to join the group as full members after their candidatures were approved last year, Cheng said.

The acceptance of the nuclear-armed rivals -- which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 and jockey for influence in Afghanistan -- would mark the SCO's first expansion since its inception in 2001.

Cheng shrugged off any concerns over their tense relations, saying membership "will not only help the organisation become better but will also play a productive role in promoting friendly relations between the two countries".

He also said that China remained on guard against the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) it says foments unrest in Xinjiang among the region's ethnic Uighurs, though many analysts outside China have questioned whether any large scale organisation of the kind exists.

Full report at:

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/afghanistan-xi-putins-summit-agenda-071103588.html#vJNBNl8

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Khaleda predicts crisis if national polls not held soon, Nasim says no polls before 2019

July 6, 2015

Terming the present Awami League-led coalition government illegal, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said an immediate re-election under a non-party government was necessary, otherwise the country would fall into crisis.

Addressing an iftar party arranged by the Association of Engineers, Bangladesh (AEB) at Bashundhara International Convension Centre in the capital yesterday, the former prime minister said: “The Awami League government is only busy in looting the state’s assets, but they have no focus on the countrymen and their livelihoods. This is called the Awami League, and this is their ideal.”

Khaleda Zia sought the help of the people of the country to support BNP’s movement to recover the country’s democracy.

“People want a peaceful life, security, development, transparency. But the present illegal government has failed to meet the public needs. If the Awami League wants peace for the people, they will arrange polls immediately with the participation of all parties,” she said.

However, Awami League Presidium Member and spokesperson of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance Mohammad Nasim denied any chances of national polls before 2019.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2015/jul/06/khaleda-predicts-crisis-if-national-polls-not-held-soon-nasim-says-no-polls-201

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Hasina to BBC: We have taken steps immediately after bloggers' murders

july 6, 2015

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government had taken steps immediately after the killings of bloggers.

"Immediately we arrested the killers and brought them to book. We are taking care of this as we won't allow any kind of terrorist activities to take place in this country," she said in an interview with the BBC.

BBC's Mishal Husain, while taking the prime minister's interview, asked her if her government had any problem with the radical Islamists referring to three shocking murders of secular bloggers in public places.

In replying to the question the premier said Bangladesh is a secular country where people of every religion can practise their own religion peacefully.

When asked about the ethos of the country as the Founding Father of Bangladesh inserted secularism into the constitution and if Bangladesh is a secular country she said there is a religious harmony. “We have ensured it.”

As she was asked about her reaction to the widespread talks after her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi commended her for her zero tolerance towards terrorism during his recent visit with a mention “despite being a woman” Sheikh Hasina with a smile said: “I think he has appreciated it; I consider it like this.”

“May be he wanted to refer to the courage I have shown many men could not, but I have done it and taken steps against terrorists,” Hasina said.

In the exclusive interview with the BBC's Mishal Husain, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also talked about MDGs, child marriages, secularism, and how she feels being a woman fighting terrorism.

When asked about the achievement of Bangladesh in 15 years of the MDGs as the end of the millennium development goal is being marked Hasina said: “When I formed the government we immediately implemented it. We have done a lot; Bangladesh has made tremendous progress.”

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2015/jul/05/hasina-bbc-we-have-taken-steps-immediately-after-bloggers-murders

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Unidentified armed men shot dead three Hazaras in Quetta

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jul 06 2015,

Unknown armed men gunned down three Hazaras in the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan this morning.

Police say the gunmen opened fire at a group of Hazara people outside the passport office in Quetta leaving three of them killed and two others wounded.

Soon after the incident police arrived at the site and cordoned off the site but the attackers had already fled the area.

Empty shells of 9MM were found at the scene citing that the shooting spree was carried out with pistols.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/unidentified-armed-men-shot-dead-three-hazaras-in-quetta-3608

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17 militants killed in drone strike and internal clash of insurgent groups in Nangarhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jul 06 2015

17 militants have been killed in a drone strike and internal clash between two armed groups in eastern Nangarhar province.

A statement issued on Monday by the police headquarters of Nangarhar states that three militants were killed in a drone strike and 14 others in internal clash of the militant groups.

The drone strike carried out in Kariz area of Chaparhar District left Qari Samiullah alias Sangin, Shakur S/O Abdul Hamid and Abdullah S/O Mullah Tasang killed yesterday.

Also, the deadly clash erupted between two insurgent groups in Milwa area of Nazian District leaving 14 militants killed and two others wounded.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/17-militants-killed-in-drone-strike-and-internal-clash-of-insurgent-groups-in-nangarhar-3607

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Three people killed, 13 wounded in Kandahar explosion

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Jul 06 2015

Three people have lost lives and 13 others sustained injuries in a bomb explosion in southern Kandahar province.

Zia Durani, spokesman for the provincial police headquarters said that the explosion took place close to Imam Bargah in capital Kandahar city late on Sunday.

He added that the explosive materials were placed on a parked motorcycle which exploded close to the time if Iftar leaving three people killed and 13 others wounded.

Those killed include a child, a woman and a policeman.

Most of those wounded comprised of children and women who have been admitted to provincial hospital in Kandahar city for treatment.

They have been announced out of danger.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/three-people-killed-13-wounded-in-kandahar-explosion-3606

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Normalising ties: Pakistan, Afghanistan try to ease tensions

By Kamran Yousaf

July 6, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan are quietly engaging with each other in an effort to mend their fragile relations in the wake of an attack outside the Afghan parliament building and minor border skirmishes involving troops of the two countries.

The latest incidents were a source of friction between the two neighbours and could even undermine painstaking efforts to improve their troubled ties over the last few months.

Before these incidents can cause deeper fissures, the two countries are accelerating their efforts to encourage peace and reconciliation, a senior Pakistani official told  The Express Tribune. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, said the two neighbours activated ‘all available channels of communication’ to ensure that relations remain stable.

In this regard, a high-level meeting is expected between the two countries in the coming days. The meeting could take place in Russia later this week when the leaderships of the two countries would be there to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

Although Pakistan has confirmed participation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it is unclear who is going to the Russian city of Ufa from Afghanistan.

When contacted, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said the two countries were engaged with each other for better cooperation on all issues of mutual interests.

Last week, Islamabad and Kabul summoned each other’s envoys over the recent border incident in which two Pakistani soldiers were injured. Both the countries had accused each other for triggering the incident that took place along the border at Angoor Ada. The border skirmishes came on the heels of the allegations by the Afghan intelligence agency that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence was behind the attack on the Afghan parliament, a charge Islamabad has dismissed vehemently.

“We have given the commitment at the highest level that Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used against Afghanistan,” said the official. He made it clear that Pakistan was committed to its promise and considers “enemies of Afghanistan as enemies of Pakistan”.

Read: Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to share intelligence

Since the national unity government, led by President Ashraf Ghani, was formed in Kabul last year, there has been significant improvement in the relationship between Islamabad and Kabul.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/915587/normalising-ties-pakistan-afghanistan-try-to-ease-tensions/

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India

 

Adopt family planning: Shiv Sena's advice for Muslims to control population

July 6, 2015

Expressing concerns over the growing Muslim population in the country, Shiv Sena on Monday said that it can affect the nation's unity. In its mouthpiece Saamana, Shiv Sena also advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask Muslims of the country to respec t law and adopt family planning.

"Not only in Assam and small north-eastern states but the Muslim population is also increasing in big states like Haryana and Delhi. Shiv Sena believes, by increasing population, Muslims want to capture the Hindu Rashtra....," said the editorial.

The editorial said it was the right time for PM Modi to seek a control on Muslim population.

 "If Muslims think they are Indians then they have to follow law of the land - which is 'Parivaar Niyojan'. Now the time has come for Central government and PM Modi to knock the doors of Muslims and instruct them to follow the rules and control the population..."

According to the census data on the population of religious groups (2001-2011), India's Muslim population has grown by 24 per cent between 2001 and 2011 against national average of 18 per cent with the community's representation rising to 14.2 per cent from 13.4 percent of total population.

Full report at:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/shiv-sena-muslim-population-control-family-planning-saamana/1/449362.html

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India’s Crackdown on Madrasahs Exposes Rift over Islamic Education

JULY 6, 2015

MUMBAI — A demand by the Indian state of Maharashtra that the hundreds of madrasahs there teach mathematics and science as well as Quranic studies has exposed the deepening rift in South Asia between supporters and opponents of Islamic education.

Mr Eknath Khadse, the state’s Minority Affairs Minister, last week stoked a heated debate across India when he said madrasahs that did not teach mainstream subjects would be considered “non-schools”, meaning they failed to comply with education laws and were not eligible for state funding.

Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, conducted a survey to determine which schools in the state of 117 million people teach the regular curriculum. About 148,000 Muslim students attend the state’s 1,889 registered madrasahs. Some teach maths and science, as well as Islam, and receive official funding. But there are also believed to be thousands of unregistered madrasahs.

Some Indian Muslim leaders were angered by the latest moves and accused the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and the Maharashtra government led by his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — of pursuing a fundamentalist Hindu agenda.

Two months ago, the state government banned the sale and eating of beef because cows are sacred to Hindus, depriving thousands of Muslims of a source of work and food.

“This is a continuous targeting of Muslims by the Maharashtra BJP government,” said Mr Asaduddin Owaisi, a Muslim leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Hyderabad. “This whole contention that they are bringing the Muslims into the mainstream is bogus.”

He accused the authorities of hypocrisy for refusing to support reserved places for underprivileged Muslims in formal education, while simultaneously attacking madrasahs that catered to only 2 per cent of the Muslim minority.

While the primary aim of madrasahs was to train Islamic scholars, he said, many nevertheless taught English, maths and science, and some students went on to become civil servants, lawyers and doctors.

On Friday, clusters of teenage boys in white skullcaps sat silently reading on the marble floors of the Darul Uloom Imdadia Madrasah, waiting for the call to midday prayers from a nearby mosque on Mohammed Ali Road, the bustling heart of southern Mumbai’s main Muslim district.

“Lots of people are studying here, it provides a good education,” said Mr Farid Ahmed Shailah, a local merchant selling herbal medicines from a small shop outside the madrasah’s front gate.

Full report at:

http://www.todayonline.com/chinaindia/india/indias-crackdown-madrasahs-exposes-rift-over-islamic-education

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Sankaracharya surprise for Muslim scholar

Saibal Sen

Jul 6, 2015

KOLKATA: For Sk Makbul Islam, the letter took some moments to sink in. Or, perhaps the name mentioned at the end.

On the face of it, the letter, received on Friday, appeared to be another in the long list of accolades pouring in for the 47-year-old Muslim academic after his post-doctoral efforts to unravel the mystique of Lord Jagannath in Bengali consciousness earned him a DLitt from Utkal University on April 13. But the latest 'award' surpassed them all, for it would be conferred by none other than Sankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati of Goverdhan Math in Puri.

Islam, now Kalyani University's student welfare dean, said: "I am excited for two reasons. I am told the previous recipient of this award is the famous German historian and Indologist Hermann Kulke. And second, the very fact that Jagatguru Sankaracharya will be handing over the award to a Muslim."

"I have met many Hindu priests and clerics in Bengal, Bangladesh and Nepal during my research. But I have never met — or interacted — with a revered seer of Sankaracharya's stature. I am very happy," he added.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Sankaracharya-surprise-for-Muslim-scholar/articleshow/47952159.cms

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BJP hosts three Iftar parties, invites no non-Muslim leaders

by Arshad Ali

July 6, 2015

The state BJP minority cell is hosting three Iftar parties but has not invited any non-Muslim leader to these events, one of which took place in New Barrackpore Sunday. The leaders of the minority cell have sent out a message that if any non-Muslim leader wants to participate in these events, he must do it without wearing a skull cap. While another Iftar party will be held at Diamond Harbour on July 10, the third will be held in Kolkata on July 12. “It was a conscious decision. Iftar is for Muslims, who fast throughout the day and not for any leader who would want to gain political mileage out of it. So, we have decided not to invite any non-Muslim, including leaders of our parties,” said Shakeel Ansari, president of the BJP minority cell. He added: “As far as wearing skullcaps are concerned, it is a part of the religious outfit of Muslims. Non-Muslim leaders put those on to express their proximity to the community, which we think is immoral.”

When contacted, state BJP president Rahul Sinha said that BJP has decided not to follow the “communal policies” of other leaders. “We have seen our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sporting a hijab and pretending to pray like Muslims, which, we believe insults the sentiments of Muslims because it is nothing more than a drama. This is like if a Muslim friend of mine comes during Durga Puja and offers anjali. So, we have decided to avoid it,” Sinha added. Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/bjp-hosts-three-iftar-parties-invites-no-non-muslim-leaders/#sthash.rfm9j5tN.dpuf

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Mideast

 

Turkish President Admits Direct Support for Militants in Syria

Jul 05, 2015

"If it were not due to the support of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the militants in Syria, they could not have achieved anything," Erdogan said on Sunday, Turkish-language daily Hurriyat reported.

He noted that Ankara, Riyadh and Doha have supplied military and logistical backup for the terrorists.

Erdogan's remarks came as his Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu denied any cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in supporting the foreign-backed terrorists.

Earlier today, former Turkish Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış blasted Ankara and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for interfering in Syria's internal affair, including military intervention in that country.

His remarks came after certain Arab media claimed that Turkey is paving the ground for military intervention in Syria amid the Syrian army and Kurdish forces' united operations to defend their lands against the ISIL in the Northeastern city of Hasaka.

"The Turkish government is not entitled to interfere in the domestic affairs of Syria and disrespect Syria's territorial integrity under any pretext," Yakış told the Turkish media.

The former Turkish foreign minister reiterated that Turkish military operation in Syria would be an invasion of a neighboring country.

He pointed to Turkey's military operation in Cyprus in 1974 and its negative consequences, and said, "“Only a UNSC decision would legitimize such an incursion.”

Earlier this week, former Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces Mehmet Ilker Basbug also called on Ankara to revise its policies and support President Bashar al-Assad's government in settling the crisis in Northern Syria.

"Fighting the ISIL in Northern Syria should be pursued by the Syrian government forces," Basbug said.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001486

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Yemen Shoots Down Another Saudi Spy Drone

Jul 05, 2015

According to local reports, the Yemeni forces intercepted and shot down a Saudi Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the district of al-Baqa with their surface-to-air missiles.

It is the second Saudi spy drone that the Yemeni forces have shot down today.

In a similar incident earlier today, the Yemeni army's surface-to-air missiles downed a Saudi pilotless aircraft in the Southeastern province of Dhamar.

The Yemeni army and popular forces have so far shot down several Saudi drones.

On June 22, Yemen's popular Ansarullah forces targeted a surveillance drone sent by the Saudi army to spy on the bordering areas in Sahar district.

Also early May, the popular fighters captured a Saudi surveillance drone in Sa'ada.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 102 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001538

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Yemenis Protest UN's Negligence towards Saudi Aggressions

Jul 05, 2015

Fury prompted thousands of Yemenis to flood the streets of the Yemeni cities as the Riyadh government continued its aggression for the 102nd day.

Yemen's High Revolutionary Committee, meantime, in a statement criticized the UN's negligence towards the tragic human situation in Yemen.

The popular protests in Yemen come as UN Special Envoy on Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is scheduled to arrive in the country today.

On Saturday, a leading member of Ansarullah Movement called on the UN to speed up its efforts to implement a humanitarian truce in the war-torn country.

Ansarullah’s spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam said Saturday that he has held a meeting with the UN special representative for Yemen in which he renewed calls for establishing a ceasefire for delivering aid to the people affected by Saudi Arabia’s three-month-long military campaign against Yemen.

In a post on his Facebook page, Abdulsalam said he had discussed in a Friday meeting with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed ways of achieving a ceasefire in Yemen until the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Ansarullah member said the European Union special envoy to Yemen as well as the German ambassador to the country also attended the meeting, which took place in the Omani capital of Muscat.

The three sides have reportedly agreed on a mechanism for delivering humanitarian aid to people across Yemen if the UN pledge for hammering out a truce materializes.

Other reports on Saturday said the UN envoy has intensified negotiations with top officials in Saudi Arabia to convince them about Yemen’s urgent need for a humanitarian pause.

The United States and the European Union voiced similar concerns on Thursday about the deteriorating situation in Yemen, calling on the sides to the conflict to let food and medicine reach those in need across the impoverished country.

The EU also called on Riyadh to reduce its restrictions on the entry of ships to the Yemeni ports.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001522

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Yemen airstrikes hit Saleh’s party headquarters

6 July 2015

The Sanaa headquarters of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's General People's Congress was hit by Saudi-led strikes on Sunday, Reuters news agency reported.

The air raids came as U.N. special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, was visiting the Yemeni capital, in an effort to arrange a humanitarian pause in fighting between Houthi militias, whom Saleh is allied to, and the Saudi-led coalition.

The coalition has orchestrated a more than three-month bombing campaign against the Houthis and army units loyal to Saleh to try to restore President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Riyadh.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/06/Yemen-airstrikes-hit-Saleh-s-party-headquarters-.html

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Israeli Cabinet reverses policy easing conversion to Judaism

5 July 2015

Israel’s Cabinet has reversed an initiative aimed at easing the conversion process to Judaism in Israel.

Sunday’s move tightens the grip of ultra-Orthodox parties over religious issues in Israel and rolls back reforms made by the previous government.

The new coalition formed earlier this year is dominated by nationalist and religious parties.

The bill helped smooth the conversion path for tens of thousands, many immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who don’t qualify under rules of Jewish law and have trouble marrying or receiving other religious services.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/05/Israeli-Cabinet-reverses-policy-easing-conversion-to-Judaism.html

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Kerry: Iran nuclear talks ‘could go either way’

5 July 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said that the talks between world powers and Iran on its nuclear program could “go either way” and that the U.S. was “not going to shave anywhere at the margins” on a deal, as the self-imposed deadline for the talks loomed closer.

Kerry, who is in Vienna with along world powers to try to hammer out a final deal to tame Iran’s nuclear program ahead of a Tuesday deadline, told reporters in a quick address that “none of us [negotiators from six world powers] content to do something that can’t past scrutiny.”

He also struck a conciliatory note between the two sides, saying: “Our Iranian counterparts have been working hard. Everybody is negotiating hard, that’s what makes this difficult.”

However, he warned that in the case of Iran not making concessions in exchange for relief on sanctions that have stalled the Islamic Republic’s economy, “Obama has always said we’ve been prepared to walk away.”

While they have made some progress on the type of bilateral sanctions relief that Iran may receive, the two sides remain divided on such issues as lifting United Nations sanctions and on research and development using advanced centrifuges.

“Many of the issues related to sanctions have been resolved, and there are four or five issues that remain including the important topic of ensuring both sides’ steps correspond to each other and happen at the same time,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency.

Iran, the United States and five major powers, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, are trying to resolve a more than dozen-year-old dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which the big powers suspect aims to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

Iran denies this, saying that its program is solely for peaceful purposes such as producing medical isotopes.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/07/05/Kerry-to-make-statement-on-Iran-talks-U-S-.html

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Senior Iranian Official: 70% of Technical Annex to Draft Nuclear Deal Written

Jul 06, 2015

"70 percent of the technical annex to the final nuclear deal between Tehran and the six major world powers has been drafted," an Iranian diplomat in the nuclear talks underway in Vienna said.

The source, who asked to remain unnamed, further pointed out that the technical annex - which is one of the five annexations of the final agreement - covers issues such as "nuclear research and development, Fordo nuclear enrichment center, Arak heavy water reactor, and the type of the centrifuges that will be used by Iran for the production of stable isotopes".

He added that "the technical annex is about 32 pages, and only a few items have been left open".

"According to the technical annex, all the nuclear activities of Iran will continue," he emphasized.

Yet, the negotiator expressed cautious optimism about attainment of a final nuclear deal.

The Iranian negotiator also categorically rejected reports by AP and New York Times alleging that Iran has agreed to send its enriched uranium stockpile to Russia, saying there are four options on the table which are still under discussion, including dilution of the enriched uranium, exchanging it with raw uranium plus the enrichment costs, and selling the excess fuel.

He said one of the 6 parties to the talks has even offered to purchase Iran's excess N. fuel.

The Associated Press and New York Times had quoted some sources as claiming that Tehran has agreed with the transfer of its enriched uranium to Russia.

The diplomat further regretted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reliance on unauthentic intel with regard to the PMD (possible military dimensions) allegations against Tehran, and said it is of much more regret that the UN nuclear watchdog agency's assessment of this issues has dragged on for almost a decade.

He noted IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano's recent visit to Tehran, and said, "Amano was told Tehran wants the IAEA to rapidly present its report on the PMD allegations and close the case."

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940415000019

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IAEA Team Due in Iran Tonight

Jul 05, 2015

An informed source told FNA that the delegation that will be headed by the IAEA's deputy director general, is slated to hold talks with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) officials over the allegations about possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran's past nuclear activities.

Iran has repeatedly urged that it wants an IAEA report to announce final results of its investigations about the PMD issue, reiterating that it does not want the PMD issue to remain open after a deal with the world powers.

The PMD has become a persistent bone of contention in the talks between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog. During the last year Iran has removed 16 of the 18 questions and ambiguities that the IAEA has presented with regard to Tehran's nuclear activities, and the country has recently provided the needed answers and documents for the 17 point.

Iran has sped up its cooperation with the IAEA in the last two years to bring the PMD issue to a closure as fast as possible, but the nuclear watchdog has avoided report the removal of each of the ambiguities and questions that have been answered by Iran, in violation of the agency's initial agreement with Tehran. The two sides had initially agreed that they would cooperate to remove any uncertainty about Iran's past nuclear activities item by item and would deal with the next item in their 18-point list only after the IAEA reports that it has been convinced by Iran's answers about the last item in the list and declare that the relevant ambiguity has been removed.

Yet, the PMD allegations against the country have remained a persistent point of difference between the two sides. The accusations are based on alleged information derived from a laptop computer that Iran's armed opposition, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, PMOI and NCRI), claims to have stolen from Iranian nuclear scientists and later presented to the US spying agencies.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano said on Saturday in uncertain remarks that his organization might eventually prepare a report on allegations about possible military dimensions of Iran's past nuclear activities by the end of 2015.

Amano had travelled to Tehran on Wednesday to hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani.

Earlier in a statement, the IAEA announced that the main purpose of Amano's visit to Iran was to accelerate the trend of striking a final agreement and resolving the remaining issues.

IAEA Chief, during a meeting with President Rouhani, appreciated the Islamic Republic’s cooperation with the IAEA, saying that the country has always abided by its commitments. He also underlined progress in exchanging information on Iran's nuclear program.

Amano also referred to his talks with Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, saying that through mutual respect and close cooperation all issues can be resolved.

He also expressed hope that a report, which the agency will release after his trip to Tehran, would help the successful trend of the nuclear talks.

On Friday, Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi underlined that Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have agreed on a specific timetable to resolve the remaining issues.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001548

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Austrian FM Hopeful about Final N. Deal between Iran, Powers

Jul 05, 2015

"I am happy that the negotiations are being held in Austria," Kurz told reporters in Vienna on Sunday.

He expressed the hope that the current nuclear negotiations would produce results and a final comprehensive agreement be attained.

Iranian and the G5+1 negotiators are making their last ditch efforts in Vienna to prepare the text of a final nuclear deal agreed by both sides.

Iranian Foreign Minister and top negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in Vienna on Friday that Iran was resolved to reach a final deal with the world powers, and it is the other side that needs to adopt a realistic approach towards a final deal. "As I have said many times before the western countries should make their political decision if they are looking for an agreement or continuing pressures," Zarif told reporters.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414001085

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Army Commander: Nuclear Deal Never Means Iran-US Rapprochement

Jul 05, 2015

"The US might arrive at some agreements with us within the framework of the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany), but we should never hold a positive view over the enemy," Pourdastan said in Tehran on Sunday.

He elaborated on the cause of his pessimism about the US, and said, "Our enmity with them is over the principles and is rooted because we are after the truth and nations' freedom, but they seek exploiting nations and putting them in chains."

Iranian and G5+1 negotiators are making their last ditch efforts in Vienna to prepare the text of a final nuclear deal.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940414000876

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Southeast Asia

 

Ignore extremists, liberalism ingrained in Malaysia’s foundation, politics, says think tank

BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

4 July 2015

Creating a liberal society in Malaysia was an aim of the Perikatan coalition, the precursor to Barisan Nasional (BN), which was pledged by none other than the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Speaking in a 1960 interview with Malay nationalist newspaper Utusan Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman said that this aim was one of the five pillars of the Perikatan government.

This historical fact was revealed at a forum on liberalism in Kuala Lumpur, to show how ingrained liberal political values are in Malaysia.

This is even while the term liberalism has been turned into a bad word in the public sphere by Malay supremacists, religious bigots and some BN leaders.

In fact, speakers at the forum said that Malaysia have always had liberal political parties and statesmen who are liberal in outlook even if they did not call themselves “liberal”.

Another example is the Rukun Negara, which states that Malaysia “nurtures the ambitions of guaranteeing a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions...”

“The majority of Malaysians are already liberal albeit unconsciously. Even the ones who are bearded and turbaned subscribe to liberal ideals,” said Khalid Jaafar, executive director of think tank Institut Kajian Dasar.

This is since liberal political values are the foundations of Malaysia’s political system, said Khalid, and these include free and fair elections, the concept of a constitutional monarchy and human rights.

In a recent debate with Muslim group Isma, Khalid said its leaders subscribed to all these “liberal” ideals even though the group publicly denounces liberalism.

“We already have liberal parties. The PKR is a centrist liberal party, the DAP is a more left-leaning party.”

Umno, said Khalid, once had leaders who were liberal in outlook.

“The Rukun Negara was forged by (second Prime Minister) Tun Abdul Razak, who envisioned a liberal society and now his son openly speaks against liberalism,” said Khalid.

On May 14, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said liberalism was a threat to Muslim identity and were presenting tough challenges to the community

Khalid was speaking at a forum titled “Is Malaysia ready for a liberal political party?” organised by the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs.

Another of the forum’s speakers Dr Juli Minoves explained that liberal values also encompassed a respect for rights to free speech, conscience, association and belief, the right to own private property and equality of opportunity.

“Every country is ready for liberal political parties. Why wouldn’t they be? Your foundational documents already state that you were founded on liberal ideals,” said Minoves of Liberal International (LI).

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ignore-extremists-liberalism-ingrained-in-malaysias-foundation-politics-say

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Ramadan Interfaith Event Connects Malaysians

05 July 2015

CAIRO – Promoting understanding in the Malaysian northeastern state of Sarawak, a Miri mosque and church held a joint iftar event last Friday to show the religious coexistence between the two faiths in the Asian country.

“Being able to enjoy such sincere religious and racial acceptance is priceless," Datuk Lee, the state assemblyman for Senadin, told The Strait Times on Saturday, July 4.

Lee was referring to the interfaith event that was held by a mosque and church built next to each other near Miri City to celebrate Ramadan.

Muslims and Christians from the Anglican, Catholic, Sidang Injil Borneo and Methodist churches attended the event which reflected the unique bonds between Miri faiths.

Located 100m from each other in the Lutong bazaar, An-Naim Mosque and Good Shepherd Church share their car parks on Fridays and Sundays to accommodate worshippers.

"It has become a way of life for us to share car parks and meet for gatherings. To us, Muslims and Christians are one big family," said Imam Mohd Zulkifli Mohd Adnan.

During Friday’s interfaith event, religious leaders and attendants exchanged cakes and fruits before moving to the mosque compound to break the day-long fasting.

"This spirit of mutual acceptance comes naturally here," said Pastor Donald Jute.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, started this year in the US and most European countries on Thursday, June 18, and is expected to end on July 16th.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/asia-pacific/489189-ramadan-interfaith-event-connects-malaysians.html

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Pekanbaru family joins IS

Rizal Harahap

July 06 2015

The Riau Police’s intelligence and security directorate had discovered the whereabouts of a family from Pekanbaru, which was reported to have joined the radical Islamic State (IS) movement in Syria, following a thorough investigation, a police official said on Sunday.

Polda Riau spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Aryo Tejo said the family comprised a married couple identified only by their initials TB and YB and their child identified only as MJ.

He said the police’s intelligence and security directorate had received indications that the family had joined with the radical group after it obtained photos showing their activities during their stay in Syria.

“Other evidence includes a conversation between TB and a relative, who is also domiciled in Pekanbaru. In the conversation, TB said that he had arrived in Syria and joined IS,” said Guntur over the weekend.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/07/06/pekanbaru-family-joins-is.html

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West Java District to Ban TV in Favor of More Islamic Studies for Kids

Jul 05, 2015

Jakarta. A district chief in West Java province has ordered a TV blackout for local children after sunset in favor of more Islamic studies and Koran recitals.

Dedi Mulyadi, the head of Purwakarta district, told Tempo on Sunday that the ban would run from maghrib, the fourth prayer of the day that Muslims are obliged to conduct and which coincides with sunset, until after isya, the fifth and final prayer, which at this time of year falls shortly after 7 p.m.

“Right now, the custom of praying in a congregation and reciting the Koran and studying from maghrib until isya has been badly degraded,” he said.

He blamed “useless” TV programming during that period for children’s reluctance to immerse themselves in Islamic studies, and said the holy month of Ramadan, when most people ramp up their piety, was the perfect time to roll out the new policy.

Dedi acknowledged that the ban would not be popular, but said he had already discussed it with community leaders and ward and subdistrict chiefs. “I’ve ordered them to promote this program of no television between maghrib and isya,” he said.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/west-java-district-ban-tv-favor-islamic-studies-kids/

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Police Say They’re Too Scared to Fight Religious Hard-Liners

By Erwin Sihombing

Jul 05, 2015

Jakarta. The Indonesian police are reluctant to crack down on hate speech, including by hard-line Islamic groups, because there are no “rewards” for doing so and they fear a backlash, an official has admitted.

Sr. Comr. John Hendri of the National Police’s legal division acknowledged during a discussion in Jakarta on Friday that there was a widely held public perception that the police were unwilling to take on purveyors of hate speech such as groups hostile to minority religious groups.

“The truth is that police officers who see, hear or experience such incidents can file a report [for subsequent investigation], but tend to be scared to because there’s no reward or guarantee of safety for themselves,” he said.

He did not specify what he meant by “reward,” although it is almost universally believed that the Indonesian police typically demand money from anyone filing a report before they will proceed with an investigation.

John said the police were drafting a regulation that would protect officers when taking on cases of hate speech.

“We hope that with this regulation, our officers won’t be scared anymore,” he said.

“Without it, all they’ll have to work on are the existing laws, which require that a member of the public file a complaint [about the hate speech]. But there’s no way a member of any congregation is going to rat on a religious leader who threatens them.”

The claim that the police need protection against purveyors of hate speech is hugely ironic, given that some of the worst perpetrators, in particular the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), have long been championed by the police as providing a community policing service.

Leaked US diplomatic cables dating from 2006 allege that the FPI, responsible for attacks on minority Islamic communities and Christians, receives funding from the police and acts as the force’s “attack dog.” Senior officials at the Jakarta Police and National Police levels have for years defended the FPI as a “partner” to the police and attempted to downplay its litany of transgressions.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/police-say-theyre-scared-fight-religious-hard-liners/

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Najib: Stop atrocities in the name of Islam

July 5, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The prime minister, Najib Razak, has urged Malaysians to say a resounding ‘No’ to extremism. There had been too many instances where the name of Islam has been misused to justify atrocities, with children being murdered, women raped and schools destroyed.

“We must put an end to this. These atrocities are destroying the good name of Islam, justifying their heinous acts under the much abused concept of jihad.

“These atrocities have also destroyed the lives of many – the children who wish for nothing but love and care from their parents and to be educated like other children in other peaceful parts of the world, the adults who hope for nothing but to be able to earn a living for themselves and their loved ones,” Najib said in a blog posting yesterday.

He said moderation was not an option for anyone, whether in speech and conduct, but a requirement for success in life. For Malaysia, it was a critical element towards becoming a modern and progressive nation.

The concept of moderation did not exist exclusively in the secular domain, he said, it was already rooted in the Quran, as in Surah al-Baqarah, 2:143, which states:

“Thus we have made of you a community justly balanced of that you might be witnesses over the people and the Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) a witness over yourselves.”

Neither was moderation exclusive to Islam only; it was a value universal to all major religions.

“In Christianity, the Bible says ‘let your moderation be known unto all men’; and in Buddhism, disciples are taught to walk the middle way, to live a life of moderation and non-violence. Even in Judaism, the Torah teaches that moderation in all things is a ‘way of life’ in the truest sense of Jewish customs,” Najib said.

As violence begat violence, persuasion, negotiation and cooperation were the only weapons to combat extremism.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/07/05/najib-stop-atrocities-in-the-name-of-islam/

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Gov’t offices will surely bar Ibans in traditional dress too

July 6, 2015

PETALING JAYA: The strict dress code being observed in government offices and public places will mean that Ibans, the natives of East Malaysia, will be barred from entering if they are wearing their traditional costumes, said DAP’s Teresa Kok.

In a Facebook posting last night, Teresa, who is also the MP for Seputeh, remarked how fascinated she was at the traditional costumes of Iban males who attended a special service to celebrate the harvest festivals of Gawai and Kaamatan at the Church of Divine Mercy in Shah Alam.

“I was fascinated by the costumes of the Iban males that left them half naked or without covering their “aurat”, so to speak.”

She added, “Those wearing these traditional Iban costumes would surely be barred from entering government offices with the Public Service dress code observed today.”

To hit home her point, she posted another news report this morning about an elderly couple denied entry into the Ipoh City Council simply because they were wearing Bermuda shorts.

Referring to the article that appeared in the Malay Mail Online, she wrote: A security guard at the Ipoh City Council had told 68-year-old Huang Zheng Zhou and his sister, Xia Nv, that their shorts ended above the knee.

“Another woman, 49-year-old Chen Mei Lan, was initially also stopped from entering the building, even though her hemline went past the knee, as her blouse was deemed see-through.”

Netizens, just as distressed as she was over this latest incident also chimed in with their protests with Henry Kon saying, “For goodness sake plse can the PM step in to address this stupid ruling once & for all.”

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/07/06/govt-offices-will-surely-bar-ibans-in-tradition-dress-too/

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Komnas HAM Finds Religious Freedom Still Under Threat

By Andreyka Natalegawa

Jul 05, 2015

Jakarta. Government institutions on all levels still have plenty of work to do if they want to end religious intolerance in Indonesia, observers say in response to a new report on religious freedom released by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

The quarterly report, released on Friday by the Komnas HAM division focusing on the freedom of religion and belief, cited 14 specific cases of religious intolerance and injustice in Indonesia during the April to June period this year.

Notable cases discussed include the persecution of members of the Ahmadiyah religious minority group in South Jakarta, the closure of churches in Banda Aceh and Aceh Singkil, and the criminalization of Shiites in Bogor.

“These cases present a serious problem,” Komnas HAM commissioner M. Imdadun Rahmat said at a press conference on Friday. “When they happen year after year, they aren’t just individual events. They indicate a greater problem across the entire country.”

“It means there is a problem within the system, in relation to the state’s minimum obligation to protect religious freedom in Indonesia,” Imdadun added.

Ismail Hasani, a researcher with the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, noted that issues of religious freedom are still widespread throughout the country.

“We record approximately 200 events [relating to violations of religious freedom] every year,” said Ismail. “The situation is still the same. It’s not good.”

‘Just the tip of the iceberg’

Representatives from Komnas HAM also spoke on the extensiveness of religious intolerance, saying that their report underrepresented the true scope of violations.

“The cases that are included in the report, especially those on the closure of places of worship, are just the tip of the iceberg,” Imdadun said. “There still cases that are developing, and those that are undergoing review by Komnas HAM. And there are new complaints coming in all the time.”

“This only represents a small section of religious issues in Indonesia today. We cannot be satisfied yet,” Imdadun added.

According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center on global trends in religious restrictions and hostilities, Indonesia attained the dubious honor of having a social hostilities index figure of 7.8 out of 10, the highest in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia’s elevated social hostilities figure indicates moderately high occurrences of various discriminatory acts, ranging from the “vandalism of religious property and desecration of sacred texts to violent assaults resulting in deaths and injuries,” according to the study.

Intolerant groups

As Indonesia struggles to prevent acts of religious intolerance, the challenges ahead are obvious, observers say.

“Based on our experience, the challenges to religious freedom in Indonesia are the same as before,” Ismail said. “There are intolerant groups that are increasingly widespread in both Jakarta and beyond, such as the Islamic Defenders Front [FPI], the Islamic People’s Front [FUI], and others.”

“These intolerant groups are like a virus. They influence the public to also become intolerant,” Ismail added.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/komnas-ham-finds-religious-freedom-still-threat/

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North America

 

US Muslims Urge Muslim Killing Investigation

01 July 2015

CAIRO – The shooting of another Muslim in Texas last week has left the Muslim community reeling from increasing hate crimes, demanding a federal investigation into the incident.

"We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this shooting and to bring appropriate charges if that motive is proven," Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told International Business Times.

"We have seen too many cases of anti-Muslim hate, threats and violence recently nationwide to ignore the possibility that Islamophobia led to this terrible incident."

Last Friday, 42-year-old victim Zaid Abu Naim was shot and killed in Texas.

A CAIR representative in Houston said witnesses have attested to Klimek’s alleged slur against Naim: “Go back to Islam.”

The shooting followed a dispute of over who had the right of way at a four-way stop, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“Words were exchanged," Silva said, "and the victim went to confront the other driver."

Though Robert Craig Klimek, 43, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Naim’s death, Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva described the shooting as one of road rage “at its heart.”

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/488679-us-muslims-urge-muslim-killing-investigation.html

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Reverts First Ramadan: Tests, Rewards

02 July 2015

CAIRO – Observing their first Ramadan ever, reverts to Islam find the holy month as both exciting and challenging, practicing a new set of religious, spiritual and social activities that distinguishes the holy month.

“I was so excited for Ramadan to start. I’d read all about it but couldn’t wait to actually practice it,” Samantha Kessenich, 23, who was not religious before she reverted to Islam last Summer, told International Business Times.

“I really see it as a time to become closer to God.”

Observing fasting in her first Ramadan, Kessenich wakes up at 3 o’clock in the morning to take an early suhoor before dawn.

Kessenich, who didn't practice any faith before she became a Muslim last summer, is observing Ramadan for the first time and is working to make the most of the month as a time for increased reflection and spirituality.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, kicked-off on June 18.

In Ramadan, Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Around the globe, Muslims observe Ramadan with a set of traditional rituals including family gathering at iftar, religious lessons, special evening prayer and helping the poor, Muslims and non Muslims alike.

The absence of family and friends from iftar meals offers a challenge for many reverts.

Chris Duffy, a 21-year-old new Muslim convert from Albany, New York, is one of those who experienced isolation in Ramadan.

“It’s hard for me to constantly be separating myself from my family,” said Duffy.

“I went to my uncle’s house for a cookout on Father’s Day, where they had everything -- mac and cheese, potatoes, chicken, the works. And when your family says here, have some food, it’s hard to constantly explain to them why you can’t. The temptation to break the fast just to fit in is always there.”

Physical Challenge

Along with the psychological challenge, many reverts find the holy month of Ramadan fasting as a challenge.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/488719-reverts-first-ramadan-tests-rewards.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/images-of-global-terror-attacks-used-to-draw-support-for-tunisia/d/103786


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