New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 08:23 AM

Islamic World News ( 6 Jul 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

India 'To Examine' Request to Ban Islamic Preacher, Zakir Naik

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli, the Imam of Lucknow's Idgah, says ISIS is un-Islamic

 

'ISIS Un-Islamic, Ideology Defunct,' Indian Cleric Says At Eid Gathering

At Least 3 Dead in Bomb Attack During Eid Prayers in Bangladesh

ISIL Executes Six Members in Iraq for Unfolding Top Commanders’ Locations

US and India Are Preparing For a Big War against Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed

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India

India 'To Examine' Request to Ban Islamic Preacher, Zakir Naik

'ISIS Un-Islamic, Ideology Defunct,' Indian Cleric Says At Eid Gathering

To Combat ISIS, Terror Attacks Should Be Judged By the Same Standard

India Is the Only Nation Promoting Brotherhood, Integrity: Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid

Ramadan Charity Seeks To Free 'Innocent' Indian Muslims

Muslims must accept that Modi is PM: AMU VC defends presence at Iftar of RSS affiliate

Muslims condemn Dhaka attack, pray for peace and brotherhood on Eid-Ul-Fitr in Agartala

Eid-ul-Fitr being celebrated across country; PM Modi extends greetings to nation, world leaders

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South Asia

At Least 3 Dead in Bomb Attack During Eid Prayers in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Clamps Down On Social Media after Cafe Attack

Despite death and gloom in Bangladesh, South Asia cheers up for Eid

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Arab World

ISIL Executes Six Members in Iraq for Unfolding Top Commanders’ Locations

Differences Intensifying Among ISIL Leaders In Deir Ezzur

Terrorists Violate Eid al-Fitr Ceasefire by Shelling Aleppo Neighborhood

Russia's Giant Aircraft Carrier to Help Syria in Raqqa Anti-Terrorism Operations

Syrian Army Repels ISIL's Attack on Key Village in Hama Province

Israeli Forces Detain Three Palestinians from Bethlehem, Hebron

Two Militants Dead in Explosion Making Bombs near Syrian Border

Syrian Army Cuts Terrorists' Key Supply Route along Castillo Highway

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Pakistan

US and India Are Preparing For a Big War against Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed

Congressional Team’s Visit to Help Decrease Misgivings: Zardari

Pakistan won’t allow anyone to use its soil against Afghanistan

Pakistan will protect Afghanistan but expects same approach from them, says Gen Raheel

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Southeast Asia

ISIS Terrorists Are Not Lovers of the Palestinian Cause

Muslims part of Singapore’s community of peace

Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines Celebrate Eid

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Mideast

Turkey to Urge NATO to Intensify Anti-Terror Fight

Two Syrians killed making explosives in Turkey’s south

Village guard killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

No details on Turkey-US cooperation on Manbij: Ministry

Turkish gov’t to make big shift in regional development policy: Development minister

PKK militants fire rockets at district governor’s office in eastern Turkey

Moon, sky decide timing for Eid, says Turkey’s top cleric

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Africa

In Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu Looks for Friends, and U.N. Votes, for Israel

Mamadoe, the Muslim enslaved African burnt to death in Guyana

Deputy President Remembers Muslims’ Efforts

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Europe

91% of EU Citizens Believe ISIS Will Pose Threat to Europe in Next 5yrs - Poll

'Europe Is Alive for Jesus': Revival Breaks Out in France

In Germany, can Muslim refugees assimilate?

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North America

Muslims Have Contributed to America’s Strength

American Muslims ‘just as American as anyone else’

‘F**k Muzlim’ and ‘Terroist’ Spray-Painted on Muslim Man’s Car

8,400 US troops to remain in Afghanistan through January 2017: Obama

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/india--to-examine--request-to-ban-islamic-preacher,-zakir-naik/d/107884

 

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'ISIS Un-Islamic, Ideology Defunct,' Indian Cleric Says At Eid Gathering

At Least 3 Dead in Bomb Attack During Eid Prayers in Bangladesh

ISIL Executes Six Members in Iraq for Unfolding Top Commanders’ Locations

US and India Are Preparing For a Big War against Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed

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India 'To Examine' Request to Ban Islamic Preacher, Zakir Naik

Pallab Bhattacharya, New Delhi

India has said it would examine if Bangladesh makes any request to ban a controversial Indian Islamic preacher who was followed by one of the five Bangladeshi youths involved in the killing of 22 people at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka last Friday.

"We don't ban individuals. We ban organisations. So far, there is no formal communication from Bangladesh. If they request us, we will examine what can be done," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters.

According to a Bangladesh newspaper, militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, propagated on Facebook last year quoting the controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

Naik, in his lecture in Peace TV, reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".

Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions.

He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. Another Dhaka attacker Nibras Islam, used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State - Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness - on Twitter in 2014.

Meanwhile, BJP ally Shiv Sena today sought action against the controversial Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

Sena lawmaker Arvind Sawant said he had written to the Indian Home Minister seeking a ban on Naik and his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation, in the country's interest.

"People whose language propagates violence against nation's unity should be banned," Sawant said in the letter.

"Islam teaches love and peace. But everyday is a day of high alert now. I appeal to the Home Minister that action needs to be taken," he said.

"How do young children in our country join ISIS? So maybe we are failing somewhere....we should know the seriousness of this situation.  Radicalised minds can now take any step. In the name of Islam, they are slaughtering people who cannot recite verses," Sawant said.

thedailystar.net/dhaka-attack/india-examine-request-ban-islamic-preacher-1250746

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'ISIS Un-Islamic, Ideology Defunct,' Indian Cleric Says At Eid Gathering

7 July 2016

LUCKNOW:  After two terror attacks in Bangladesh within a week, a senior cleric in India has denounced terrorism and called the ISIS "un-Islamic".

Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli, the chief cleric of Lucknow's Aishbagh Eidgah, told NDTV that a group of imams sent out a strong message against ISIS and terror at a mass gathering for Eid prayers on Thursday.

"We said the ISIS is against Islam and against humanity. We said that the ISIS cannot be Muslim - their terror activites are entirely un-Islamic."

Maulana Mahli said the terror group's ideology is defunct.

The cleric has initiated big changes at Idgah, which today allowed women to pray at the mosque for the first time.

"Lakhs prayed here. We prayed for peace. We prayed for an end to terrorism in the world," the cleric told NDTV.

Underscoring his message for peace and harmony, he shared that many non-Muslims attended the Eid prayers this morning and greeted Muslims.

This morning, four persons were killed and many wounded in the second terror attack in Bangladesh in a week. The attack took place at the state's largest gathering for Eid prayers, at Kishanganj, 140 km from Dhaka.

Terrorists threw a bomb at a police checkpost and attacked a policeman with a machete, killing him.

Last weekend, seven terrorists attacked a popular cafe in Dhaka and hacked 20 people to death, including 18 foreigners.

ndtv.com/india-news/isis-entirely-un-islamic-their-ideology-defunct-says-top-indian-cleric-1428900

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At least 3 dead in bomb attack during Eid prayers in Bangladesh

Thu Jul 07 2016

NEW DELHI — Assailants armed with crude bombs and sharp weapons attacked a security checkpoint at a large prayer gathering of Muslims in Bangladesh on Thursday, killing at least three people, police said.

The attack came with Bangladesh still in mourning — and authorities on high alert — after a devastating terror siege last week, in which militants took hostages at a popular cafe, hacking 20 people to death and killing two police officers in an attack claimed by the Islamic State. Many of the captives killed were foreigners.

There was no immediate assertion of responsibility for the latest bloodshed, but the Islamic State had vowed to carry out more violence. It also shattered hopes that the Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, would be peaceful after a week of bloodshed in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens to “carefully consider” the risks of travel to Bangladesh in light of the “series of terrorist events,” noting that the threat remains “real and credible.” One American was killed in last week’s bloodshed.

Syed Abu Sayem, a senior police official, said that “several” men wielding pistols and machetes attacked a police checkpoint in Kishoreganj, about 68 miles northeast of the capital city of Dhaka.

About 100 yards away, more than 200,000 people had gathered in a field for a prayer service marking the end of Ramadan.

At least three people, including at least two police officer, were killed in the attack, Sayem said. One of the attackers also was killed, and three others were arrested at the scene, he added.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina condemned the bombing on the faithful on a sacred holiday.

“How can people attack those who have been doing namaz?” Hasina said, using the word for the Muslim act of offering prayer.

The largely Muslim country of around 160 million has been in a state of heightened security since last Friday’s siege, with police checkpoints established throughout Dhaka and probes expanding into possible terror cells.

Late Tuesday the Islamic State terror group, which had claimed responsibility for Friday’s hostage siege as it happened, issued a video threatening more violence to come, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a terror monitoring service.

“What you witnessed in Bangladesh was a glimpse. This will repeat, repeat and repeat until you lose and we win and the sharia is established throughout the world,” the video warned.

Bangladesh has suffered a series of bloody killings of secular bloggers, foreigners, members of the gay community, Hindu priests and other minorities since 2013, violence that has intensified during the last year.

The government routinely credits the attacks to homegrown radical groups, rather than the work of a global jihad network such as the Islamic State or local affiliates of al-Qaeda, both of which have claimed responsibility in different incidents.

The government of Sheikh Hasina, which retained power in a flawed 2014 election in which the opposition refused to participate, has arrested thousands in conjunction to the violence in recent days. Critics say that the government has used the arrest sweeps as an excuse to detail Hasina’s political opponents.

On Thursday, Bangladesh’s information minister Hasanul Haq Inu, told local reporters said that Thursday’s attack was “political” and did not have an “Islamist agenda” behind it.

washingtonpost.com/world/at-least-three-dead-in-bomb-attack-on-muslim-prayer-gathering-in-bangladesh/2016/07/07/8590c624-8952-4ecf-806b-cdf7aca4dee0_story.html

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ISIL Executes Six Members in Iraq for Unfolding Top Commanders’ Locations

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group executed six of its own militants on charges of “treason”, after accusing them of leaking security information to “enemies”.

Informed local sources said that ISIL has arrested six of its own security members of the al-Hisba department in the city of Mosul in Iraq’s Northwestern Nineveh province, ARA News reported.

“The ISIL leadership suspected that the al-Hisba members were leaking confidential information to the Western coalition, whose airstrikes have recently killed top ISIL commanders. After interrogation, the Mosul Court issued a decision to publicly execute the six suspects,” media activist Abdullah al-Malla said in Mosul, citing an ISIL member.

“The six terrorists were beheaded in front of dozens of ISIL officials in Central Mosul,” al-Malla said.

This comes just three days after the US-led coalition renewed its airstrikes on headquarters of the ISIL in Northwestern Iraq, killing and wounding dozens of militants, including top ISIL members.

Muhammad Ahmed al-Bajjari, head of ISIL military operations in Northwestern Iraq, was killed in an airstrike in Mosul city of Nineveh province. “Al-Bajjari was killed along with several other ISIL fighters. He had played a main role in planning ISIL military operations against the Iraqi army in the vicinity of Mosul,” director of the Nineveh media centre Raafat al-Zarari said.

Another coalition strike has reportedly killed the head of ISIL Police, al-Hisba in Mosul, known as Hatim Taleb al-Hamdouni.

“More than 30 ISIL terrorists were killed in the past two days, including top ISIL officials like Hamdouni and al-Bajjari,” local media activist Farad Mirani said.

ISIL suspects that some of its own members have been leaking information to the coalition’s forces about confidential locations of the group’s leaders.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000311

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US and India are preparing for a big war against Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed

06th July 2016

LAHORE: JuD chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed today led Eid-ul-Fitr prayers in the city where he sought to whip up hysteria, saying the US and India are signing agreements against Pakistan and there are preparations for a "big war".

Addressing a large gathering at the Gaddafi Stadium, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder called for unity among Muslim community "to fail the design of infidels".

He said international players are conspiring against Pakistan's nuclear programme. "The United States and India are signing agreements against Pakistan and there has been a preparation of a big war", he said, alleging "drones are parked at Indian airports and our rulers are engaged in a fight with opposition."

Saeed, on whose head the US has put a bounty of USD 10 million, termed Pakistan and Saudi Arabia's growing distance with the US as a "blessing in disguise".

"It is a blessing in disguise that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are getting distanced from America. This will lay foundation of the Islamic Union which is the need of the hour for the Islamic world," he said.

He condemned the terror attack in Saudi Arabia and alleged the involvement of "foreign hands" in destabilising the Muslim world.

A large number of people offered their prayer behind Saeed amid tight security with police personnel and JuD security wing members deployed in and outside the stadium.

Saeed has been leading the Eid prayers at Gaddafi Stadium for the last many years.  India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to bring Saeed to justice for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

He has often been seen addressing anti-India rallies in Pakistan. Islamabad says it has no proof against the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief. A total of 166 people were killed in the attack orchestrated by the LeT in November 2008.

newindianexpress.com/world/US-and-India-are-preparing-for-a-big-war-against-Pakistan-Hafiz-Saeed/2016/07/06/article3516615.ece

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India

India 'To Examine' Request to Ban Islamic Preacher, Zakir Naik

Pallab Bhattacharya, New Delhi

India has said it would examine if Bangladesh makes any request to ban a controversial Indian Islamic preacher who was followed by one of the five Bangladeshi youths involved in the killing of 22 people at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka last Friday.

"We don't ban individuals. We ban organisations. So far, there is no formal communication from Bangladesh. If they request us, we will examine what can be done," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters.

According to a Bangladesh newspaper, militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, propagated on Facebook last year quoting the controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

Naik, in his lecture in Peace TV, reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".

Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions.

He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. Another Dhaka attacker Nibras Islam, used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State - Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness - on Twitter in 2014.

Meanwhile, BJP ally Shiv Sena today sought action against the controversial Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

Sena lawmaker Arvind Sawant said he had written to the Indian Home Minister seeking a ban on Naik and his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation, in the country's interest.

"People whose language propagates violence against nation's unity should be banned," Sawant said in the letter.

"Islam teaches love and peace. But everyday is a day of high alert now. I appeal to the Home Minister that action needs to be taken," he said.

"How do young children in our country join ISIS? So maybe we are failing somewhere....we should know the seriousness of this situation.  Radicalised minds can now take any step. In the name of Islam, they are slaughtering people who cannot recite verses," Sawant said.

thedailystar.net/dhaka-attack/india-examine-request-ban-islamic-preacher-1250746

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'ISIS Un-Islamic, Ideology Defunct,' Indian Cleric Says At Eid Gathering

7 July 2016

LUCKNOW:  After two terror attacks in Bangladesh within a week, a senior cleric in India has denounced terrorism and called the ISIS "un-Islamic".

Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli, the chief cleric of Lucknow's Aishbagh Eidgah, told NDTV that a group of imams sent out a strong message against ISIS and terror at a mass gathering for Eid prayers on Thursday.

"We said the ISIS is against Islam and against humanity. We said that the ISIS cannot be Muslim - their terror activites are entirely un-Islamic."

Maulana Mahli said the terror group's ideology is defunct.

The cleric has initiated big changes at Idgah, which today allowed women to pray at the mosque for the first time.

"Lakhs prayed here. We prayed for peace. We prayed for an end to terrorism in the world," the cleric told NDTV.

Underscoring his message for peace and harmony, he shared that many non-Muslims attended the Eid prayers this morning and greeted Muslims.

This morning, four persons were killed and many wounded in the second terror attack in Bangladesh in a week. The attack took place at the state's largest gathering for Eid prayers, at Kishanganj, 140 km from Dhaka.

Terrorists threw a bomb at a police checkpost and attacked a policeman with a machete, killing him.

Last weekend, seven terrorists attacked a popular cafe in Dhaka and hacked 20 people to death, including 18 foreigners.

ndtv.com/india-news/isis-entirely-un-islamic-their-ideology-defunct-says-top-indian-cleric-1428900

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To Combat ISIS, Terror Attacks Should Be Judged By The Same Standard

07/07/2016

This Eid comes with a heavy heart. It has been a long night’s journey into Ramadan. Orlando. Syria. Dhaka. Baghdad. Medina. It’s a long and bloody list of carnage wrought by Islamic State or claimed by Islamic State.

But in a procession of horrors, Medina has stood out even though its body count was lower. It’s being regarded as vindication that Islamic State attacks its own and has no red lines whatsoever. It was proof that we can say that there is nothing Islamic about Islamic State.

Zeid Ra’ad Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says “This is one of the holiest sites in Islam, and for such an attack to take place there during Ramadan can be considered a direct attack on Muslims all across the world.”

“It’s like a stab in the heart of every Muslim,” tweeted Jenan Mousa, a reporter for Al Anan TV. In India the Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq denounced the attack saying “Such elements who carry out these attacks in the name of Islam have in fact nothing to do with the religion and its teachings.”

But in a procession of horrors, Medina has stood out even though its body count was lower. It’s being regarded as vindication that Islamic State attacks its own and has no red lines whatsoever. It was proof that we can say that there is nothing Islamic about Islamic State.

Even Abu Sulayman, a cleric with Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, tweeted “The #MedinaBlast is a criminal act that Muslims must condemn.”

The Medina attacks thus help buttress the arguments of those who want Islamic State to be seen as simply terrorist rather than as “Islamic terrorist”. “Either they are literally attacking their own religion which is psychotic,” says Jonathan AC Brown, the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University.

Or “they’re so intent on delegitimizing the Saudi government they don’t care about doing violence in this sacred place.” Perhaps they do care somewhat.

Unlike the other attacks, Islamic State did not rush to claim credit either in Saudi Arabia or Turkey. But the Medina attacks help make the case that the Islamic State is a common enemy of both the West and Muslim countries and countries like India. Calling the Medina attacks a “potentially disastrous mistake”, Washington Post’s David Ignatius says it could open up the possibility of a “command structure that truly fuses the resources of the U.S., Europe, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan and many other nations that have been targeted by Islamic State terrorists.” Or are in the terror organization’s crosshairs like India as the video after the Dhaka attack makes clear.

Unlike the other attacks, Islamic State did not rush to claim credit either in Saudi Arabia or Turkey. But the Medina attacks help make the case that the Islamic State is a common enemy of both the West and Muslim countries and countries like India.

This is a group that faced with loss of territory in Iraq is changing its strategy from a caliphate at home to spreading terror abroad according to a report in The Los Angeles Times. Even if a video released by them after the Dhaka café attack warns this is a glimpse of what’s to come unless Sharia is established around the world, that sounds more like posturing from a group whose dreams of a Caliphate in Iraq feel under heavy attack.

The logic is understandable and appealing especially to those who have knocked their heads against the brick wall of the likes of Donald Trump who want to make saying “Islamic terrorist” the litmus test of truth-telling. After the Orlando nightclub attack, Trump taunted both Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton for not using the phrase “Islamic terrorist”. He demanded Obama resign and provoked a sharp response from the President about whether saying the phrase would actually make America safer or just demonize an entire religion.

Until we value all human life as simply human life, we will not truly see Islamic State as simply terrorist. Everyone they kill and maim matters. If they are to be delegitimized in the eyes of those who flock to them, that process cannot be only about Medina. It must include every other attack perpetrated in their name.

Yet brandishing the Medina attack as proof of Islamic State’s unholy terror cannot be the only litmus test possible. Of course Medina is special in its place in the heart of every devout Muslim or even those not so devout. It is one of the holiest sites and an attack on it comes with special significance just as an attack on the Vatican City or the temples of Varanasi would be seen as an attack on those faiths. On the other hand, in the Dhaka attacks we hear reports that the hostages were made to recite the verses of the Quran and those who could were spared. Those who could not were killed. The killers were acting in the name of Islam even if Islamic leaders condemn their actions as unIslamic.

But the flip side of this story is that those who want to use Medina to condemn Islamic State as reprehensible terrorists not as (misguided) holy warriors will need to follow through with their arguments to their logical conclusion. They cannot begin and end with Medina. If these fighter and ideologues are to be delegitimized in the eyes of those who are mesmerized by them (as apparently the young attackers in Bangladesh were) those who condemn Medina will have to equally vociferously condemn the attacks on an Orland gay bar or a Dhaka café. There cannot be different standards of condemnation – one for pilgrims at Medina, one for club goers in Orlando, one for airplane travellers in Istanbul, one for diners in Dhaka.

Until we value all human life as simply human life, we will not truly see Islamic State as simply terrorist. Everyone they kill and maim matters. If they are to be delegitimized in the eyes of those who flock to them, that process cannot be only about Medina. It must include every other attack perpetrated in their name.

huffingtonpost.in/2016/07/07/eid-religion-isis_n_10850056.html

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India Is the Only Nation Promoting Brotherhood, Integrity: Shahi Imam Of Delhi Jama Masjid

July 7, 2016  

New Delhi: Speaking on the occasion of Eid, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, on Thursday said India is the only country promoting universal brotherhood and national integrity, where people celebrate different festivals together.

“In India, we have national integrity alive. This is the only country where Hindus, Muslims and Christians have a custom to gather together and celebrate different festivals. I wish this tradition remains the same so that our nation can progress and move on the path of progress,” Bukhari told ANI.

“The counties which do not have national integrity, for instance – Bagdhad (Iraq), Lybia and Turkey among others, are moving towards destruction,” he added.

Muslims from all walks of life, dressed in their best outfits’, thronged mosques and Eidgahs to offer special thanks at the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan.

Bukhari expressing his happiness, said “On this occasion, I want to wish Eid to all the people, who worshipped Allah during this entire month. Eid is actually important for people who listen and read the Quran according to the wishes of Allah, and not for those who did not worship Allah during this month. I wish Allah fulfill wishes of everybody.”

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims across the world.

The celebration of Eid-al-Fitr depends on the sighting of the moon. The day begins with early morning prayers and is followed by family visits and feasts.

siasat.com/news/india-nation-promoting-brotherhood-integrity-shahi-imam-983167/

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Ramadan charity seeks to free 'innocent' Indian Muslims

7 July 2016

The story of Nisar-ud-din Ahmad, who was acquitted of terror charges and released from jail 23 years after he was arrested, gripped India in June.

Mr Ahmad had then told the BBC that he rued his "lost" life and said that even his newly procured freedom could not give him happiness.

The story of delayed justice made headlines across the country, but unfortunately Mr Ahmad's plight is hardly unusual.

Many Indian Muslim youths are fated to spend years in prison on charges like terrorism and "waging war against the nation" until courts clear them, often many years later.

'Good cause'

Part of the delay is their inability to pay expensive legal fees, or find someone to take up their cases.

But one of of India's leading ulema (Islamic scholars) organisations, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, has used the community's Ramadan Zakat funds to try and change this situation.

The Jamiat has so far spent 20m rupees ($300,000; £243,167) on court cases in this regard.

Gulzar Azmi, who heads the organisation's legal cell in the western India, told the BBC that Muslims contribute to Zakat funds generously during the holy month of Ramadan which ends in India on Thursday.

"We appeal to the faithful in Friday sermons to donate to this good cause. The response has always been very good," he said.

And the effort seems to have paid off.

Indian Muslims pray in a mosqueImage copyrightAFP

Image caption

The appeal to donate towards this cause has generated a good response

Mr Azmi says his organisation has taken up the cases of 560 men in 65 terror cases.

But first they screen each application and only take up the cases of people they believe have been wrongly implicated.

"By the grace of Allah more than 100 Muslim boys, convicted under terrorism charges by lower courts, have been acquitted by higher courts.

"The acquittals include those who were first given death sentences and life imprisonment," Mr Azmi said.

The latest to be released were nine Muslim youths who were arrested 10 years ago in a bomb blast case in Maharashtra state's Malegaon town.

The Jamiat tasted its first major success in this effort two years ago when all six men convicted for an attack on a famous temple in Gujarat in 2002 were freed by the Supreme Court.

Two of them had been sentenced to death.

'Moral responsibility'

Maulana Siddikulla Choudhury, a minister from West Bengal state, supports the Jamiat's effort to fight for ''justice'' even though he belongs to a rival faction of the organisation.

"We believe it's our moral and religious responsibility to extend legal help to those Muslim youth who are falsely implicated in terror cases," he told the BBC.

Qari Mohammed Shafiq, an imam of a prominent mosque in Kolkata (Calcutta), said it was money well spent.

"Those Muslims who have been implicated in false cases must be helped. Many of them don't have money to fight cases on their own. The Zakat money can be spent to give them legal help," he said.

bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36670655

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Muslims must accept that Modi is PM: AMU VC defends presence at iftaar of RSS affiliate

7 July 2016

UNDER FIRE for having attended an iftaar party organised by RSS-affiliated Muslim Rashtriya Manch in Delhi last week, Aligarh Muslim University V-C Zamiruddin Shah said Wednesday Muslims in India must accept that Narendra Modi is prime minister, and if they ignore the ruling dispensation it will be at their peril.

“To all those who have accused me of being a self-seeking agent of RSS, I would invite them to visit AMU and let’s talk. We should know the people who can influence matters in favours of AMU and keep channels of communication open with them without selling our souls,” Lt Gen (retired) Shah said. “We must make everyone understand our position that AMU stands for secularism, inclusiveness, moderation, large-hearted tolerance and modernity with Islamic flavours. What does one do when there is an offer from an extended hand. Should one spurn it? There are many shades in an organisation. We should shake hands with saner elements.”

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/muslims-modi-hate-amu-vc-accept-pm-rss-iftaar-party-2898219/

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Muslims condemn Dhaka attack, pray for peace and brotherhood on Eid-Ul-Fitr in Agartala

July 7, 2016

Agartala : Thousands of Muslims all across Tripura gathered at the Gedu Mia mosque in Agartala to offer morning prayers on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the community’s month-long fasting period.

They used the occasion to condemn the recent terrorist attack on a restaurant-cum-cafe in Dhaka that claimed the lives of 22 persons and expressed the view that Islam has no room for terror and teaches universal brotherhood.

On Wednesday, the Eid prayers started around 9 a.m.when the Imam of the mosque, Maulana Abdul Rehaman, read out a special prayer for global peace.

Prayers were also held in 20 other mosques in and around Agartala and at 350 spots in the state.

Imam Rehaman said: “To maintain peace of this nation, Muslims and non-Muslims should live unitedly. If someone from outside, any enemy, attacks our cities, the Muslims, Christians and all, should stand against that.”

He further said, “I pray that on this happy occation of Eid, every house is filled up with happiness. I also condemn those who want to spread the message of hatred in the name of religion, be it Bangladesh, India or any other place, and stand against those who want to disturb our peace.”

He said Islam teaches love and brotherhood, but it is very unfortunate that today, due to unethical activities of a very microscopic section of Muslims, the entire religion is defamed when it should not be.

The festival symbolizes feasts and festivities and Muslims in Agartala poured in large numbers to pray for peace and prosperity of their people as well as the nation.

Abdul Rahim, a participant in the Eid congregation, said, “Eid is the culmination of month long fasting and now we celebrate Eid. Hindus and Muslims together take part in Eid celebration here.”

Meanwhile, as is customary, Muslims embraced each other and exchanged Eid greetings after prayers.

siasat.com/news/muslims-condemn-dhaka-attack-pray-peace-brotherhood-eid-ul-fitr-agartala-983182/

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Eid-ul-Fitr being celebrated across country; PM Modi extends greetings to nation, world leaders

July 7, 2016

Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety in various parts of the country on Thursday. The festival marks the culmination of the fasting holy month of Ramzan.

The faithfuls will offer Eid prayers in Eidgahs and mosques. In Delhi, main Eid congregations are being held at the Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri Masjid and Shahi Eidgah. Prayers were also offered at Eidgah in Bhopal.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the occasion. In Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir, Eid was celebrated yesterday.

PM Modi also wished, “My greetings and best wishes on Eid-ul-Fitr. May this special day deepen the spirit of harmony and peace in society.” He also said that he wished Eid greetings to HM King Salman.”Spoke to President Rouhani, President Ghani, PM Nawaz Sharif, PM Sheikh Hasina & President Yameen and greeted them on Eid,” he tweeted.

siasat.com/news/eid-ul-fitr-celebrated-across-country-pm-modi-extends-greetings-nation-world-leaders-983151/

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South Asia

At least 3 dead in bomb attack during Eid prayers in Bangladesh

Thu Jul 07 2016

NEW DELHI — Assailants armed with crude bombs and sharp weapons attacked a security checkpoint at a large prayer gathering of Muslims in Bangladesh on Thursday, killing at least three people, police said.

The attack came with Bangladesh still in mourning — and authorities on high alert — after a devastating terror siege last week, in which militants took hostages at a popular cafe, hacking 20 people to death and killing two police officers in an attack claimed by the Islamic State. Many of the captives killed were foreigners.

There was no immediate assertion of responsibility for the latest bloodshed, but the Islamic State had vowed to carry out more violence. It also shattered hopes that the Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, would be peaceful after a week of bloodshed in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens to “carefully consider” the risks of travel to Bangladesh in light of the “series of terrorist events,” noting that the threat remains “real and credible.” One American was killed in last week’s bloodshed.

Syed Abu Sayem, a senior police official, said that “several” men wielding pistols and machetes attacked a police checkpoint in Kishoreganj, about 68 miles northeast of the capital city of Dhaka.

About 100 yards away, more than 200,000 people had gathered in a field for a prayer service marking the end of Ramadan.

At least three people, including at least two police officer, were killed in the attack, Sayem said. One of the attackers also was killed, and three others were arrested at the scene, he added.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina condemned the bombing on the faithful on a sacred holiday.

“How can people attack those who have been doing namaz?” Hasina said, using the word for the Muslim act of offering prayer.

The largely Muslim country of around 160 million has been in a state of heightened security since last Friday’s siege, with police checkpoints established throughout Dhaka and probes expanding into possible terror cells.

Late Tuesday the Islamic State terror group, which had claimed responsibility for Friday’s hostage siege as it happened, issued a video threatening more violence to come, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a terror monitoring service.

“What you witnessed in Bangladesh was a glimpse. This will repeat, repeat and repeat until you lose and we win and the sharia is established throughout the world,” the video warned.

Bangladesh has suffered a series of bloody killings of secular bloggers, foreigners, members of the gay community, Hindu priests and other minorities since 2013, violence that has intensified during the last year.

The government routinely credits the attacks to homegrown radical groups, rather than the work of a global jihad network such as the Islamic State or local affiliates of al-Qaeda, both of which have claimed responsibility in different incidents.

The government of Sheikh Hasina, which retained power in a flawed 2014 election in which the opposition refused to participate, has arrested thousands in conjunction to the violence in recent days. Critics say that the government has used the arrest sweeps as an excuse to detail Hasina’s political opponents.

On Thursday, Bangladesh’s information minister Hasanul Haq Inu, told local reporters said that Thursday’s attack was “political” and did not have an “Islamist agenda” behind it.

washingtonpost.com/world/at-least-three-dead-in-bomb-attack-on-muslim-prayer-gathering-in-bangladesh/2016/07/07/8590c624-8952-4ecf-806b-cdf7aca4dee0_story.html

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Bangladesh clamps down on social media after cafe attack

Thu Jul 07 2016

Dhaka: Bangladesh has launched a clampdown on social media sites spreading jihadist propaganda after an attack on a Dhaka cafe in which 20 hostages were murdered, saying the country's young were being radicalised online.

Authorities said the deadly siege at an upmarket cafe popular with foreigners had been an "eye-opener", exposing the role of social media in recruiting young men to jihadist groups.

"Social media has become a fertile ground for recruiting militants," the head of the telecoms regulator Shahjahan Mahmood told AFP.

"The attack was an eye-opener for us. They (jihadist groups) attract the young men through social media."

The Islamic State group, which has claimed Friday night's attack, has long used social media to recruit fighters and incite individuals around the world to commit terrorist attacks.

Mahmood said the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) had ordered YouTube to remove videos of "radical preachings", including those of the firebrand cleric Jashim Uddin Rahmani.

He was sentenced to five years in jail last December after his speeches were found to have incited Islamist militants to kill the atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider in early 2013.

Shortly after the cafe siege, it emerged that several of the Bangladesh attackers were young, tech-savvy men from wealthy families and had easy access to social media.

The father of 22-year-old Rohan Imtiaz, one of the suspected attackers killed when commandoes stormed the cafe, has said he believes his son may have been radicalised online.

Imtiaz reportedly posted an appeal on Facebook last year urging all Muslims to become terrorists and quoting a controversial Indian preacher who has been banned in Britain, Canada and Malaysia.

"He was a practising Muslim. So many people are. Maybe he was radicalised through the internet," his father Imtiaz Khan Babul told AFP.

"But I never checked what he was browsing... Someone may have brainwashed him."

Bangladesh police issued a stern warning Wednesday that anyone caught sharing jihadist propaganda online would be punished in the wake of the unprecedented attack in Dhaka.

"Uploading, sharing, commenting or liking any video, images or speech in the social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in support of the Islamic State or militancy is a punishable offence," Deputy Inspector General of police AKM Shahidur Rahman said.

"If anyone is found to have engaged in such activities, tough legal action will be taken against that person."

Photos of carnage

Survivors of the cafe siege have told how the young attackers seized mobile phones from hostages and forced them to provide their passwords so they could send out photographs of the carnage that were quickly disseminated by IS.

Some reports said they had brought laptops, and ordered cafe workers to switch on the wifi.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are already working around the clock to take down jihadist accounts, but they often pop up again under different names.

Experts say IS supporters are also turning to smaller social media platforms like Telegram, a messenger app, to disseminate their propaganda.

Facebook and Twitter have removed some posts and Mahmood, of the telecoms regulator, said the government would bring in tougher laws to tackle radicalism on social media.

Bangladeshi police have set up a special email address and urged people to report any suspicious online activities following last week's attack.

Meanwhile the head of the country's elite security force appealed to Bangladeshis to be vigilant over the use of social media sites as a recruiting tool, and to report missing relatives.

"If there are any missing family members, please tell us, don't be afraid that law-enforcing agencies will take your sons away," said Benazir Ahmed.

"Their lives and other lives can be saved if they are found."

firstpost.com/world/bangladesh-clamps-down-on-social-media-after-cafe-attack-2878502.html

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Despite death and gloom in Bangladesh, South Asia cheers up for Eid

Thu Jul 07 2016

Muslims in South Asia, like those across the world, are celebrating Eid, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

They thronged mosques to offer prayers, relished delicacies, and visited fairs in their best fineries. In India, mass prayers were organised on the streets of Mumbai, Delhi, and other major cities. In Pakistan, festivities involved camel and roller-coaster rides. Spirits were high in earthquake-hit Nepal, too.

However, another gruesome terrorist attack in Bangladesh dampened spirits in that country. On July 7, two people were killed and at least 9 injured in blasts at the Sholakia Eidgah in Kishoreganj town, about 140 km northeast of the capital, Dhaka. This comes just days after a popular Dhaka cafe was put under siege by suspected Islamic State (IS) terrorists, resulting in the death of over 20 people.

This year Ramadan witnessed unprecedented violence with radical Islamic groups killing hundreds in Muslim-dominated areas.

Nevertheless, Eid brought a semblance of relief and joy to the community in South Asia.

qz.com/725562/in-pics-despite-death-and-gloom-in-bangladesh-south-asia-cheers-up-for-eid/

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Arab World

ISIL Executes Six Members in Iraq for Unfolding Top Commanders’ Locations

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group executed six of its own militants on charges of “treason”, after accusing them of leaking security information to “enemies”.

Informed local sources said that ISIL has arrested six of its own security members of the al-Hisba department in the city of Mosul in Iraq’s Northwestern Nineveh province, ARA News reported.

“The ISIL leadership suspected that the al-Hisba members were leaking confidential information to the Western coalition, whose airstrikes have recently killed top ISIL commanders. After interrogation, the Mosul Court issued a decision to publicly execute the six suspects,” media activist Abdullah al-Malla said in Mosul, citing an ISIL member.

“The six terrorists were beheaded in front of dozens of ISIL officials in Central Mosul,” al-Malla said.

This comes just three days after the US-led coalition renewed its airstrikes on headquarters of the ISIL in Northwestern Iraq, killing and wounding dozens of militants, including top ISIL members.

Muhammad Ahmed al-Bajjari, head of ISIL military operations in Northwestern Iraq, was killed in an airstrike in Mosul city of Nineveh province. “Al-Bajjari was killed along with several other ISIL fighters. He had played a main role in planning ISIL military operations against the Iraqi army in the vicinity of Mosul,” director of the Nineveh media centre Raafat al-Zarari said.

Another coalition strike has reportedly killed the head of ISIL Police, al-Hisba in Mosul, known as Hatim Taleb al-Hamdouni.

“More than 30 ISIL terrorists were killed in the past two days, including top ISIL officials like Hamdouni and al-Bajjari,” local media activist Farad Mirani said.

ISIL suspects that some of its own members have been leaking information to the coalition’s forces about confidential locations of the group’s leaders.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000311

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Differences Intensifying among ISIL Leaders in Deir Ezzur

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Gaps are widening among the senior commanders of ISIL in Deir Ezzur in the Eastern part of Syria, FNA dispatches said.

The differences started among the ISIL leaders after the appointment of a new commander for Deir Ezzur.

The ISIL appointed Yousef Marhoun al-Wahibi as the commander of its Syrian militants in Deir Ezzur city and its countryside.

Al-Wahibi replaced his niece Saddam al-Jamal who was killed last March in al-Mayadeen city in the Syrian army attack.

Al-Wahibi played an important role in ISIL's late March attack on Al-Assad Hospital where the hospital's medical staff members were massacred.

On Monday, the Syrian Army, Air Force and artillery units targeted ISIL's concentration centers in different parts of the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur, pinning the militants down behind their defense lines.

The Syrian fighter jets bombed ISIL's base in Western side of Deir Ezzur airbase, which claimed the lives of several militants.

The Syrian army troops, for their part, stormed ISIL's centers in al-Tharda mountain and Huweija al-Saker.

The Syrian army's artillery units opened heavy fire at ISIL's positions in Panorama square, which killed most of a 10-member ISIL group.

In relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian Air Force, in several combat flights, targeted ISIL's positions and bases in different parts of the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur, destroying their military hardware and their bases' infrastructures.

One of the headquarters of the ISIL in Southern side of the village of Albu Leil near Deir Ezzur city was completely destroyed and the entire members of the ISIL in the headquarter were killed in the Syrian warplanes' attacks.

In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded ISIL's bases in Ein Albu in Western side of Deir Ezzur city, which ended in the explosion of an ammunition depot and a bomb-laden car.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000247

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Terrorists Violate Eid al-Fitr Ceasefire by Shelling Aleppo Neighborhood

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorists violated a temporary nationwide ceasefire declared by the Syrian army to mark Eid al-Fitl after they launched a rocket attack in Syria’s Aleppo province, a military source said.

"Three people were killed when the militants shelled Aleppo’s Seif al-Dawla neighborhood late on Wednesday night," said a military source, SANA reported.

Aleppo has been divided between the government forces and militants since 2012, a year after the conflict broke out in the country.

Earlier in the day, the General Command of the Syrian Army announced in a statement that the truce will come into force as of 1 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) on Wednesday and will be in effect until July 8 midnight.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000210

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Russia's Giant Aircraft Carrier to Help Syria in Raqqa Anti-Terrorism Operations

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Navy has sent its only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, to the Eastern waters of the Mediterranean Sea to help the Syrian army in its anti-terrorism operations in Raqqa province, a senior military expert disclosed.

"This aircraft carrier will be stationed in a location which is only four to eight kilometers away from the port of Tartous and the fighter jets can take off from it to increase the volume of their attacks on cities like Raqqa which are still under ISIL's occupation," Alexi Lyankov said.  

The carrier is projected to host at least 15 Sukhoi-33, Sukhoi-27 and Mig-29 and 10 choppers of K52, K27 and K31 in Syrian mission.

Reports said on Sunday that a huge cargo vessel of Russia, carrying a large volume of arms, ammunition and other advanced types of military equipment for the Syrian Armed Forces, entered waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The huge Russian vessel of Grigori Bobidovich, which left the port city of Novorossiysk in Russia a couple of days ago, passed Bosphorus strait and entered the Mediterranean sea waters en route to Syria.

The Russian vessel's final destination is Syria's Tartous port, the main logistic center of the Russian Navy in Mediterranean sea, to unload its cargo and deliver them to the Syrian armed forces.

In last two weeks, at least four huge cargo vessels of Russia have left Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, carrying military consignments for the Russian fighter jets and Syrian army.

Media reports said on Thursday that the Russian warship, BSF Saratov, sailed through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles in the Black Sea and entered the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Syria al-Aan, the Turkish websites have released some photos of the warship sailing through the Bosphorus strait.

They reported that Saratov left Novorossiysk port in the Black sea towards Tartous port in Syria.

They also claimed that the warship was carrying a big cargo which has been covered.

This was the sixth voyage of Saratov warship in the current year.

Russian warships and naval vessels, often two at a time, have been seen passing through the Straits en route to Syria from Russia’s Northern Black Sea ports with increasing frequency this year.

Most of the military supplies, weapons, ammunition, and equipment that Russia supplies to the Syrian government are shipped from ports on the Black Sea, primarily Sevastopol and Sochi, through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, to the two Syrian ports, Tartous and Lattakia.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000201

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Syrian Army Repels ISIL's Attack on Key Village in Hama Province

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army pushed back ISIL's attack on a strategic village in the Northern part of Hama province on Thursday, inflicting heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorists.

The ISIL terrorists launched an offensive on al-Mabojeh village in Salamiyah area in Northern Ham, but were pushed back by the Syrian army and resistance forces.

At least a dozen terrorists were killed and many more were wounded in heavy clashes with the Syrian army.

A number of the terrorists' military vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns were also destroyed in the clashes.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian Army troops stormed a military column of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front on a road on the Western side of the town of al-Salamiyah, inflicting major damage on terrorists' vehicles, provincial sources said Tuesday.

"The Al-Nusra's convoy of vehicles moving on the Taldara-al-Ramliyeh road came under attack by the Syrian military forces," the sources said, and added, "The terrorists' vehicles were severely damaged in the attacks and their supply line was cut for several hours."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000180

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Israeli Forces Detain Three Palestinians from Bethlehem, Hebron

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli forces detained Thursday three Palestinians, including two minors, from the Southern West Bank districts of Bethlehem and Hebron, said security sources.

Forces detained two Palestinian minors during a predawn raid that sparked clashes in Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, WAFA reported.

The detainees were identified as Saleh al-Asad, 17, and Ahmad al-Azraq, 16.

During clashes, soldiers fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades toward local youths. No injuries were reported though.

Meanwhile, forces detained Hanadi Rashid, 22, a mother of three girls, near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron’s Old City. Rashid was handcuffed and detained purportedly for possessing a knife.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000324

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Two Militants Dead in Explosion Making Bombs near Syrian Border

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Two militants blew themselves up while making bombs in the Turkish town of Reyhanli on the border with Syria, local sources reported Thursday.

An informed source told local media the militants were of Syrian origin, and a pistol with a silencer were found on the scene in Southern Hatay province, Daily Sabah reported.

No information of possoble links of militants to any terrorist groups has been confirmed yet.

Turkey has been targeted in multiple terrorist attacks lately, including the latest on June 28, when three suicide blasts rocked Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, leaving over 40 people dead and more than 230 injured.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000175

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Syrian Army Cuts Terrorists' Key Supply Route along Castillo Highway

July/07/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in Aleppo province by cutting off the terrorist groups' strategic supply route of Castillo Highway in Aleppo province on Thursday.

The Syrian army's control over Castillo Highway paves the way for besieging them in the Eastern part of Aleppo province.

The army units also seized back Al-Mallah Farms after making a swift advance towards the terrorists' defense lines.

The capture of Castillo Highway also helps the Syrian army to maintain its grip over al-Mallah Farms.

On Wednesday, a military source said that the Syrian army with the support of pro-government forces repulsed terrorists’ attack on army’s defense lines in Syria's Aleppo city.

"The Syrian army managed to blow up a vehicle fully-laden with explosives and hit a suicide bomber on time as they headed for the army's position in Lairamoun district in the Northwest of Aleppo," the source said.

“Enemy snipers had been firing at army's positions for several hours, however, the army forces, backed by their allies, managed to drive them back to their former positions.”

The source added that after repelling the attack overnight, the Syrian Army launched a counter-attack, capturing a tank and several military vehicles from the terrorists.

After the Syrian army and its allies liberated the Northern suburbs of the city and cut off supplies to the terrorists from Turkey, clashes between warring sides have resumed in Aleppo’s Central districts.

According to battlefield estimates, up to 40 percent of the city is controlled by terrorist groups, including Jeish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham and the Nusra Front.

On Tuesday, The army troops engaged in a fierce combat with terrorists in Lairamoun industrial neighborhood and forced them to retreat from their positions after inflicting heavy casualties on them and cutting off a terrorists' supply route running along the Castillo road in Northern Aleppo.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950417000262

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Pakistan

US and India are preparing for a big war against Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed

06th July 2016

LAHORE: JuD chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed today led Eid-ul-Fitr prayers in the city where he sought to whip up hysteria, saying the US and India are signing agreements against Pakistan and there are preparations for a "big war".

Addressing a large gathering at the Gaddafi Stadium, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder called for unity among Muslim community "to fail the design of infidels".

He said international players are conspiring against Pakistan's nuclear programme. "The United States and India are signing agreements against Pakistan and there has been a preparation of a big war", he said, alleging "drones are parked at Indian airports and our rulers are engaged in a fight with opposition."

Saeed, on whose head the US has put a bounty of USD 10 million, termed Pakistan and Saudi Arabia's growing distance with the US as a "blessing in disguise".

"It is a blessing in disguise that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are getting distanced from America. This will lay foundation of the Islamic Union which is the need of the hour for the Islamic world," he said.

He condemned the terror attack in Saudi Arabia and alleged the involvement of "foreign hands" in destabilising the Muslim world.

A large number of people offered their prayer behind Saeed amid tight security with police personnel and JuD security wing members deployed in and outside the stadium.

Saeed has been leading the Eid prayers at Gaddafi Stadium for the last many years.  India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to bring Saeed to justice for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

He has often been seen addressing anti-India rallies in Pakistan. Islamabad says it has no proof against the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief. A total of 166 people were killed in the attack orchestrated by the LeT in November 2008.

newindianexpress.com/world/US-and-India-are-preparing-for-a-big-war-against-Pakistan-Hafiz-Saeed/2016/07/06/article3516615.ece

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Congressional team’s visit to help decrease misgivings: Zardari

06th July 2016

ISLAMABAD: Co-Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari has welcomed the recent visit by a US Congressional delegation hoping also that the visit will help decreasing “misgivings needed for resetting the ties between the two countries.”

In a statement issued by the PPP’s Media Centre here on Tuesday, Mr Zardari described as “positive and reassuring” Senator McCain’s comments after visiting tribal areas.

The statement was issued by Mr Zardari two days after a rare visit to North Waziristan by the US Congressional delegation to witness the gains made by security forces during Zarb-i-Azb operation against extremists and militants

The bipartisan US Congressional delegation that just concluded visit to Pakistan was led by Senator John McCane, the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee.

Reportedly the US delegation appreciated the success achieved by Pakistan in its counter terrorism campaign as “impressively visible”.

According to reports, the congressional delegation said that they wished other members of the US Congress also witness the outcome of the successful operations in North Waziristan themselves.

Mr Zardari said Pakistan had suffered the most in the fight against militants, adding also ‘the world must recognise and appreciate it.”

“Lauding Pakistan’s sacrifices in the fight against militants by a bipartisan Congressional delegation indeed is most welcome,” the former president said. Such public appreciation should help in removing misunderstandings and in resetting the ties, he added.

Mr Zardari said the PPP had always been impressing upon the global community of the huge sacrifices made by it in fight against terrorism and would continue to do so whether it was in the government or in the opposition.

dawn.com/news/1269348/congressional-teams-visit-to-help-decrease-misgivings-zardari

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Pakistan will protect Afghanistan but expects same approach from them, says Gen Raheel

July 6th, 2016

RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said Pakistan will do all efforts to protect the integrity and sovereignty of Afghanistan but expects the same level of commitment from the neighbouring country.

Gen Raheel said this during his visit to meet troops deployed at forward bases in North and South Waziristan Agency on Eidul Fitr, the military’s media wing said on Wednesday.

He offered Eid prayers along with other senior military brass in Shawal area and interacted with troops, read a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations.

The army chief commended the morale and spirit of troops “fighting on the front line to protect their motherland”, it read.

“As consolidation goes on and operational dividends optimised for Pak-Afghan border region, Pakistan will not allow anyone to use its soil against Afghanistan,” he said and further directed all military commanders, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to take concrete measures against violators.

“Peace and stability along Pak-Afghan border remains our priority, towards which we will commit all our efforts,” Gen Raheel maintained.

He said border management and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees are important enablers for lasting peace.

“Our efforts for peace in Afghanistan have been acknowledged. While we are committed to facilitate the reconciliation process with sincerity, commitment and resolve, we expect that Afghanistan’s territory will not be used against Pakistan.”

Later, during his trip to Datta Khel, Gen Raheel was briefed by the Corps Commander and the Formation Commander about the ongoing sanitisation and stabilisation operation as part of Zarb-i-Azb and post-operation security environment, ISPR stated.

“Our nation and the valiant army have paid a huge price for eliminating terrorist and restoring peace in the country. We will not let these sacrifices go waste,” the army chief asserted.

Gen Raheel maintained that military operations against terrorists of all hue and colour will continue.

The army chief said "with Fata cleared and terrorists being chased across the country, we are determined not to allow them to return and reverse our gains".

Earlier on arrival on the front lines, the army chief was received by Lt Gen Hidayat Ur Rehman, Corps Commander Peshawar.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called his Pakistani counterpart on Wednesday to extend Eid greetings.

In his phone call to Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London after undergoing a heart surgery, Modi wished the premier speedy recovery, read a statement issued PM House.

After the Shawal moon was sighted on Tuesday evening, Pakistanis are celebrating Eidul Fitr on Wednesday. However, India will celebrate the auspicious occasion on Thursday.

dawn.com/news/1269442/pakistan-will-protect-afghanistan-but-expects-same-approach-from-them-says-gen-raheel

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Southeast Asia

ISIS terrorists are not lovers of the Palestinian cause

July 7, 2016

We are utterly surprised and extremely dismayed that former IGP, Musa Hassan, has linked the recent spate of Malaysian involvement in terrorist activities to their taking the Palestinian cause to the extreme Former IGP tells police to take IS threat seriously. FMT, July 5, 2016

It is a very simplistic notion on the radicalisation of Muslims, resident in different parts of the world and sweeping across different social strata. The contributory factors are undoubtedly multi-factorial and to conflate them with legitimate fervour for the just Palestinian cause is very naive and reductionist.

Among other reasons, IS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has a very savvy and sophisticated online and social media presence which lures its victims towards their grandiose theology of the utopian global caliphate, ruled by Shariah law which claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.

Once locked in, they are brainwashed into thinking the kafir harbi (non-believers) and the hypocrites among the Muslims can be legitimately killed because of their infidelity and aggression towards the Islamic state.

It cannot be denied that a miniscule number of Muslim radicals support the Palestinian cause but the majority of pro-Palestinian activists are lay Muslims and non-Muslims who empathise with the legitimate struggle of Palestinians against the unjust and illegal occupation, colonisation and subjugation of the Palestinians by Zionist Israel.

IS and al-Qaeda et al has been virtually silent on the Palestinian struggle. IS has done absolutely nothing positive for Palestinians on the ground. Instead, their war has been against all infidels and Muslims who do not subscribe to their extremist theology, as the recent terrorist attacks in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia has shown. The Zionist state of Israel has been spared of their theology of hate, vengeance and murder.

The Palestinian cause is grounded on universal human rights and is supported by all peaceful and reasonable people who categorically oppose all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. This is in stark contrast to the extremist and hostile theology of IS which has hijacked, abused and infinitely harmed the image of Islam.

The former IGP’s sweeping statement which lacked any substantial evidence is mischievous and irresponsible since by extension it would mean that those who support the Palestinian cause are potentially extremists or worse, terrorists. This surely adds to Israel and her allies’ attempts to defame Palestinians and Palestinian activists worldwide as terrorists.

We urge him to retract his ill-thought statement. Notwithstanding, our activism will continue unabated and we call upon all Malaysians to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance until Israel:

1.Ends its occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantles the Apartheid Wall;

2.Recognises the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3.Respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2016/07/07/is-terrorists-are-not-lovers-of-the-palestinian-cause/

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Muslims part of Singapore’s community of peace

Thu Jul 07 2016

I am glad to hear Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Bangladesh, and calling them “contrary” to Islamic teachings (“Senseless acts of terror against tenets of Islam: Yaacob” (July 6).

Ever since September 2011, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, Boko Haram and, most recently, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have managed to turn a religion rooted in peace into a byword for violence and death. One need only browse the various social media platforms to find examples of people holding the misguided view that Muslims are potential terrorists.

Singaporeans have grown up peacefully with Muslim friends and neighbours, and many of us have travelled to our Muslim-majority neighbours like Malaysia and Indonesia. How many of us would equate those we meet with perpetrators of terrorism?

We should also understand that no self-respecting Muslim would commit acts of violence during Ramadan, the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar. This is supposed to be a month of spiritual reflection for Muslims, not a month of murder and mayhem.

In 2006, I had the privilege of working with Saudi Arabia partners, and I was hired for my current job by a Muslim friend. In my daily life, I interact with Bangladeshi construction workers, Pakistani restaurant owners and police and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers who are Malay.

These people are part of the Muslim community, but also the people we have grown up with, and are as much a part of the larger community as we are. We should remember this the next time the headlines are filled with news of another terrorist attack.

todayonline.com/voices/muslims-part-singapores-community-peace

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Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines Celebrate Eid

Thu Jul 07 2016

KUALA LUMPUR – Eid al-Fitr, which in Arabic means “festival of breaking the fast,” marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and begins on Wednesday for Muslim communities across Southeast Asia.

In the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, Muslim families gathered Wednesday at the National Mosque to celebrate the start of Eid, an epa journalist on the scene reported.

Though the mosque isn’t the largest in the country, it is regarded as one of the most important mosques by most Malaysians.

About 3,000 people went there to pray, including many foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Myanmar, who reportedly looked happy that they could celebrate Eid even though they’re far from their families.

Muslims in Indonesia Wednesday began celebrations marking the end of Ramadan and came down to Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta to pray.

About 1,000 people, mostly families from neighborhoods near Sunda Kelapa in north Jakarta, gathered near where traditional boats are anchored at the port.

The atmosphere was upbeat, with local vendors selling large animal balloons to parents, who gave them to their children.

Kneeling on mats they placed on the ground, devotees prayed facing west, in the direction of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The number of people who attended morning prayers at the port was lower than last year, when about 2,500 showed up, partly because some nearby slums including Pasar Ikan were demolished a few months ago and its residents relocated elsewhere in the capital.

In the northwestern Indonesian city of Banda Aceh, about 5,000 local Muslims braved the rain to pray at the Al Makmur Mosque, the second largest mosque in the city behind the main Raya Baiturrahman mosque, which is now under construction, an epa journalist reported.

Al Makmur was rebuilt with the assistance of the government of Oman after it was damaged in the 2004 tsunami.

On a normal day, if Al Makmur is full, people would pray in the mosque’s parking lot, but the rain forced people to go inside the mosque, or stay at home.

During the prayer service, the Imam told worshippers that brotherhood among humanity is the way to secure peace in the world, as he condemned the recent bombings in Medina, Saudi Arabia and in Surakarta in Indonesia.

The Philippines, unlike its neighbors, has a mostly Catholic population, and members of the Muslim minority gathered Wednesday morning at a major park in Manila to mark Eid.

More than 1,000 Muslims met and prayed at the Quirino grandstand, inside Rizal Park, a traditional site in Manila for political, religious and civic gatherings.

Every year, Muslims reportedly meet there to pray and celebrate Eid.

Following the prayers, devotees ate food spread out on the ground in a picnic style.

More people came to the park for Eid this year compared to last year, with many Muslims from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East among them.

laht.com/article.asp?CategoryId=12395&ArticleId=2415811

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Mideast

Turkey to urge NATO to intensify anti-terror fight

July/07/2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to urge NATO to intensify cooperation against terror at the alliance’s Warsaw summit on July 8-9, as the organization prepares to discuss crucial issues.

In the aftermath of a terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on June 28, where 47 people were killed, Erdoğan will raise the issue of global cooperation against terror organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military offshoot, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), sources said.

Turkey regards both the YPG, which is fighting ISIL jihadists, and the PYD as offshoots of the PKK, which has been in conflict with Turkish security forces since July 2015.

Erdoğan will also urge NATO to increase its collective defense power, sources said.

Erdoğan, who will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Defense Minister Fikri Işık, will also raise the developments in Syria at the NATO summit, which will be one of the most critical high-level platforms for a discussion of the latest issues in Syria and global terrorism.

In Warsaw, NATO leaders are expected to cement a new deterrent against what they see as an emboldened Russia, returning to Cold War-style defense.

Russia says it is the alliance, not Moscow, that is increasing the risks of a broader conflict in Europe, citing NATO’s biggest modernization since the Cold War and a U.S. missile defense shield as reasons to be worried.

Alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said July 4 that the leaders “will agree to further enhance our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.”

He said the leaders would agree to deploy four robust, multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, while also taking steps to improve cyber-defense, civil preparedness and the ability to defend against ballistic missile attacks.

Erdoğan will also highlight the need to strengthen NATO’s capability in the Black Sea.

Erdoğan said in May that he had told Stoltenberg during a visit by the latter to Turkey that NATO was not visible in the Black Sea and that this had turned the sea “into a Russian lake, so to speak.”

“As riparian countries, we should live up to our responsibilities. As NATO members, we should take all required steps in all spheres, including the sea, air and ground. Otherwise, history shall not forgive us,” Erdoğan told chiefs of defense from the Balkans in May.

With regards to other crucial topics to be handled during the summit, Stoltenberg said NATO estimates showed that defense spending by European allies and Canada was expected to rise by 3 percent (around $8 billion) in 2016.

He said the deployment of NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft to support the Global Coalition to counter ISIL was also expected to be approved.

NATO members are further expected to confirm their support for the Afghan government, aware that they have little alternative if the country is to hold together in the face of renewed Taliban attacks.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-urge-nato-to-intensify-anti-terror-fight-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101295&NewsCatID=510

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Two Syrians killed making explosives in Turkey’s south

July/07/2016

Two Syrians were killed when the homemade explosive devices they were working on detonated in the Reyhanlı district of the southern province of Hatay on July 6, Doğan News Agency has reported.

"An explosion took place in a house in the Kanatlı neighborhood of the Reyhanlı district at around 4:30 p.m. Two Syrians, who were wounded while preparing explosives according to the initial examinations, were taken to the hospital,” a statement released from the Hatay Governor’s Office read, while adding that the wounded later succumbed to their injuries.

The police found a gun and a silencer in the house where the explosion took place, according to the statement.

“A gun and a silencer were seized from the house in the search conducted by security personnel. An investigation into the case was launched and information will be shared on the developments regarding the incident,” the statement added.

The police searched the house under strict security measures and bomb disposal teams were called to the area after becoming suspicious of a car belonging to the Syrians. The car was taken to the police headquarters after it was searched and no explosive device was discovered.

hurriyetdailynews.com/two-syrians-killed-making-explosives-in-turkeys-south-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101319&NewsCatID=341

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Village guard killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

July/07/2016

A village guard was killed in an attack by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the southeastern province of Hakkari on July 6.

Village guard Mehmet Genç was kidnapped by PKK militants while driving on the highway linking Hakkari and the neighboring eastern province of Van, according to a security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Genç’s body was later found by the highway, the source added.

Village guards are local security personnel employed by Turkey in the fight against the PKK in the country’s eastern and southeastern provinces.

hurriyetdailynews.com/village-guard-killed-in-pkk-attack-in-turkeys-southeast.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101318&NewsCatID=341

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No details on Turkey-US cooperation on Manbij: Ministry

July/07/2016

While once more acknowledging the presence of an ongoing bilateral military cooperation with the United States concerning the operation on Manbij, the stronghold of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has declined to provide details about this cooperation.

In a written statement released on July 6, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç recalled Turkish media reports in print and visual media which were shared on July 6 and referred to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s interview with French daily Le Monde on July 4.

“On [the] Manbij issue, Turkey has struck a secret military agreement with the U.S.,” Çavuşoğlu was quoted as telling Le Monde in the interview, Bilgiç said.

Çavuşoğlu had actually responded by saying “the issue was a cooperation issue between the military ranks of the two countries” and he “could not give information on details of the military cooperation,” when asked about “the shape of the agreement which Turkey had struck with the U.S. on the issue of Manbij,” said Bilgiç.

“In his interview, Mr. Minister [Çavuşoğlu] did not use an expression in a way [which indicated] that a secret military agreement with the U.S. on the issue of Manbij had been struck,” Bilgiç concluded.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s “correction of the misquotation” of Çavuşoğlu came in the form of an official answer by the spokesperson to a journalist’s question.

A U.S.-backed alliance of Kurds and Arabs has been locked in battle in the neighboring province of Aleppo for control of Manbij for more than one month.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance launched the offensive in late May, encircled the town and entered its southwestern districts on June 23.

Ballout report in As-Safir

In the second half of June, Mohammad Ballout, writing in Lebanese daily As-Safir, reported that American and Turkish officials and leaders from the SDF had come together at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey before the initiation of the Manbij operation.

During the meeting, the list of units which would participate in the Manbij operation had been discussed and the United States had taken a step on the ongoing conflict between Turkish security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which were reignited in July 2015, Ballout said. The U.S. persuaded Turkey to put jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan under house arrest and resume talks with Öcalan on the Kurdish issue, it also said.

No info from Operation Inherent Resolve

Turkish Foreign Ministry officials has not yet provided a response since being approached by Hürriyet Daily News on June 22 in order to have a confirmation or denial on the accuracy of the report confirmed.

When asked “whether they could confirm the accuracy of the As-Safir report and, if they could, whether they might like to comment on this aspect of the Manbij operation,” the Public Affairs Department of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (CJTF-OIR) briefly responded on June 24, saying, “We do not have any information to provide on this topic at this time.”

Operation Inherent Resolve is the U.S.-led operation to eliminate ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community.

Turkey is among the coalition nations, along with the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, which have conducted strikes in Syria.

Serving a life sentence at İmralı Island Prison in the Marmara Sea after he was captured by Turkish security forces in Kenya in 1999, Öcalan played a central role in a peace process between Turkey’s security forces and the PKK which crumbled in July 2015 and led to fresh clashes in a number of different towns and cities in the country’s predominantly Kurdish-populated southeastern provinces, with Turkish security forces imposing controversial curfews on a number of predominantly Kurdish cities, contributing to a spike in tensions.

As part of the initiative aimed at ending the three-decade long conflict, Öcalan had been in dialogue with state officials, the Kurdish-problem focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its predecessor, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

hurriyetdailynews.com/no-details-on-turkey-us-cooperation-on-manbij-ministry.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101305&NewsCatID=510

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Turkish gov’t to make big shift in regional development policy: Development minister

July/07/2016

Turkish Development Minister Lütfi Elvan has said the government will introduce some big changes to its regional development policy, adding the state would introduce problem-free investment zones for companies, as well as new precautions to ensure the 4.5 percent growth target.

“We are changing the regional development concept. The development agencies in 26 regions will slowly depart from their grant programs and will give credits without interest or with zero interest,” Elvan told daily Hürriyet, adding that the reinforcements would not be the same in all areas.

“For instance, we will only tend towards livestock in the [northeastern] Kars-Ardahan region. As the central government, we will reinforce the livestock departments in the universities in that region. Such a structure will be formed,” he added.

Elvan said the priority of development agencies would be youth and women, adding they would work for entrepreneurial youth in 26 regions.

Saying that growth has been continuing for 26 quarters, Elvan stressed that a growth target of 4.5 percent for this year was set.

“However, if we don’t adopt some precautions, it’s possible that it [growth] can go below 4.5 percent. That’s why we’ve been taking and will take serious precautions,” Elvan said, adding that he hoped the target would be reached through these precautions.

“We will enhance the investment setting for growth. Structural reforms and transformation programs will be a top priority. We will establish a setting where the investor could look confidently to the future and not be afraid of sudden changes and uncertainties. We’ve started new efforts [in this direction],” he added.

Saying that the Development Ministry aimed to present the areas where infrastructure works were conducted by the public, permissions were taken and which were prepared for investment, to the private sector, Elvan added that the sectors to be provided with this facility were not yet determined.

“We will carry out the procedures as public, including taking necessary permissions, setting up infrastructure, civil service works and procedures, which were made by the investor. Moreover, the investor will be able to see the types of investment areas in an electronic setting without going out into the field. We are planning to complete it in the beginning of 2017. The investor will take the keys of his investment when the project is completed,” Elvan said.

Elvan also mentioned international indexes, saying they would work on the indexes where Turkey had a low ranking.

Another subject the minister touched upon was migration, as he said efforts would take place to prevent migration in eastern Turkey.

“Plenty of efforts will take place in order to prevent migration in the east. Attraction centers are among those. We will focus on intense labor sectors there, textiles for example. ‘If you move you factory here from Istanbul, your factory building will be provided by us,’ we will say to the textile businessman,” Elvan said.

Elvan’s statements came after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced the details of a planned economic package to lure more foreign capital and improve Turkey’s investment climate.

“We are talking about a comprehensive economic package which touches each part of society and eases life for investors,” the prime minister said, noting the package included radical reforms in a bid to lure more investments.

“There will be regulations that will decrease the stamp tax and other costs for investors. In contracts, the stamp tax and the notary fee will be charged for only one copy. This is of great importance for potential investors as we will be ceasing the execution of a 52-year-old practice which raises costs for investors,” he added.

Yıldırım also said the government would strengthen the financial structure of the Development Bank to enable it to offer loans to investors more easily.

“We will do the same with the Exim Bank in its loan offers to exporters. Our aim is to ease the access to financing, whether for tradesmen, industrialists or others,” added Yıldırım.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-govt-to-make-big-shift-in-regional-development-policy-development-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101294&NewsCatID=344

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PKK militants fire rockets at district governor’s office in eastern Turkey

July/07/2016

A group of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants opened fire with rockets and machine guns at the district governor’s office in Bahçesaray in the eastern province of Van late on July 6.

The group dispersed after soldiers returned fire.

Two rockets hit the office private office of the district governor.

Sources said the attacking group consisted of five or six PKK militants.

Security forces launched an operation in the area after the attack.

hurriyetdailynews.com/pkk-militants-fire-rockets-at-district-governors-office-in-eastern-turkey-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101316&NewsCatID=341

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Moon, sky decide timing for Eid, says Turkey’s top cleric

July/07/2016

The head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) on July 6 defended the decision to mark the first day of the Eid al-Fitr on July 5, a day ahead of the rest of the Muslim world.     

Diyanet head Mehmet Görmez said Muslims should not necessarily follow Saudi Arabia’s lead in determining the days of religious festivals such as Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday that follows the fasting month of Ramadan.     

“The Kaaba is our qiblah [the direction of prayer], not a place for determining time. These times are determined by the [appearance of the] new moon and the sky,” Görmez said in an exclusive interview with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, referring to the top sacred mosque of the Muslim world located in Mecca.

“The fact that the Kaaba, the Masjid Nabawi [Mosque of the Prophet] and the Hajj pilgrimage are administered by one country does not mean that we will change the laws and rules of Allah,” he added. “Islam is a universal religion, which was revealed not to a particular geographical region but to the whole world and all of mankind.”     

The Hijri calendar is based on the lunar cycle so Ramadan ends with the appearance of the new moon, which also signals the beginning of the Eid al-Fitr holiday.     

Since the new moon does not always appear on the same day in different countries, disagreements occasionally arise over exactly when Eid should begin.     

This year, a number of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, decided to extend the month of fasting by an extra day as the crescent moon could not be observed from locations within their borders.

Turkey, however, commenced the Eid al-Fitr celebrations on July 5, as Diyanet sent two officials to Chile, where the crescent moon appears first. According to the country’s top religious body, sighting the crescent moon anywhere in the world marks the end of Ramadan.

Although most of the Arabic-speaking world follows the lead of Saudi Arabia, some Muslims in the Balkans also marked the beginning of Eid on July 5.

This year’s controversy emerged only a month after Muslim clerics from across the world gathered in Istanbul on May 30 and agreed on a unified Islamic calendar to determine religious days and festivals.

Representatives from around 50 countries including Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt and the U.S. agreed on the proposal at a conference in Istanbul.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion, as well as a time of increased religious observance and socializing, with families sharing rich meals after sunset followed by gatherings with friends or neighbors.

hurriyetdailynews.com/moon-sky-decide-timing-for-eid-says-turkeys-top-cleric.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101321&NewsCatID=393

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Africa

In Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu Looks for Friends, and U.N. Votes, for Israel

July 7, 2016

NAIROBI, Kenya — Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, cruised around the capital of Kenya with an entourage of dozens of Israeli executives, hoping to sell Africa everything from Israeli-made plastic wrap, sprinklers and irrigation pipes to software, CCTV cameras and military equipment. Even cantaloupe seeds.

But Mr. Netanyahu was also on the lookout for something else: precious United Nations votes.

“There are 50 countries in Africa,” Mr. Netanyahu said (actually, there are 54). “Just about all of them,” he continued in an interview in recent days, “could be allies of Israel. They vote at international forums, and I know people don’t believe this, but I think we can change the automatic majorities in the U.N. and so on if you begin to shift this.”

Arab states often galvanize blocs of support within the United Nations to pass resolutions condemning Israeli policies. And with European and other nations increasingly critical of Mr. Netanyahu’s right-leaning government, blaming him for the impasse in the peace process with the Palestinians, reinvigorating ties with Africa seems to be part of a global Israeli survival strategy.

Israel used to be big in Africa.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Israel felt a kinship to newly independent nations in Africa and dispatched diplomats across the continent, opening two dozen embassies, a lot for a little country.

No place was too remote. In the Central African Republic, the Israeli ambassador doubled as a kosher butcher, slaughtering chickens for his family in the backyard.

But in the mid-1970s, after the Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, many African countries severed diplomatic ties with Israel. Today, it operates only 10 small embassies in sub-Saharan Africa, and its development projects tend to be low-key, like sending Kenyan students to study farming in Israel or helping Tanzanian beekeepers make more honey.

Mr. Netanyahu has said he is determined to change that, and this week he has been taking a four-nation Africa tour, the first for an Israeli premier in decades. What he faces from Africans is a mixture of warmth and suspicion.

Many sub-Saharan Africans, even if they have never met a Jew, are enamored with Israel because of its links to biblical places and “because of the common enemy, the Islamic fundamentalist Arabs and terrorists,” said James Solomon Padiet, a political science lecturer in South Sudan.

But many Africans also identify with the Palestinians, who are seen as oppressed underdogs in the Middle East conflict.

“I think the notion of Africa returning to Israel is a huge fiction,” said Angelo Izama, a journalist and human rights activist in Uganda. He called Israel’s treatment of Palestinians a form of “apartheid” and said African immigrants in Israel were often regarded “as vermin.”

He added that Israel’s offers of more aid, especially for security, smacked of a patronizing “transactional relationship” that Africa was trying to escape.

Like any other nation, Israel constantly scans the horizon, trying to push its economic, strategic and diplomatic interests, looking for new friends and new markets.

But unlike most other nations, Israel has to contend with a large swath of the world, from Morocco to Pakistan, that is deeply hostile, and it seems to be pursuing sub-Saharan Africa with urgency.

Ron Prosor, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, said the strategy had begun to pay off. In 2014, the Security Council rejected a Palestinian resolution calling for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. Abstentions by Rwanda and Nigeria, he said,helped tip the balance.

But, he added, changing the dynamics at the United Nations “is not instant pudding.”

Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that Israel has a mutual interest with Africa in cooperating on security matters, especially in the battle against Islamic extremists. Several African countries, including Kenya, receive Israeli military training and equipment; Africa has become one of the biggest growth markets for Israel’s arms industry.

On Tuesday, Mr. Netanyahu pledged to share intelligence with Kenya to pre-empt terrorist attacks. There was even talk of Israel, which has built gigantic walls along the West Bank, helping the Kenyans build a wall along the Kenya-Somalia border.

Each of the countries on the tour was selected because of its link to Israel. Uganda, where the tour began Monday, was the site of a hostage rescue in 1976 when Israeli commandos stormed the Entebbe airport and saved more than 100 people. Mr. Netanyahu’s older brother, Yoni, led that raid and was killed during it.

The next stop, Kenya, is one of Africa’s biggest markets and has its own Entebbe connection. Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, father of the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, took what was a risky decision at the time by allowing Israeli planes to refuel in Kenya after the raid.

During an event Tuesday with evangelical Christians, a Kenyan apologized to Mr. Netanyahu for Yoni’s death, saying he was speaking on behalf of Africa. The usually taciturn Mr. Netanyahu seemed surprised — and touched.

“His body language was completely different than what we see in Israel,” said Yosef Abramowitz, an Israeli renewable energy executive, who was in the room. “It was like his face was debating whether to let this penetrate deep into his soul. I was afraid he was going to cry.”

He didn’t, but Mr. Abramowitz said it was close.

On Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu flew to Rwanda, which shares with the Jews a history of genocide. Israeli experts were consulted in constructing Rwanda’s memorial to the estimated one million people massacred in 1994. Historians have said more civilians were killed in Rwanda during that three-month span than during just about any other three months in human history, including the Holocaust.

According to the Israeli news media, Israel made a pact with Rwanda and Uganda for them to take asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who had migrated to Israel; in return, it is widely believed, Israel supplies extra military equipment or special training to Rwanda and Uganda.

Mr. Netanyahu’s last stop will be Ethiopia, home to Africa’s largest indigenous Jewish population until Israel organized airlifts and brought thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, though the process of integration has hardly been seamless. Last year, Ethiopian-Israelis violently protested what they called a pattern of racism.

At the ceremony commemorating the Entebbe raid on Monday, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, kept referring to Israel as “Palestine,” which raised some eyebrows in the Israeli delegation sitting in front of him. It was not clear whether he misspoke or was intending to be contentious.

Mr. Museveni, who has been in office for 30 years and is notorious for giving long, rambling, bombastic speeches, belittled the sensitive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that people “waste a lot of time with these international meetings” and that he often fell asleep during them. He then offered to help mediate the talks. He also ridiculed as “nonsense” an old colonial proposal to resettle Jews in Africa.

In 1903, Theodor Herzl, considered the father of modern Zionism, discussed with British officials the possibility of finding a haven in East Africa for Jews fleeing the deadly pogroms in Europe.

“You can see how these fellows are not really serious,” Mr. Museveni said of the old proposal with a chuckle, though the only other people laughing during his speech were doing so uncomfortably, looking side to side.

Mr. Museveni said it was a good thing the plan never materialized.

“Those Jewish leaders were very, very clever,” he said. “Otherwise we would be fighting you now.”

nytimes.com/2016/07/07/world/africa/israel-africa-netanyahu-uganda-kenya-rwanda.html?_r=0

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Mamadoe, the Muslim enslaved African burnt to death in Guyana

July 7, 2016

Although obeah (folk magic) was a punishable offence, it was frequently practiced as a means of inspiring or supporting slave revolt and other forms of resistance on the plantations. Both the Dutch and British viewed obeah as nothing more than witchcraft or black magic to harm others, which the “uncivilized” Africans brought with them from their ancestral villages.

By the 18th century, however, European colonialists regarded obeah as a harmless superstitious practice that should be mocked instead of feared; nevertheless, the British introduced laws that made the practice a crime and in some cases punishable by death.

Most of the enslaved Africans in British Guiana for the most part relied on their own herbal cures, homemade tonics and traditional customs. In times of sickness, many turned to African ‘healers’ using a variety of herbs and natural remedies (which in today’s world is referred to as homeopathic medications). They believed that this posed less of a danger to the ‘sick’ person than the medicine the white doctors dispensed to them.

This was the case with Mamadoe, who was captured in West Africa and sold into slavery at Plantation Nigg on the Courantyne. Mamadoe was regarded as a ‘sort of doctor’ who prescribed herbal cures and remedies for those who sought his services.

Mamadoe was a Muslim who knew to recite verses from the Quran and perhaps observed the many Islamic celebrations. Imagine an enslaved African who managed to hold on to his identity – his religion and his name up until around 1824, ten years before the British abolished slavery in British Guiana, now Guyana.

Mamadoe or Mamadou is the West African version of the name Mohammed and was one of the most popular names among enslaved African Muslims in the former Dutch/British Guiana (as well as in the world today). Several slaves bearing the name Mamadoe were runaways as published in several issues of the Berbice gazettes.

Sadly, on 8th November 1824, Mamadoe now old and grey, was tortured, badly beaten and then burnt to death in his hut by another slave. At first, his death was thought to be an accident and that was why it took “Fiscal” two weeks before they looked into the matter. And then it was only when some incriminating evidence emerged (a bloody bludgeon with grey hair stuck to it) and a few slaves came forward giving eyewitness accounts on the circumstances surrounding Mamadoe’s murder.

Even in his old age, Mamadoe did not sit idly. He worked as a watchman on the plantation and had his own watch hut to use at night. He prayed for the sick and offered advice on an array of issues faced by the enslaved Africans. Sadly, he was misunderstood by a group of his fellow Africans who accused him of being an “obeah man.”

Sometime in early October 1824, another slave originally from Congo by the name of Tancred approached Mamadoe demanding that he saved his dying wife. Tancred really thought that Mamadoe by performing “obeah” could save his wife from an “untimely” death.

Mamadoe instructed Tancred to look for some kind of root and herbs, but he did not find any. Tancred’s countryman Rhina decided to take matters into his own hands and threatened to burn Mamadoe because that is what they do to “obeah men” in the Congo. Rhina then tied Mamadoe’s hands and gave him until the “next moon” to cure Tancred’s wife of her ailment.

When the time elapsed and the woman was not cured, Rhina carried out his threats despite the pleas of one of Mamadoe’s countrymen, John Campbell, who was the only slave who stood up to Rhina despite the “cries” of Mamadoe’s wife to stop torturing her husband. Later, on that fatal day, November 8, 1824, the plantation manager found Mamadoe’s body curled up in a fetal position in his watch hut.

Mamadoe, a learned West African Muslim, was most likely from the Mandinga clan. He was a minority among mostly Congolese Africans in Guyana, and was culturally misunderstood. As well, those “scholars” who wrote about Mamadoe and obeah in Guyana, failed to ascertain that he was a Muslim who refused to adopt the name of his master and was certainly not a witchdoctor but a healer.

caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Commentary%3A-Mamadoe,-the-Muslim-enslaved-African-burnt-to-death-in-Guyana-30999.html

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Deputy President Remembers Muslims’ Efforts

JULY 6, 2016

Pretoria — Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the Eid al-Fitr celebration is a reminder of the contributions made by the Muslim community during South Africa’s struggle against apartheid and the country’s liberation. Addressing the Eid prayer held by the Muslim community in Pretoria on Wednesday, the Deputy President said the Muslim community continues to contribute to the development of South African societies. The event took place during the month of Ramadaan, which is the fourth pillar of Islam. “Islam is part of our African heritage, our history and our future… We recall the involvement of the Muslim community in the struggle against apartheid. We remember the contribution of the Muslim community of Pretoria to our struggle. “This is the community that gave South Africa its first black Chief Justice, Justice Ismail Mohamed. This is a community that continues to play a vital role in the renewal, reconstruction and transformation of our nation,” he said. Deputy President Ramaphosa said the Muslim community reminds government of the work it must continue to do to improve the lives of citizens and the people of Africa.

“As we mark the end of the holy fast, let us affirm our commitment to work together to end poverty, inequality, injustice and tyranny. Let us work together to end racism, sexism and religious intolerance. “Let us stand up for the oppressed and the dispossessed, for those whose lands have been occupied and whose livelihoods have been destroyed. “Let us stand together to oppose the wars, civil conflicts…

info-europa.com/uncategorized/south-africa-deputy-president-remembers-muslims-efforts/8417

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Europe

91% of EU citizens believe ISIS will pose threat to Europe in next 5yrs - poll

JULY 7, 2016

A majority of EU citizens believe Islamic State will pose a serious threat to Europe over the next five years and that attacks such as those that rocked Paris in November 2015 could happen again, a recent poll revealed.

The survey ‘Project 28’ conducted by the Szazadveg Foundation, an independent think-tank organization, was concluded in April this year. However, it was only published after the Brexit referendum in the UK.

One of the questions the think-tank asked was: “How likely do you expect that a terrorist attack like what just happened in Paris could happen in your country?”

The Paris attacks, claimed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants, killed at least 130 and injured more than 400 people in November 2015.

According to the poll, 36 percent answered “it is very likely” that a Paris-style attack would happen in their country. Another 50 percent believe the attack is “likely” to happen. Only 13 percent think IS attacks won’t happen in Europe in the nearest future, the poll added.

Europe is on high alert after the recent terror attacks in France and Belgium that claimed about 180 lives. Numerous reports have emerged, saying that IS plans to attack European cities this year.

ccording to the poll, respondents saw a direct link between mass illegal migration and terrorism, with 65 percent “agreeing with the statement that the migrant wave increases the threat of terrorism in their country.”

The majority of respondents (91 percent) believe IS will be “a serious threat” to Europe over the next 5 years.

“ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist attacks, so the assessment of Islamic State gaining ground was also an important part of our research. We asked the respondents how much of a threat they felt that the Islamic State will pose in Europe over the next five years. In response …61 percent thought it will be a very serious threat and 30 percent thought that it will be a somewhat serious threat.”

In April, Das Bild newspaper reported that Islamic State is planning terrorist attacks on resorts in southern Europe, including France, Italy and Spain, adding that suicide bombers are expected to be disguised as beach vendors.

In 2015, Hungarian media repeatedly said that terrorists disguised as refugees may easily sneak into Europe. Later, it was revealed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris attacks' mastermind, boasted how easily he had slipped into the EU disguised as a refugee.

https://rt.com/news/349638-isis-threat-eu-poll/

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'Europe Is Alive for Jesus': Revival Breaks Out in France

JULY 7, 2016

Amid the ongoing threat of Islamic terror and economic instability, thousands of people in France are giving their lives over to Christ.

People from all over Europe flocked to Nates, France, last week to seek the Lord at the Grande Conference.

The purpose of the conference this year was to call an increasingly secular Europe back to a true relationship with God.

The key phrase of the conference was "mercy triumphs over judgment," a banner declaring God's ability to heal and restore Europe.

Chris Gore, a minister from Bethel Church in California spoke at the event and posted about it on Facebook. He says hundreds of people encountered the gospel and surrendered their hearts to Christ.

"The first session of the conference, over 70 percent of over 1,000 people gave their lives to Jesus for the first time," Gore writes. "The hope of this nation is the gospel."

Not only did hundreds of people give their lives to Christ, thousands more experienced life-changing miracles.

"Europe is alive for Jesus! What an incredible night in France. We saw tonight around 2,000 miracles and exactly 100 reports of deaf ears opening," Gore posted along with a video of an auditorium full of people praising God.

The revival comes in a time when most news headlines bear grim news about Europe. Gore believes the key to overcoming the darkness surrounding Europe is equipping believers to be the light of the world.

"Jesus said when He was on this earth, 'I am the light of world.' When He left He said, 'Now you are,'" Gore says. "When we shine our light, darkness has no option but to leave!"

The revival is not just staying in France. Gore and other ministers from around the world are also traveling to conferences in Germany and Austria later this month to change the spiritual condition of Europe with the power of the gospel.

charismanews.com/world/58256-europe-is-alive-for-jesus-revival-breaks-out-in-france

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In Germany, can Muslim refugees assimilate?

JULY 7, 2016

BERLIN - On a trip to the beach, a German friend recently saw two teenage Afghan refugee boys stare in shock at female bathers in scanty bikinis. She overheard one youth agitatedly ask the German volunteer accompanying him: "Where are their fathers? Where are their fathers?"

The good news is that the boy spoke German and had a German friend who could explain the culture gap between Afghanistan and Europe. The bad news is obvious: Germany has an overwhelming task trying to integrate many of the million or so Muslim migrants who arrived in 2015.

And a debate has gone public over a subject that was once considered unmentionable in public here: whether Islamic precepts are compatible with the West.

A sizable number of migrants are from the educated middle class, especially those arriving from Syria, around 40 percent of the total. But many others are young men from poorer backgrounds in Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan. They were sent ahead to establish a family beachhead in Europe - or escape the army. A good number are unaccompanied minors.

Many Germans - not just members of the anti-immigration or populist movements - worry that such youths are tempting targets for Islamists. They also wonder whether the gap between German society and conservative Arab Muslim cultures may be too wide to bridge.

"Fear toward Islam is increasing in Germany," says Thomas Volk, coordinator on Islam and religious dialogue at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. "Fifty-seven percent of the non-Muslim population thinks Islam is dangerous or very dangerous. In May, a poll showed that 60 percent think Islam doesn't belong to Germany."

Those polled don't distinguish between Islamist ideology and the Muslim religion, says Volk.

The German public's warmth toward refugees faltered after a New Year's Eve episode in Cologne, where hundreds of young Arab men accosted German women during street celebrations. The men were mostly North African, not war refugees, and many were here illegally.

Yet this awful event also spurred a necessary public debate about how to integrate the newcomers quickly - and how to avoid the emergence of Arab Muslim ghettos, or "parallel societies," as the Germans call them, where Islamists - or criminal gangs - could take root.

At present, the government sees providing jobs for immigrants as the main antidote to Islamization. But it appears to be paying less attention to another critical issue: Who will fund the mosques and imams that serve the new influx of Muslims? At present, around two-thirds of Germany's roughly four million Muslims (5 percent of the population) are of Turkish descent, and Turkey's religious ministry provides around 900 imams.

This arrangement was long viewed as satisfactory until the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began Islamizing what had been a secular country.

However, the new immigrants are largely - though not all - Arabic speakers. The German press reported last year that Saudi Arabia offered to build 200 mosques in Germany for the newcomers (the Saudis have denied this), which sparked controversy.

In an astonishingly frank interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag in December, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel warned: "We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over. Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia."

However, a proposal by the conservative Christian Social Union party that Germany ban foreign funding of mosques and train its own imams gained little traction.

This is a hot-button issue that won't go away.

Four theological schools have begun training German-speaking imams, leading some to hope Germany can produce a unique variant of European Islam that emphasizes tolerance and the peaceful aspects of the religion.

However, the largest Turkish Muslim association in Germany has made it clear that it will not accept the newly minted imams. It is also unclear whether they would be welcomed in mosques created for Arab newcomers.

They might still prove immensely valuable in teaching about Islam in schools, since religious education is required in Germany. At present, official Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious bodies oversee training of teachers who give religious instruction in public schools.

But there is no one organization that speaks for all Muslims in Germany. "Maybe the way is to emphasize training in schools," says Deniz Nergiz, a Turkish-German expert on integration, "where these new theologians would teach but would not be in the mosques."

The question of how to ease young migrants into German society and culture touches on the nerves of those who fear youths may be easy targets for radical proselytizers outside of school. Puritan Salafi Muslims - of whom there are said to be about 9,000 in Germany - have been caught trying to infiltrate refugee shelters.

"We are afraid of recruitment, particularly among unaccompanied minors," says Deidre Berger, the Berlin representative of the American Jewish Committee, which has concerns about threats to Jewish life in Germany.

Can the Afghan boys on the beach find a way into German society where they can practice their faith but don't feel alienated by their surroundings? And can the debate over clashing cultures be addressed without encouraging a racist backlash that alienates those whom Germany is trying to integrate?

At this point no one can say.

philly.com/philly/columnists/trudy_rubin/20160707_Worldview__Easing_into_German_society.html

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North America

Muslims Have Contributed to America’s Strength

JULY 7, 2016

New York-U.S. President Barack Obama extended his greetings to Muslims on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, lauding the contributions of the Muslim Americans to make the country stronger.

“Upon the arrival of a new crescent moon, Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the United States and around the globe,” Obama said in a statement issued by the White house.

“Muslim Americans are as diverse as our nation itself—black, white, Latino, Asian, and Arab. Eid celebrations around the country remind us of our proud history as a nation built by people of all backgrounds; our history of religious freedom and civil liberties, and our history of innovation and strength. These legacies would not be possible without the contributions of Muslim Americans that make our country even stronger,” he said.

On attacks that shook the world during Ramadan, Obama said: “This past month, our country and the world endured challenges and senseless violence that broke our hearts and tried our souls. Our prayers are with the hundreds of innocent lives, many of them Muslim, taken during the month of Ramadan in places like Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka, Baghdad, and Madinah.”

Obama said that the U.S. has also seen a rise in attacks against Muslim Americans.

“No one should ever feel afraid or unsafe in their place of worship. Many Americans have shared in the experience of Ramadan by volunteering in community service efforts to assist those in need and even fasting a few days with their fellow Muslim American co-workers.”

“In the face of hate, it’s our American values and strength that bring us together to stand in solidarity and protect one another—thereby, making our nation stronger and safer,” he said.

“Muslim Americans have been part of our American family since its founding. This Eid, we recommit to protecting Muslim Americans against bigotry and xenophobia, while celebrating the contributions of Muslim Americans around the country, including one of our finest, the People’s Champion Muhammad Ali, to whom we bade farewell this Ramadan.

“Later this month, Michelle and I will host an Eid celebration at the White House and we look forward to welcoming Americans from around the country to celebrate the holiday,” he added.

english.aawsat.com/2016/07/article55354017/obama-muslims-contributed-americans-strength

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American Muslims ‘just as American as anyone else’

July 7, 2016  

Donald Trump says American Muslims have a hard time “assimilating” to America. In the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, he told Sean Hannity: “Assimilation has been very hard. It’s almost – I won’t say nonexistent, but it gets to be pretty close. And I’m talking about second and third generation. They come – they don’t – for some reason, there’s no real assimilation.”

Trump clearly doesn’t know about the unique American-Muslim culture that has been developing since the country’s inception.

In recent years, young American-Muslim entertainers and entrepreneurs have contributed to this culture in ways that are fully American and fully Muslim.

Just last week, comedian Aziz Ansari spoke about his Muslim roots in a recent editorial in The New York Times. While he himself is not religious, his family is. In his piece, he describes how political rhetoric like Trump’s causes him to fear for his Muslim parents. “DON’T go anywhere near a mosque” he texts his mom. “Do all your prayer at home. O.K.?”

Ansari is not alone in the space of American-Muslim comedians. Allah Made Me Funny was an American stand-up comedy troupe produced by well-assimilated American Muslim Dave Chappelle. Described by one newspaper as “one of the funniest Muslim cultural acts in the world,” Allah Made Me Funny also carried the responsibility of showing Muslim culture to those less familiar with it.

Outside of comedy, Marvel Comics a few years ago introduced its first American Muslim character, Kamala – or, Ms. Marvel – a Pakistani American. Ms. Marvel’s creator, Sana Amanat, explained to Entertainment Weekly: “We knew we wanted to have a Muslim-American character, we knew we wanted it to be her own solo series. … The idea was, how do we create a character that wasn’t about that?”

Her answer was to focus on bigger themes, ones that transcended identity and embraced human issues.

“You can call a Muslim South-Asian woman a hero, but I think the ultimate ideal for her is being good and helping people,” said Amanat. “That’s such a simple and beautiful concept, and I think that supersedes any label, any category, and that’s ultimately what Kamala wants – she wants to help people, and she wants to do it on her own terms.”

Elsewhere in literature, American Muslim characters continue to crop up. Hena Khan, a children’s book author, has written “Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story,” “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns” and most recently “It’s Ramadan, Curious George.”

Each of these books offers young American-Muslim readers the opportunity to see themselves in the main characters.

George has celebrated holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah and Easter. Now, for the first time, the iconic monkey and his friend in the yellow hat have become curious about Islam. The book follows George’s friend, Kareem, during his first time fasting. In the book, the pair breaks the daily fast by eating both pizza and kebobs.

“I wanted to reinforce the message that American Muslims are just as American as anyone else,” said Khan. “Some of us are descended from immigrants and have other cultures and other food we embrace. We still love pizza and burgers as much as the next person.”

Although Khan said the idea of working with such an iconic character was intimidating at first, she knew it was an opportunity for greater inclusion of Muslim children in American literature.

Khan told altMuslimah.com: “I wanted my books to reflect the American -Muslim community as diverse and colorful, but also distinctly American. Lots of kids’ books present Muslims as foreign rather than as making up part of the great American tapestry and sharing universal values.”

Like Amanat, the comedians behind Allah Made Me Funny and a host of other American-Muslim culture creators, Khan’s book allows for a seamless interaction between the “American” and the “Muslim” components of the American Muslim identity. These innovative cultural creations help Muslims not just “assimilate” – to use Trump’s word – but to forge something uniquely valuable.

districtchronicles.com/news/view.php/1023070/American-Muslims-just-as-American-as-any

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‘F**k Muzlim’ And ‘Terroist’ Spray-Painted On Muslim Man’s Car

July 7, 2016 

A hate crime task force is investigating who spray-painted a swastika and anti-Muslim graffiti on a Muslim man’s car in Palmdale, California, on the final day of Ramadan.

Lt. Belinda Johnson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to The Huffington Post that officers had responded to the scene of the vandalism a little after noon on Tuesday.

A swastika and “USA” were spray-painted on a gray truck, which had been parked on the 37,000 block of 6th Street East in Palmdale, Johnson said. The truck’s windows had also been smashed in.

“The victim is of Islamic faith, but he had no idea who would have wanted to damage his vehicle,” Johnson said. KABC identified the victim as Ahmed Muqadarati.

“Some asshole decided to trash my brother’s car....this happened in Palmdale CA guys,” tweeted Muqadarati’s sister-in-law, Honai Shaghasi. She asked that questions about the incident be directed to a Twitter account she identified as her brother-in-law’s. Messages sent to that account were not immediately returned.

“A Palmdale man I just interviewed thinks his truck was vandalized because he’s Muslim,” he wrote. “He says he was born in America & has no idea who did it...”

Cota-Robles also tweeted that Muqadarati “says he’s not afraid to say he’s Muslim after his truck was vandalized.”

“I am also a citizen of America,” Muqadarati told KABC. “I’m the type of guy that goes to the mosque almost every day, if I can. I know people see me around, and I’m not afraid of saying that I’m a Muslim. Obviously, it looks like somebody hated me because I’m a Muslim.”

Johnson said her department’s hate crimes task force is investigating the incident.

The act of vandalism occurred on the final day of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month marked by daily fasting, after a week in which Muslims across the U.S. were allegedly targeted because of their faith.

Last week, a man in Minneapolis allegedly made anti-Muslim remarks before opening fire on a group of men wearing prayer robes. Two of the men were shot and injured. In Houston, a Muslim optometrist was shot and badly injured while walking to his mosque. And in Brooklyn, New York, two young Muslim men were brutally assaulted by a man who allegedly said “you fucking terrorist.”

THE HUFFINGTON POST

In recent months, HuffPost has documented the near-daily acts of harassment, violence and discrimination faced by Muslims in the U.S.

Hate crimes targeting Muslims tripled in the month after the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. And a report released earlier this year by the Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University states that there were more acts of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism in 2015 than in any year since the Sept. 11 attacks ― related, in part, to the heightened anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential candidates, among others.

This post has been updated with the victim’s identity and other additional information.

huffingtonpost.com/entry/muslim-man-car-vandalized_us_577d3fc2e4b0a629c1ab851e?section=india

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/india--to-examine--request-to-ban-islamic-preacher,-zakir-naik/d/107884

 

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