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Islamic World News ( 6 Dec 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indian Muslims: Islamic State Not a Threat to India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Indian Muslims in Kolkata are seen condemning Islamic State as an enemy of Islam and Muslims, in Kolkata, India, Dec. 5, 2015. (Photo - S. Azizur Rahman/VOA)

 

India

Indian Muslims: Islamic State Not a Threat to India

Mass wedding of 51 Hindu, Muslim couples organized in Firozabad

India is the best example of religious tolerance: Dalai Lama

Muslim Scholars Discuss Madrassa Modernisation

Ayodhya, 23 years later: SP minister pledges to protect Muslims, sadhus to meet PM to revive movement

Muslims urge caution, Hindu seers pledge to revive Ram temple movement

Muslim, Hindu outfits stage demonstrations

What is Uniform Civil Code? SC refuses to participate in the ongoing debate

'Tolerance Is The Spirit of India, Law Will Protect All'

Arrest Babri Mosque demolition accused and expedite trial: All India Muslim Personal Law Board to UP, Central govt

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed slams Nawaz Sharif for meeting PM Modi

Terror as well as J&K on agenda: Win-win for both

Arrested ISI spy Aijaz admits plans to recce military setups in Uttarakhand

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Southeast Asia

Scholar: Quran doesn’t call for an Islamic state

Lessons for the Middle East in Indonesia's success

Scholar: Extremism can lead to apartheid state

Malaysia to send experts to help Australia fight terrorism, says DPM

Farouk: Najib doesn’t understand Islamic moderation

SIS: Hudud is more about family law, not criminal penalties

Indonesia: 18 people die as train smashes into bus

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Arab World

32 IS fighters killed in US-led raids on Syria; Assad slams UK’s participation

Syrian Army Pushes Back Nusra Militants from Part of Dara'a City

US-Backed Opposition Official Calls for Extermination of Alawites in Syria

Four Syrian soldiers die in suspected US coalition strike

NATO rules out sending ground troops to fight ISIS

Syrian Army Fends off Militants' Attacks on Jediyeh Town in Dara'a Province

US-Led Coalition Hits Syrian Army Camp in Deir Ezzur, 4 Soldiers Killed

Syrian Forces Retake Palmyra-Homs Highway

More Aleppo Villages Purged of Terrorists

Syrian soldiers ‘die in suspected coalition strike’

Riyadh International Book Fair promises literary feast

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Mideast

Iraq gives Turkish forces 48 hours to leave country

Turkey 'astonished' by Iranian charges of IS support

Airstrikes target ISIS de facto capital in Syria

FM: Iran's Position on Palestine Remains Unaffected

Israeli air raid targets Hamas camp after shooting incidents

Sweden-Israel rift deepens over Palestinian deaths

Arab attacker shot dead after Jerusalem attacks: police

Iran: It’s our ‘duty’ to mediate in Turkey-Russia spat

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North America

Barack Obama: Threat is real, we will destroy Islamic State group

US 'will not be terrorized': Obama

Kerry confirms next Syria talks in New York

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Pakistan

Deadlock in Pak-Afghan ties can hamper peace initiatives: Sherpao

90 per cent of Islamabad mosques ‘outside’ govt control

Three terrorists killed in Quetta raid

Sherpao stresses stronger Pak-Afghan ties for peace

MoU inked for cementing Pak-Turky ties

Youtube accessible in mega cities despite ban

Army chief lauds LEAs for 'improved' security as he arrives in Karachi

PAF demonstration: PM appreciates show of strength by aerial fighters in Sonmiani

Mashhadi wasn’t listening to MQM chief’s speech on July 12, court told

Multi-party conference on China-Pakistan corridor soon: Mengal

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South Asia

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Shiite mosque in Bangladesh

Heavy clashes reported among top Taliban leaders in Herat

10 injured in bomb blasts at temple in Bangladesh

Afghan Taliban sources doubt Mansour alive

Afghan intelligence arrest 2 key Taliban group members in Takhar

President Ghani to attend Heart of Asia summit in Islamabad

Germany’s defense minister says ‘We are staying’ in Afghanistan

Efforts to shift Taliban’s Quetta Council to Helmand shunned by Afghan forces

Nizami’s appeal: Prosecution placing arguments

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Africa

Nigeria police make arrests over Boko haram ‘sleeper cells’ in Abuja area

Citing Libya’s case, Italy rules out joining air strikes

Deal reached on political solution to Libya conflict

Qaddafi son in Libya court over murder, repression

UN condemns Lake Chad triple bombing

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Europe

ISIS propaganda and ammunition found after France mosque closure

Leytonstone Tube Attack: 'You Ain't No Muslim Bruv' Becomes Very British Response

Knife attacker slashes man in London metro after screaming 'this is for Syria'

UK police charge man over ‘terrorist incident’ at London metro station

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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India

 

Indian Muslims: Islamic State Not a Threat to India

Shaikh Azizur Rahman

December 06, 2015

KOLKATA, INDIA—Muslims across many cities in India have been holding rallies calling Islamic State (IS) “un-Islamic” and “an enemy of Islam,” following recent news reports that the terror group has threatened to spread its activities to India.

A recent manifesto purportedly released by IS said it “would now expand beyond Iraq and Syria…into… India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan (and several other countries),” The Indian Express reported.

Titled “Black Flags from the Islamic State,” the manifesto goads Indian Muslims to launch jihad against the government led by the “Hindu nationalist” Bharatiya Janata Party.

India’s junior home minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary said the government will take the recent IS threat seriously. Last month, India’s home ministry issued an advisory to all states warning of possible IS-backed terror attacks in the country.   

At a rally in New Delhi Thursday, Muslims adopted a resolution pledging support to the government in its firm stand against IS. Muslims belonging to both Shi’ite and Sunni sects took part in the rally, which also was attended by diplomats from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and Indian leaders from other religious communities.

“We, the Muslims in India, have marked the day (December 3) as Anti-Terrorism Day. In the presence of more than 350,000 people we took this resolution that we, the Muslims of this country, will keep fighting against Islamic State,” Bilal Hussain, a Shi’ite member of the convening committee of the rally told VOA.

In Kolkata Saturday, Muslims held another rally at which people condemned IS, shouting slogans and carrying placards, two of which read “ISIS Feasting on Muslim Blood” and “ISIS is the Enemy of Islam and Muslims.” ISIS is another acronym for the Islamic State.

No tolerance

Zafarul-Islam Khan, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), a New Delhi-based umbrella body of Indian Muslim organizations, said IS has nothing to do with Islam.

“There is no question of any tolerance of such terrorist outfits in the Muslim community. They are claiming to be working in the name of Islam. But Islam does not approve of terrorism,” Khan told VOA.

According to an Indian Home Ministry report, after IS launched a fierce social media campaign for support, 23 Muslim youths in the past three years traveled out of India and joined IS in Iraq and Syria.

In the past two years, Muslim clerics and community leaders across the country have condemned the group, largely identifying it as a terrorist organization. In September, leading Indian Muslim religious leaders issued two fatwas - religious edicts - condemning IS’s activities as antithetical to the tenets of Islam.

In recent months, even in mosque sermons in India, Muslims have been advised to stay away from IS.

Aziz Mubarki, who attended the Kolkata rally, is among many Muslim leaders who believe IS cannot succeed in its attempt to spread its network in India.

“India is a vast country with as many as 200 million Muslims. Just around one in a million among them have joined the IS, if our home ministry's figure is really correct. It's clear that Indian Muslims did not respond to the calls of the Middle Eastern group at all," he told VOA.

The national secretary of South Asia Ullema Council, a body of Islamic clergies, added, “This is why our prime minister and home minister said that Indian Muslims do not support groups like al-Qaida and IS.”

IS not an ‘escalating threat’

Last year, in an interview with CNN, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said al-Qaida will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network in India because it will not get any support from India’s Muslims who are ready to “die for India.” In March, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said India’s Muslims are “patriots” and so IS largely failed to influence them. 

Security analyst Ajai Sahni, executive director of New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, said he does not view IS as a threat to India in the current scenario.

“IS has made several statements regarding India since June 2014, including its inclusion in their projected map of world domination in the Khorasan region and the reference in their latest ‘manifesto.’ The impact has been negligible, as has been the impact of 19 years of al-Qaida overtures to Indian Muslims,” Sahni told VOA.

“There is need for vigilance, of course. The possibility of a ‘black swan event’ cannot be ignored. But there is no visible index to suggest an escalating threat (to India).”

http://www.voanews.com/content/indian-muslims-islamic-state/3091255.html

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Mass wedding of 51 Hindu, Muslim couples organized in Firozabad

Arvind Chauhan & DM Sharma

Dec 6, 2015

FIROZABAD/AGRA: At a time when Hindu right wing are observing December 6 as 'Shaurya Diwas' (Valour Day) and Muslim organizations commemorating it as 'black day' on the 23rd Babri Masjid demolition anniversary, an NGO in Firozabad organized a mass wedding for 51 couples of Hindu and Muslim communities, who could not afford a wedding.

All the grooms rode white mare to forge a matrimonial alliance with their better half after covering a distance of almost two kilometers.

Jan Kalyanam, a non-government organization run by Atul Kumar son of former Bahaujan Samajwadi Party minister and current BJP leader from Friozabad Thakur Jaiveer Singh, who have conducted mass wedding on last six occasions, helped 42 Hindu and nine Muslims couple to enter into a wedlock.

Speaking to TOI, Atul Kumar said, "After consulting the local Muslim clerics and Hindu pundits, we choose this day specifically for mass wedding to reiterate the message of tolerance and brotherhood among two communities and promote the concept of embodying the equality of all religions."

"This is a befitting reply to those who have malice intention to disturb religious harmony. This mass wedding proved that we are and will remain united," he added.

According to Thakur Jaiveer Singh, "On a single platform, with all the proper religious rituals conducted by both communities religious leaders, the 51 couples vow to be together as husband and wife."

Majority of the couples hailed from marginalized class. The wedding took place in Sirsaganj of Firozabad.

After the wedding all the couples were given gifts which included, clothes, sewing machines and sweets.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/Mass-wedding-of-51-Hindu-Muslim-couples-organized-in-Firozabad/articleshow/50064539.cms

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India is the best example of religious tolerance: Dalai Lama

December 7, 2015

Reacting to the increasing dialogue on “intolerance” in the country, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said the Indian Constitution stressed on secularism and religious freedom.

Speaking at the launch of Tawazun India, a city-based thinktank that focuses on “counter extremism”, here on Sunday, he said India was the best example of religious tolerance, where non-violence and religious harmony was propagated as early as 3,000 years ago. Stressing on the need to educate the young in secularism and teach them the “goodness of being peaceful”, he said secular ethics should be part of modern education. He said the attack on people in Paris was a setback to people in France, but a strong will among the multi-religious population in Europe should prevail and the elders should tell the young about peaceful existence.

“I have observed ‘secular disrespect’ in the West… There are mischievous people in all faiths. The perception of Islam is wrong; it is a peaceful community,” he argued.

Ancient knowledge

At the NIAS (National Institute of Advanced Studies) Distinguished Fellow Lecture at the institute later on Sunday evening, the Dalai Lama said the Tibetan Buddhists had preserved “ancient Indian knowledge” while the modern society here had reduced it to “rituals and prayers” or harboured negativity to ways of the old.

“It is now time for us to give back the knowledge as many young Indians are interested in reconnecting with 1,000-year-old knowledge. We (Tibetans) were chelas (disciples) of Indian philosophy in the 8th century, and now in the 21st century, it is us who will be the gurus (teachers),” he said.

With the younger generation among the nearly 10,000 Tibetans living in Bylakuppe learning the regional languages, the Dalai Lama believed the interactions between locals and the students were increasing. “There is now even an exchange of knowledge between a Tibetan college and Tumakuru University,” he said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/india-is-the-best-example-of-religious-tolerance-dalai-lama/article7956314.ece

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Muslim Scholars Discuss Madrassa Modernisation

December 2015

BENGALURU: The Peace for Economy Conference kicked off in the city on Sunday. The conference highlighted on what the rise of Tawazun Movement means for India.

Tawazun Foundation was established by Muslim intellectuals from Turkey, Morocco, UAE, and India to identify the current problem in the Islamic world. Highlighting the need for launching an initiative Tawazun India, Asif Iqbal, Executive Director of Asian Arab Chamber of Commerce said, “Challenging extremism is the duty of all responsible members of the society. In case of extremism, we believe a more self critical approach must be adapted by Muslims.”

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/Muslim-Scholars-Discuss-Madrassa-Modernisation/2015/12/07/article3165098.ece

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Ayodhya, 23 years later: SP minister pledges to protect Muslims, sadhus to meet PM to revive movement

by Mohd Faisal Fareed

 Dec 7, 2015

ON THE 23rd anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya on Sunday, UP MoS (Forest) Tej Narain Pandey pledged to “protect the honour of Muslims till my last breath”. Barely three kilometres away, chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Mahant Nritya Gopal Das vowed to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and revive the Ram Temple movement.

The day passed peacefully with Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) observing Yaum-e-Gham (Day of Sorrow) while VHP celebrated Shaurya Divas. While most shops opened, a few Muslim establishments remained closed in Ayodhya-Faizabad. While ample security arrangements had been made, people were not being frisked. Police had a minor altercation with the workers of Indian Union Muslim League who tried to take out a rally but were stopped.

At the BMAC function, organised barely two kilometres away from the disputed land, Pandey said: “Till my last breath I will fight for your honour and defeat communal forces. Mulayam Singh always stood with Muslims, be it in Maliana, Muzaffarnagar or Gujarat.”

He added that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was following in his father’s (Mulayam) footsteps. “Till we are here, we will not allow BJP, RSS, VHP to spoil the atmosphere,” he said.

At the function, Additional Advocate General Zafaryab Jilani opposed statements of a few Muslims who gave a call for unity. “Leave this subject. Muslims will never unite. Secular Hindus are supporting us. Almost all our lawyers in the case are Hindus. Mulayam and Akhilesh have also helped us,” he said.

Defending the SP government on Muzaffarnagar riots, he said: “In Muzaffarnagar, the victims received compensation and government jobs which is unprecedented.”

Jilani cautioned Muslims against responding to controversial statements by RSS leaders. “They want a reaction so that there is a polarisation of votes in their favour. We should not react,” he said. He said RSS had “failed” in Dadri as Muslims did not react.

At VHP’s Shaurya Diwas in Karsevakpuram, pictures of VHP’s former president Late Ashok Singhal and Mahant Ramchandra Paramhans were on stage.

Chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Nritya Gopal Das vowed to revive the temple movement. “We did anushthan (proceed) once and the structure was demolished. Now we need to perform anushthan again. We need to raise our voice so that it reaches the heart of court and ears of government,” he said.

He also defended PM Modi over his “silence on the temple issue”. “The time is not appropriate. The country is facing flood, drought and other calamities. Let things become stable. Then we can meet Modi and request him to address the main issue of Ram Temple. But we should not rise like a problem before him,” he added.

Suresh Das, mahant of Diagamber Akhada, attacked the BJP for “forgetting” the issue after coming to power.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/ayodhya-23-years-later-sp-minister-pledges-to-protect-muslims-sadhus-to-meet-pm-to-revive-movement/

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Muslims urge caution, Hindu seers pledge to revive Ram temple movement

by Mohd Faisal Fareed

Dec 7, 2015

On the 23rd anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on Sunday, UP’s Forest Minister Tej Narain Pandey pledged to “protect Muslims’ honour” till his last breath. Barely 3 km away, chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Mahant Nritya Gopal Das vowed to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and revive the Ram Temple movement.

The day passed peacefully with Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) observing Yaum-e-Gham (Day of Sorrow), while VHP celebrated Shaurya Diwas. Police had a minor altercation with Indian Union Muslim League workers who tried to take out a rally, but were stopped.

At the BMAC function, Pandey said: “Till my last breath I will fight for your honour and defeat of communal forces. (SP chief) Mulayam Singh always stood with Muslims… As long as we are here, we will not allow BJP, RSS, VHP to spoil the atmosphere.”

Additional Advocate General Zafaryab Jilani urged Muslims not to reply to controversial statements made by RSS leaders. “They want a reaction so that there is a polarisation of votes in their favour. We should not react,” he said. He said RSS had “failed” in Dadri as Muslims did not react.

At VHP’s Shaurya Diwas function in Karsewak Puram, chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Nritya Gopal Das vowed to revive the temple movement. “We did anushthan once and the structure was demolished. Now we need to perform anushthan again. We need to raise our voice so that it reaches the heart of court and ears of government,” he said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/muslims-urge-caution-hindu-seers-pledge-to-revive-ram-temple-movement/

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Muslim, Hindu outfits stage demonstrations

MADURAI BUREAU

December 7, 2015

Members of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) and Popular Front of India (PFI) demanded that the Supreme Court gave its verdict on the contentious Babri Masjid case at the earliest and render justice to the Muslims.

Observing the 23rd anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition as a “black day”, the TMMK and PFI staged separate demonstrations, condemning the demolition here on Sunday and demanded that the disputed site at Ayodhya be handed over to the Muslims to rebuild the mosque, which was demolished on this day in 1992.

In a counter, the district unit of the Hindu Munnani organised a demonstration in Rameswaram calling for building Ram temple at Ayodhya. K. Ramamurthy, Munnani district secretary, urged the Modi government at the Centre to bring in a law in Parliament and build Ram temple on the lines of building Somnath Temple.

Addressing the demonstration organised by the TMMK, party MLA A. Aslam Basha alleged that the BJP which came to power on the plank of development had shown its true colour soon after coming to power with Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintaining stoic silence when the RSS and the Sangh parivars pushed the Hindutva agenda vigorously.

He said after the Masjid was demolished in 1992, the then Congress government had promised to rebuild the temple in 100 days but it failed to turn a single stone even after 8395 days and while remaining in power for 10 years. The Supreme Court should give its verdict without any further delay and the government should initiate action against those who were guilty of demolishing the mosque, he said.

Addressing the stir organised by the PFI, B. Abdul Hameed, State general secretary of the Social Democratic Party of India, said Muslims always wanted to maintain cordial relations with their Hindu brethrens.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/muslim-hindu-outfits-stage-demonstrations/article7956603.ece

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What is Uniform Civil Code? SC refuses to participate in the ongoing debate

December 07, 2015

New Delhi :-

Taking an important step in the ongoing debate of Uniform Civil Code, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a petition saying that it comes under the umbrella of government working and not judiciary.

What is Uniform Civil Code?

It essentially means having a common set of laws applicable to all citizens of India irrespective of their religion, caste, community, creed dealing with the personal matters like marriage, inheritance, adoption, divorce and maintenance.

Enforcement of a uniform civil code will mean that all the existing personal laws that currently permit unfair practices such as polygamy, the baffling case of ‘oral talaq’ among Muslims, it will put an end to the judgments passed by the unconstitutional bodies like Panchayats in India. These will all then become subservient to an equitable constitutional law- uniform civil code.

The only state in India to have a uniform civil code

Goa is the only state in India which has a common civil code. It is also known as the Goa Family Law which remains an exception to the otherwise religion-specific civil codes that separately govern the adherents of different religions in India.

Although Goa Civil Code is not strictly a uniform civil, it has specific provisions for certain communities. For example - the law has inequalities in cases of adopted and illegitimate children. For Hindus, the divorce is permitted only on the grounds of adultery by the wife.

Article 44of the Directive Principles of State Policy set the implementation of uniform civil code as duty of the state. But as Article 37 makes clear that Directive Principles are not enforceable by any court of law but they are fundamental in the governance of the country.

The personal laws were first framed during the British Raj. However, the demand for a uniform civil code in India was first put forward in the beginning of the 20th century by women activists to promote women’s rights, equality and secularism.

The shariat law which was passed in 1937 remains unreformed since then. The Hindu law also

The code entered extensive debate after the Shah Bano case was highlighted. One of the controversial maintenance lawsuit in India.

Shah Bano, a 62-year-old Muslim mother of five children from Indore was divorced by her husband in the year 1978. When she filed a criminal lawsuit against in the Supreme Court, she won the right to alimony (under the general provisions to CrPC) from her husband. But following the pressure from the Islamic orthodoxy, the Indian parliament reversed the judgment. But the then Rajiv Gandhi government brought in an act to nullify the Supreme Court judgment. Some of the conservative clerics cited Quran to show that the judgment was in conflict with what the Holy book says. It had evoked criticism among Muslims and also triggered controversy about the extent applying different civil codes for different religions in India.

Full report at:

http://www.newsnation.in/article/102109-what-uniform-civil-code-sc-refuses-participate-ongoing-debate.html

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'Tolerance Is The Spirit of India, Law Will Protect All'

07th December 2015

NEW DELHI:  Chief Justice of India T S Thakur on Sunday said that India was an inclusive society, where people of all faiths and religions live in harmony with one another and the spirit of India is tolerance and not intolerance. The ongoing religious intolerance debate had politics in it, he observed.

In an informal media interaction at his residence, Justice Thakur who took over as the 43rd CJI on December 3 said, “People of this country need not live in fear till the time the judiciary is independent. When the Constitution guarantees Rule of Law to those who are not our citizens, there is no question that citizens of India, no matter of what religion or faith should feel unprotected. We (SC) have no reluctance to protect the beliefs of our fellow citizens. As long as Rule of Law prevails, no one has to be afraid.”

“There is politics in the religious intolerance debate. But I am not a politician. As part of the judicial institution, I want to remind you that this country has a history of becoming a home to those who have fled their own countries fearing religious persecution,” the CJI said. On the issue of rising judicial vacancies in the High Courts and the Supreme Court, he said he would prefer to wait till the five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice J S Khehar finalises and pronounces the guidelines for the Collegium.

“It should not be the case that the Collegium makes appointments of judges first and later discovers that the appointments made were not in consonance with the Constitution Bench’s guidelines. It is better to avoid such confusion and wait till the Constitution Bench pronounces the verdict on the Collegium.” the CJI said. He, however, felt filling up the current 400 judicial vacancies would be a big challenge this year and said a proposal to increase the retirement age of High Court judges from 62 to 65 is pending and would require an amendment in the law.

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Tolerance-Is-The-Spirit-of-India-Law-Will-Protect-All/2015/12/07/article3164610.ece

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Arrest Babri Mosque demolition accused and expedite trial: All India Muslim Personal Law Board to UP, Central govt

Ashish Tripathi

Dec 6, 2015

LUCKNOW: In a memorandum addressed to chief minister and prime minister submitted thorough the Lucknow district administration on Saturday, the 23rd anniversary of Babri Mosque demolition in Ayodhya, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) demanded that in order to uphold the rule of law and justice in the country, the accused in the case should be arrested and trial pending for over two decades should be expedited.

The mosque in Ayodhya, Faizabad, UP, was demolished on December 6, 1992, by a frenzy mob assembled for Kar Seva on the call given by Vishwa Hindu Parishad, RSS and its affiliated organisations, BJP and Shiv Sena.

In the eight point memorandum submitted to Lucknow district magistrate by a delegation of the AIMPLB led by Maulana Khaleed Rashid Firangi Mahali and Maulana Atiq Ahmad Vastavi, the AIMPLB said that demolition of mosque was an unconstitutional act perpetrated by anti-social and communal elements. However, 23 years after the incident, the accused in the case have not been arrested and are moving around freely and fearlessly.

"The justice has not been done till date which is inappropriate in a secular and democratic country like India. The criminal cases against the accused are pending at courts in Rae Bareli and Lucknow. Government should issue notification for clubbing the two cases and their trial in a special CBI court. This will ensure the law in the country and strengthen the trust of the minorities in the Constitution," it said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Arrest-Babri-Mosque-demolition-accused-and-expedite-trial-All-India-Muslim-Personal-Law-Board-to-UP-Central-govt/articleshow/50067509.cms

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JuD chief Hafiz Saeed slams Nawaz Sharif for meeting PM Modi

Dec 6, 2015

Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed has slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for holding a meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during the Paris climate change conference.

“Nawaz Sharif should not have met with Narendra Modi and exchanged smiles with him in Paris. It has hurt the sentiments of the Kashmiri Muslims,” Saeed said at a seminar titled ‘Kashmir Issue and Rise of Hindu Extremism in India’ at the Lahore High Court here on December 2 organised by the Pakistan Justice Party.

The Pakistani media did not cover the event as the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned any media coverage of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), JuD and Flahai Insaniyat Foundation (FIF).

Saeed founded the LeT whose operatives carried out the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jud-chief-hafiz-saeed-slams-nawaz-sharif-for-meeting-pm-narendra-modi/

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Terror as well as J&K on agenda: Win-win for both

Sachin Parashar

Dec 7, 2015

NEW DELHI: The thaw generated in Ufa with a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif quickly turned into a diplomatic cul-de-sac only because of the wording of the joint statement which followed the meeting.

?Sharif gave in to India's argument in Ufa that the mention of all outstanding issues was enough to address Pakistan's focus on Kashmir. Pakistan army though forced the civilian government to underline the primacy of Kashmir by declaring that no dialogue could take place with India without Kashmir on the agenda.

This time though, both sides will not have any reason to complain with the Bangkok joint press release? specifically mentioning both terrorism and J&K as issues addressed by the NSAs and the foreign secretaries.

While the BJP here saw the Ufa statement as a victory for India because of no mention of Kashmir and also because Islamabad agreed to address terrorism in all its forms, the government doesn't believe that the appearance of J&K in the Bangkok release is a concession to Pakistan.

"You must realize that J&K is also important for India in the context of our efforts to address the issue of terrorism," an Indian official said.

One reason why Modi himself was keen to resume engagement with Pakistan was that he may have to visit the neighbour for the next Saarc summit which is scheduled to be held in April next year in Islamabad.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terror-as-well-as-JK-on-agenda-Win-win-for-both/articleshow/50069744.cms

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Arrested ISI spy Aijaz admits plans to recce military setups in Uttarakhand

Gaurav Talwar

Dec 6, 2015

DEHRADUN: Suspected Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operative, Mohammad Aijaz, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on November 27 from Meerut, has told an Uttarakhand police team which interrogated him about three days back in Meerut, that he was planning to conduct a recce of military establishments in two sensitive areas in Uttarakhand — Pithoragarh near the Indo-Nepal border, and Raiwala on the outskirts of Dehradun.

A police source who did not wish to be identified, told TOI, "During the interrogation, Aijaz revealed that he had not visited Uttarakhand yet but was planning to do so soon."

The revelations by the suspected Pakistan national are bound to set alarm bells ringing in the country's defence circles. Uttarakhand is an important area for the defence forces — a number of military institutions of national importance are located in Dehradun such as the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), Ordinance factory etc. Besides there are strategic military outposts on the state's borders — Pithoragarh for instance has an international border with China from north and Nepal from the eastern side and a significant Army presence, much like Raiwala, the other location allegedly on Aijaz's radar.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Arrested-ISI-spy-Aijaz-admits-plans-to-recce-military-setups-in-Uttarakhand/articleshow/50067121.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Scholar: Quran doesn’t call for an Islamic state

Mikha Chan | December 6, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian ulama told a democracy forum today that the Quran does not directly call for an Islamic political state.

Din Syamsuddin, who heads the advisory council to Indonesia’s Council of Ulama, said the concept of the Islamic state as envisaged by Prophet Mohammad was more of a social community than a political system.

“I couldn’t find any single verse from the holy Quran, prophetic tradition, with a clear cut explanation about the creation of an Islamic state,” he said in his keynote speech at a public forum here on Islam in a Constitutional Democracy.

“The very idea of Islam during the time of Prophet Muhammad was to create an ‘al-ummah al-Islamiyah’, which is a religious community. A social, religious community. Not a political religious community, as interpreted by some Muslims,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/06/scholar-quran-doesnt-call-for-an-islamic-state/

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Lessons for the Middle East in Indonesia's success

Paul Sheehan

December 7, 2015

Before I flew to Ambon two weeks ago, the only thing I knew about the city was that it had been at the centre of the worst violence between Muslims and Christians in Indonesia's history. The violence spread when Islamic militants from around the country flocked to Ambon to begin cleansing Christians from the Maluku islands (the Moluccas), one of the few places where Christians live in large numbers in Indonesia.

Indonesia may have the largest Muslim population in the world – 220 million – but the country is so diverse and so large that it also has one of the largest Christian populations in Asia – 25 million, far more than the 14 to 15 million Christians in Australia.

One sure way to stimulate religious faith is to suppress it, and the muscularity of the mainly Pentecostal and Protestant Christianity in and around Ambon was evident during the drive from the airport. We passed church after church, far larger than the average church in Australia, all with soaring spires.

In Ambon my wife and I had a guide, Anastasia, a Christian with a shock of wavy black hair, a ready smile and, as we would discover later, a lovely, smoky singing voice. When I eventually asked if her family had been directly affected by the bloodshed in Ambon, she told me her mother had been murdered – shot dead for being a Christian. Their local church was burnt to the ground. Her school was burnt down.

For her safety, Anastasia was sent to Bali to finish high school. She became one of the more than one million refugees from the violence, the largest internal displacement ever seen in Indonesia.

From Ambon we travelled by ship to the Banda Islands, known for centuries as the Spice Islands, with their incredible impact on history. We visited the oldest nutmeg plantation in the world, run by the same family of prominent Dutch trader Pieter van den Broecke since about 1620, whose portrait hangs in the living room of his 13th-generation descendant, Ponky van den Broecke, who owns and runs the plantation.

Despite his jaunty Dutch name, Ponky is very Indonesian and his personal history is tragic. During the violence that started in Ambon, armed Muslims sought to cleanse the Banda Islands of Christians. All the women in his family were murdered. His wife. His two daughters. His mother. His aunt.

Full report at:

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/lessons-for-the-middle-east-in-indonesias-success-20151206-glgnig.html

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Scholar: Extremism can lead to apartheid state

Mikha Chan

December 6, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s lack of a multicultural approach is leading it on a slippery slope towards becoming a strongly authoritarian, “apartheid-type” nationalist state, says sociology professor Syed Farid Alatas.

Though Malaysia may have many cultures living together, the approach taken so far by the government was more of simple tolerance than a truly multi-culturalist approach that would foster understanding, said Syed Farid, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore.

He said the spirit of Islam was very multi-culturalist, with a long history of protecting minorities, and criticised Malaysia’s anti-Sh’ite as stemming from jihadist propagandists.

“We are not multi-culturalists. We know very little about each other’s cultures and civilisations, although we are a tolerant society,” he said today at a public forum on Islam in a Constitutional Democracy, organised by the G25 group of mostly retired civil servants.

“And we are on a slippery slope towards a very strong authoritarian, apartheid-type nationalism.”

He cited as an example the issue of supermarket trolleys, in which the domestic trade ministry was recently reported to be considering a proposal for rules to segregate trolleys for halal and non-halal food items in shopping centres.

“And then some Muslims would say that they are offended by the non-halal sections in supermarkets, and that they can’t stand to look inside. They suggest separate supermarkets. There’s also the proposal for a Low Yat Plaza for bumis only. We are moving towards a more apartheid-type situation,” he said.

Syed Farid argued that the spirit of Islam was very much multi-culturalist, given its long history of protecting those of other cultures, and gave a reminder of Prophet Muhammad’s covenant to protect St Catherine’s monastery and Christians traveling there.

“I think he would probably fight for the rights of the Christians in Taman Medan,” he said, referring to protests by Umno members against a cross being placed on a church building in Petaling Jaya.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/06/scholar-see-extremism-leading-to-apartheid-state/

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Malaysia to send experts to help Australia fight terrorism, says DPM

December 7, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 7 — Malaysia, which has had the experience of facing communist insurgency and religious extremism, will be sending out relevant experts in February to assist Australia fight terrorism.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the experts would be from the Royal Malaysian Police, Prisons Department, Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim), as well as university lecturers.  He said Australia, as a non-Muslim country, was facing acts of terrorism committed by its residents who came from the Middle East and immigrants who entered that country.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-to-send-experts-to-help-australia-fight-terrorism-says-dpm

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Farouk: Najib doesn’t understand Islamic moderation

Mikha Chan

December 6, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Scholar and activist Farouk Musa, sounding a warning about literalist Islam within Umno, said today that prime minister, Najib Razak, did not understand the concept of wassatiyah or Islamic moderation.

Farouk, speaking at a public forum on Islam in a Constitutional Democracy, said wassatiyah was facing a threat from “literalist Islam” and cautioned against the group who called themselves Ilmu or Ulama Muda Umno.

He said: “The current problem is the intrusion of literalist Islam into wassatiyah. Whether we realise it or not, there is a body or group who call themselves Ilmu or Ulama Muda Umno. They are basically literalists.”

Farouk linked this with Daesh, (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist movement).

He said that Malaysia must be very wary of the influx of Daesh ideology. “(Otherwise) we won’t be able to fight ISIS. We’ll turn into the next Syria. We have to be wary of that,” he said

He called for greater intellectual discourse and respect for the rights to dissent in order move forward from “a static and stagnant approach to understanding Islamic law” and to rise above the conflict between Islamic and democratic traditions.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/06/farouk-najib-doesnt-understand-islamic-moderation/

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SIS: Hudud is more about family law, not criminal penalties

Mikha Chan

December 6, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The divinity of syariah law cannot be confused with the debatable nature of Malaysian hudud, says Sisters in Islam executive director Ratna Osman.

“Hudud has nothing to do with criminal punishment,” she said, referring to how it had more to do with family law. “We are confusing our own ummah (community) to say that it is Shariah. What we’re saying is that it’s debatable.”

She said this while answering questions at the second day of a public forum on Islam in a Constitutional Democracy, which was attended by many notable figures, including Umno elder statesman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who delivered the opening speech on Saturday.

Ratna said that non-Muslims should have no reason to fear the Islamisation of Malaysia, if it was done correctly. “Unfortunately, it has been hijacked by conservatives and fundamentalists,” she noted.

“For example, they criticise feminism. Is feminism a Western product and therefore secular and sinful? No. Why are we going against the real principles of fairness and justice and equality in Islam?” she asked, eliciting general applause.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/12/06/sis-hudud-is-more-about-family-law-not-crime/

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Indonesia: 18 people die as train smashes into bus

7th Dec 2015

By Ainur Rohmah

JAKARTA (AA) – A commuter train has smashed into a minibus on a level crossing in Indonesia’s capital leaving 18 people dead.

Jakarta Police Senior Commissioner Musyafak told Kompas.com that all of those who lost their lives Sunday were on the bus, while six other passengers are being treated for injuries.

“Initially the death toll was 13, but then it grew to 16. According to the latest data 18 people have now died,” he said.

Jakarta Police spokesperson Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal said in a statement that the deaths occurred when the bus shot through the crossing just as the gate was closing, the train smashing into the vehicle and pushing it around 200 meters (656 feet) along the track.

“The crossing gate was not fully closed, only three-quarters, so the bus tried to squeeze through,” he said.

Full report at:

http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/south-east-asia/indonesia-18-people-die-as-train-smashes-into-bus/

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Arab World

 

32 IS fighters killed in US-led raids on Syria; Assad slams UK’s participation

Dec 7, 2015

BEIRUT: At least 32 fighters of the militant Islamic State group were killed on Sunday in apparent US-led coalition raids on Syria as President Bashar al-Assad slammed Britain’s decision to participate in air strikes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said at least 32 fighters had been killed in some 15 strikes on the group’s stronghold of Raqa province in northern Syria.

The monitor’s head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said at least 40 jihadists were also wounded in the strikes, which hit IS headquarters and bases to the north, east and southeast of provincial capital Raqa city.

The city is the de facto Syrian capital of the group, which calls the large stretches of territory it controls in Syria and neighbouring Iraq an Islamic “caliphate”.

Abdel Rahman said the casualty figures were collected from a single hospital and the final toll from the air strikes could rise.

Raqa is frequently the target of air strikes by the US-led coalition, as well as the Syrian air force, and Russian warplanes that began an air campaign in Syria in late September.

The US-led coalition has been targeting IS in Syria since last September, expanding a campaign that began with raids in neighbouring Iraq.

Its operations have expanded further in recent days, partly in response to the deadly attacks in Paris claimed by IS.

Britain voted on Wednesday to join the coalition’s strikes in Syria, after a heated debate in the country’s parliament and with the staunch backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.

And German lawmakers on Friday approved plans to join the military action against the group in Syria.

In an interview published on Sunday in Britain’s The Sunday Times newspaper, Assad slammed London’s decision to begin strikes in Syria as “illegal” and said its actions would cause “terrorism” to spread.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224629/32-is-fighters-killed-in-us-led-raids-on-syria-assad-slams-uks-participation

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Syrian Army Pushes Back Nusra Militants from Part of Dara'a City

Dec 07, 2015

The al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front withdrew forces form at least 14 buildings in the Southwest of al-Manshiyeh neighborhood in Dara'a al-Balad, the sources said.

"A number of Nusra terrorists were killed or wounded and their arms and ammunition were destroyed in the army's operation," the sources further added.

Sources said on Sunday that the Syrian army was staging a growing number of raids in the Southern province of Dara'a with several operations conducted in multiple locations.

After several day-long surveillances, the army first pounded militants' gatherings and destroyed an arms and logistics depot of the terrorists North of Umm Walad village between Dara'a and Sweida.

Also, the army targeted the Al-Nusra Front concentration centers in Zenoubia School and Al-Watani (National) Hospital in Dara'a al-Mohatta district.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000400

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US-Backed Opposition Official Calls for Extermination of Alawites in Syria

Dec 07, 2015

The Syrian Opposition official responsible for this sectarian attack was identified as Abdullah al-Ali – a former Aleppo-based attorney that has since moved to Turkey.

According to Abdullah al-Ali’s Facebook, he advised his fellow followers and friends in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to carry out deliberate sectarian attacks against Syria’s large Alawite Muslim population.

“Exterminating Nusayri (derogatory term that is directed towards Alawites) villages is more important than liberating the Syrian capital,” al-‘Ali said.

A report said last month that the ISIL terrorist group operating close to Damascus has reportedly kidnapped Syrian Alawite civilians to use as human shields against air strikes, by publicly keeping them captive in metal cages.

A militant group opposed to the Syrian government has taken Alawite civilians and government soldiers hostage in cages to protect themselves against air strikes, according to reports from Ghouta, an area close to Damascus.

Some sources identified the militants as Jeish al-Islam, a powerful opposition group fighting government forces close to Damascus.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000528

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Four Syrian soldiers die in suspected US coalition strike

Dec 7, 2015

BEIRUT: An air strike believed to have been carried out by the US-led coalition killed four Syrian military personnel in Deir al Zor province, which is mostly held by militant Islamic State (IS) group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Monday.

A source close to the Syrian government confirmed the strike and said there had been casualties and vehicles destroyed.

It would be the first time coalition warplanes had hit Syrian government forces.

The Observatory said the strike hit part of the Saeqa military camp near the town of Ayyash in western Deir al Zor province and wounded 14 military personnel in the first such incident since the coalition began its bombing campaign against IS in Syria.

The US-led force's campaign is against IS, which controls most of Deir al Zor, including its capital, and has regularly targeted the group in the eastern Syrian province.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224750/four-syrian-soldiers-die-in-suspected-us-coalition-strike

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NATO rules out sending ground troops to fight ISIS

7 December 2015

NATO has ruled out sending ground troops to fight against ISIS militants in Syria, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg told a Swiss newspaper, stressing the need to bolster local forces in the conflict.

“That is not on the agenda of the coalition and the NATO allies,” he told the Tages-Anzeiger paper when asked about dispatching ground forces to accompany air strikes.

“The United States has a limited number of special forces. In the foreground, however, is strengthening local forces. This is not easy, but it’s the only option,” he added

Stoltenberg stressed that the conflict was not a war between the West and the Islamic world, but rather against “extremism and terrorism”.

“Muslims are on the front line in this war. Most victims are Muslims, and most of those who fight against the ISIS are Muslims. We cannot carry on this struggle for them,” he said.

Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO would help Turkey improve its air defenses after Turkey shot down a Russian military jet last month. The alliance will adopt a package of measures for Turkey before Christmas, he added.

He emphasized the need to calm the standoff with Russia after the plane was shot down.

“Now it is important to de-escalate and to develop mechanisms to prevent similar incidents in the future. We see a significant build-up of the Russian military presence from the far north to the Mediterranean. There, too, we need to avoid similar incidents such as in Turkey,” he said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/07/NATO-rules-out-sending-ground-troops-to-fight-ISIS.html

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Syrian Army Fends off Militants' Attacks on Jediyeh Town in Dara'a Province

Dec 07, 2015

The sources said that the terrorist groups stormed the town from different directions, but the Syrian army defeated them and killed a number of terrorists while others fled away leaving the bodies of their dead members.

Field commanders of army units asserted that this was the fifth attack that targeted the town during 2015, noting that the army always achieved victory and defended the town which is the first defense line of the area and the international highway.

Field commanders said that the Israeli occupation hands were clear in this terrorist attack since terrorists tried to infiltrate into the government forces' defense lines from the axis of al-Jdeireh , Salmeen-Zamreen axis and Salmeen-Inkhel axis to the surroundings of the town under fire coverage from al-Mal hill and Tal al-Harra region eight kilometers far from the town where al-Nusra terrorists are fortified and work with direct coordination of the Israeli forces.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000464

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US-Led Coalition Hits Syrian Army Camp in Deir Ezzur, 4 Soldiers Killed

Dec 07, 2015

The sources said that a US warplane struck the military camp of the Syrian army’s 137th Artillery Brigade (17th Reserve Division) in the Southern part of village of ‘Ayyash, killing 4 soldiers instantly and wounding 16 more, 6 soldiers in critical condition.

The Syrian army’s 137th Brigade has been protecting the civilians in the village of ‘Ayyash from the swarming ISIL fighters that are attempting to break into the provincial capital of the Deir Ezzur province from the Northern side; this airstrike only boosted the ISIL positions inside this village and the nearby broadcast tower.

The sources further added that the ISIL launched an offensive against the government forces' positions in Ayyash village 10 kilometers Northwest of Deir Ezzur city.

The Syrian army and its allies have gained upper hand in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur in the recent weeks, after new recruits of popular forces joined the army and won back new lands across the province , and meantime fended off the ISIL attacks on their positions, mainly the Deir Ezzur airbase.

On Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad praised Russia for its efforts aimed at defeating terrorist groups, and meantime underlined that the US-led coalition has failed to deliver on the promise to tackle the ISIL.

"Since the US-led coalition launched airstrikes against militant targets in Syria in September 2014, the ISIL, al-Nusra Front and "other like-minded organizations or groups were expanding, expanding freely," the Syrian leader underscored in an interview with the Sunday Times.

"Russia, for its part, has managed to achieve much since September 30, when it launched its aerial campaign in Syria. The ISIL and al-Nusra started shrinking thanks to Moscow's involvement, "Assad said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000357

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Syrian Forces Retake Palmyra-Homs Highway

Dec 07, 2015

The Syrian Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Brigade, backed by Hezbollah, Liwaa Imam Ali (Iraqi paramilitary), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Homs City and Wadi Al-Nasara, have regained full control over Palmyra-Homs Highway after clashes with the ISIL Takfiri militants.

Field sources said the Syrian forces and their allies took control of the Palmyra-Homs Highway after seizing the villages of al-Baiyarat and Marhatten in the Western countryside of Palmyra over the past weekend.

With Al-Baiyarat, Marhatten, and the Palmyra-Homs Highway under their control, the Syrian Forces and their allies are now positioned 4km away from the Western walls of Palmyra; this is the closest the pro-government forces have been to the gates of this ancient city since July.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000461

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More Aleppo Villages Purged of Terrorists

Dec 07, 2015

The Syrian Army’s 43rd, 82nd, and 155th Brigades of the 4th Mechanized Division, backed by Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City, have retook full control of the villages of Zeitan and Al-Qala’jiyah near the strategic city of Khan Touman after a series of firefights with the terrorists from the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki, and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.

The villages of Zeitan and Al-Qala’jiyaj are situated to the South of Khan Touman and approximately 1km East of the strategic Aleppo-Damascus Highway.

On Saturday, the Syrian Arab Army’s 43rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division (formerly in Al-Zabadani) arrived in Southern Aleppo to assist the pro-government forces fighting the terrorists for control of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway near the Northeastern border of Idlib province.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000545

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Syrian soldiers ‘die in suspected coalition strike’

7 December 2015

An air strike believed to have been carried out by the U.S.-led coalition killed four Syrian military personnel in Deir al Zor province, which is mostly held by ISIS, a monitoring group said on Monday, in what would be the first time coalition warplanes had hit Syrian government forces.

A source close to the Syrian government confirmed the strike and said there had been casualties and vehicles destroyed.

It would be the first time coalition warplanes had hit Syrian government forces.

The Observatory said the strike hit part of the Saeqa military camp near the town of Ayyash in western Deir al Zor province and wounded 14 military personnel in the first such incident since the coalition began its bombing campaign against Islamic State in Syria.

The U.S.-led force’s campaign is against ISIS, which controls most of Deir al Zor, including its capital, and has regularly targeted the group in the eastern Syrian province.

In Deir al Zor city, another air strike believed to be carried out by the coalition killed a woman and two of her children, the Observatory said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/07/Three-Syrian-soldiers-die-in-suspected-U-S-coalition-strike-.html

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Riyadh International Book Fair promises literary feast

7 December 2015

RIYADH: The most awaited literary carnival of the city, the Riyadh International Book Fair, which serves as a great networking platform for publishers, writers, scholars and academic institutions and one of the most important book fairs in the Middle East, opened registration Sunday for its upcoming edition.

The book fair will kick off on March 9, 2016 under the auspices of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

“All publishing houses and other stakeholders who wish to participate in the Riyadh International Book Fair 2016, be it from inside the Kingdom or international participants, and want to book their exhibition site, can apply for registration with effect from Dec. 6,” a Ministry of Culture and Information spokesman said.

The registration process will close on Feb. 6.

Commenting on preparations and arrangements, Saud Al-Hazmi, general supervisor for the book fair and exhibition at the Ministry of Information and Culture, said that the ministry has completed its preparations for the annual international cultural event.

He pointed out that the ministry each year seeks to further develop its programs in the exhibition by introducing new elements of modern technical aspects in order to make it easier for publishers to participate and ultimately help make the fair a huge success.

Moreover, the effort is to allow a greater number of applicants to participate and serve visitors with ease and flexibility, he underlined.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/846681

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Mideast

 

Iraq gives Turkish forces 48 hours to leave country

Dec 7, 2015

BAGHDAD: Iraq on Sunday gave Turkey 48 hours to withdraw forces it said had entered the country illegally or face "all available options", including recourse to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Baghdad, which is struggling to assert its sovereignty while receiving foreign assistance against the militant Islamic State (IS) group, said Turkish forces with tanks and artillery entered Iraq without its permission.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi that there would be no deployment of forces until Baghdad's concerns were addressed.

However, the future of the forces already sent remained unclear.

"In the absence of the withdrawal of these forces within 48 hours, Iraq has the right to use all available options," including recourse to the Security Council, a statement from Abadi's office said.

The Turkish forces entered "without the approval or knowledge of the Iraqi government," it said.

In practical terms, Iraq's options are primarily diplomatic, as its forces are tied down battling IS militants and Ankara has a far more powerful military.

Turkey has troops at a base in the Bashiqa area in Nineveh province to train Iraqi Sunni volunteers hoping to retake the nearby city of Mosul from IS, which seized it and swathes of other territory in June 2014.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu sent a letter to Abadi on Sunday to update him about "the training programme we have been implementing in Bashiqa since last March as well as tasks and activities of our forces there," a source in his office said.

Davutoglu said in the letter that "there will be no deployment of forces to Bashiqa until the sensitivities of the Iraqi government are addressed," the source said.

A day earlier, Davutoglu downplayed the deployment as "routine rotation activity" associated with the training effort, and as "reinforcement against security risks."

"This is not a new camp," Davutoglu said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224751/iraq-gives-turkish-forces-48-hours-to-leave-country

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Turkey 'astonished' by Iranian charges of IS support

Dec 7, 2015

ANKARA: Turkey on Sunday said it was “astonished “by Iranian accusations that Ankara is supporting the militant Islamic State group and involved in oil dealing with the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement there was nothing in Tehran's accusations to take “seriously.

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he had warned his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over some Iranian media reports that he and his family were involved in oil trade with IS jihadists.

Erdogan said that he spoke with Rouhani on the phone and told him: “You will pay a high price if it continues like that.”

He added that the Iranians later removed the news from their website.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Bilgic confirmed the telephone conversation between the two presidents and said any attempts to distort its content were “not only immoral but also equal to hiding the truth from neighbouring Iranian people.

“In response to Erdogan, Iranian foreign ministry on Friday called for “mutual politeness and respect in relations,” according to the Iranian media.

“The continuation of policies and positions that, wanted or unwanted, have led to the support of terrorism in Syria and Iraq, only escalate the current crisis in the region and increase problems for countries that continue such policies,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber-Ansari said according to IRNA.

Russia and Iran are major backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Turkey is supporting rebels who have been fighting Assad and has joined a US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria earlier this year.

Read: Tensions soar as Turkey shoots down Russian plane

Bilgic said Turkey pursued “principled policies” for a peaceful solution to problems in its region.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224556/turkey-astonished-by-iranian-charges-of-is-support

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Airstrikes target ISIS de facto capital in Syria

7 December 2015

Airstrikes hit several positions of the ISIS group in its de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria on Sunday, killing and wounding at least 15 people, opposition activists and social media pages loyal to ISIS said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 15 blasts shook the northern and eastern outskirts of Raqqa on Sunday, killing 32 ISIS fighters and wounding more than 40.

A Raqqa-based activist group that reports on ISIS, known as Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, said warplanes struck ISIS positions on the edge of the city. It had no word on casualties.

RBSS did not say which country carried out the airstrikes while the Observatory said they are believed to be from the U.S.-led coalition that began targeting ISIS in Syria in September 2014.

A Facebook page used by ISIS supporters said the airstrikes were carried out by Russian warplanes on the outskirts of Raqqa and killed 15 people, including eight children and five women. It said 25 people were wounded in the airstrikes.

Airstrikes on Raqqa have intensified after last month’s attack in Paris that killed 130 people and the Oct. 31 crash of a Russian passenger plane in the Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people on board, nearly all of them Russians. Russia said the plane was downed by a bomb. ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Russia and a U.S.-led coalition that includes France have been pounding Raqqa.

Oil purchases from ISIS

Also Sunday, a Syrian businessman that the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned last month, saying he serves as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from ISIS, denied the charges against him.

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned four individuals and six entities for providing support to the Syrian government. As a result, the U.S.-based assets of those individuals and entities are frozen, and Americans are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/07/Airstrikes-target-ISIS-de-facto-capital-in-Syria.html

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FM: Iran's Position on Palestine Remains Unaffected

Dec 07, 2015

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's position on the Palestinian issue has been based on a principled police since the start of the Islamic Revolution and it is still the same, and it is not just a political position and is not affected by sideline issues," Zarif said in a meeting with Hamas representative in Iran Khalid al-Qoddoumi in Tehran on Monday.

Qoddoumi, for his part, briefed Zarif on the chaotic situation in Quds, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and said, "Palestinians have risen to defend the al-Aqsa mosque and are fighting against the daily crimes of the Zionist regime; the Intifada continues its way despite the tight security measures."

He underlined that the Palestinian issue is a humanitarian, political and security issue, and expressed regret that certain sides describe it as a charity case, which damages the Palestinian cause and nature.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940916000292

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Israeli air raid targets Hamas camp after shooting incidents

7 December 2015

An Israeli air raid early on Monday struck a Hamas training camp in the northern Gaza Strip in response to shots fired at Israeli patrol vehicles along the border, with no injuries reported, officials said.

Hamas security sources said two rockets hit a training camp for its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, east of Gaza City in the Zeitoun neighbourhood, with no one there at the time.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement, rules the Gaza Strip.

Shots were fired at Israeli military vehicles near the Gaza border on Friday and Sunday, causing bullet holes to their windows and leading to Monday's response, Israel's army said. No injuries were reported from the shooting incidents.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/07/Israeli-air-raid-targets-Hamas-camp-after-shooting-incidents.html

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Sweden-Israel rift deepens over Palestinian deaths

7 December 2015

Relations between Sweden and Israel have hit a fresh low after Israel said Sweden’s foreign minister had accused it of unlawful killings and Stockholm responded by saying that the comments had been “blown out of reasonable proportion”.

Relations between the two countries have nose-dived since Sweden’s Social Democrat-led government recognized a Palestinian state last year. Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom deepened the rift by describing Palestinians’ plight as a factor leading to radicalization.

In the latest row, Israel condemned as “scandalous” what it said was a suggestion by Wallstrom its forces had unlawfully killed Palestinians involved in a surge of street violence, and warned of a diplomatic rupture with Stockholm.

Sweden said Wallstrom’s comments had been misunderstood.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs did not, as alleged, say that extrajudicial executions occur in Israel,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Wallstrom said in a statement.

“The situation in the Middle East is difficult enough without having to be encumbered by misunderstandings about anybody’s intentions.”

Addressing Swedish lawmakers on Friday, Wallstrom denounced the almost daily Palestinian knife, gun or car-ramming attacks but urged Israel to avoid excessive force.

“And likewise, the response must not be of the kind - and this is what I say in other situations where the response is such that it results in extrajudicial executions or is disproportionate in that the number of people killed on that side exceeds the original number of deaths many times over,” Wallstrom said in the official English translation of her statement provided by the ministry.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/07/Sweden-Israel-rift-deepens-over-Palestinian-deaths.html

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Arab attacker shot dead after Jerusalem attacks: police

6 December 2015

An Israeli soldier shot dead a knife-wielding attacker who lightly wounded three people in Jerusalem on Sunday, police said.

“An Arab terrorist tried to run over a pedestrian in his car, lightly injuring him, and then got out of the vehicle with a knife and stabbed a volunteer police officer in the hand,” said a police statement.

A soldier who was passing by at the time shot the attacker, police said.

“The terrorist, apparently a 21-year-old resident of east Jerusalem, was killed by the gunfire,” the statement said.

Emergency services evacuated two of the injured to hospital for treatment. The third did not require medical attention.

Sunday’s attack was the latest in more than two months of “lone wolf” assaults by Palestinians challenging Israel’s control over the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Since October 1, almost daily attacks and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers and violence between Palestinians and Jewish settlers have killed 110 Palestinians (including an Israeli Arab), 17 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean, according to an AFP count.

While the violence has focused mainly on the West Bank, Israeli-occupied Arab east Jerusalem and the Palestinian coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip have also seen deadly clashes.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/06/Attacker-neutralized-after-Jerusalem-knifings-police-.html

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Iran: It’s our ‘duty’ to mediate in Turkey-Russia spat

6 December 2015

Iran said on Sunday it was its “duty” to mediate between Russia and Turkey as they trade accusations of buying oil from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“Iran has a duty to reduce tensions between Russia and Turkey and it’s not good to have another tension added to the existing ones in the region,” Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying by the official Irna news agency.

Russia and Iran are major backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Ankara is supporting rebels fighting Assad and earlier this year joined a U.S.-led coalition bombing ISIS in Syria.

Turkey is currently at loggerheads with Russia after downing one of Moscow’s warplanes on November 24.

Russia has accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of involvement in the oil trade with ISIS -- charges blasted as “slander” and “immoral” by the Turkish strongman.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/12/06/Iran-It-s-our-duty-to-mediate-in-Turkey-Russia-spat.html

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North America

 

Barack Obama: Threat is real, we will destroy Islamic State group

Dec 7, 2015

In a rare Oval Office address, President Barack Obama vowed Sunday night the United States would overcome a new phase of the terror threat that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world, as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California.

“I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure,” he said, speaking from a lectern in his West Wing office. “The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” he declared.

The president’s speech followed Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people and wounded 21. Authorities say a couple carried out the attack and the wife pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader in a Facebook post.

Obama said that while there was no evidence the shooters were directed by a terror network overseas or part of a broader plot, “the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization.” “This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people,” he said in the 13-minute address.

In speaking from the Oval Office, Obama turned to a tool of the presidency that he has used infrequently. His decision to speak in prime time reflected the White House’s concern that the his message on the recent attacks hasn’t broken through, particularly in the midst of a heated presidential campaign. Yet Obama’s speech was likely to leave his critics unsatisfied. He announced no significant shift in U.S. strategy and offered no new policy prescriptions for defeating IS, underscoring both his confidence in his current approach and the lack of easy options for countering the extremist group. Obama did call for cooperation between private companies and law enforcement to ensure potential attackers can’t use technology to evade detection. He also urged Congress to pass new force authorization for military actions underway against IS in Iraq and Syria, and also to approve legislation to bar guns from being sold to people prohibited from flying on planes in the U.S. for terrorist concerns. And he implored Americans to not turn against Muslims at home, saying the Islamic State is driven by a desire to spark a war between the West and Islam. Still, he called on Muslims in the U.S. and around the world to take up the cause of fighting extremism. The spread of radical Islam into American communities, he said, is “a real problem that Muslims must confront without excuse.” The president’s most specific policy announcement was to order the departments of State and Homeland Security to review the fiance visa program that the female shooter in California used to enter the U.S. In his remarks, Obama referred to a visa waiver program that Congress is also reviewing, but the White House later clarified he meant the fiance program He also reiterated his call for broader gun control legislation, saying no matter how effective law enforcement and intelligence agencies are, they can’t identify every would-be shooter. He called it a matter of national security to prevent potential killers from getting guns. “What we can do, and must do, is make it harder for them to kill,” he said. Read: Islamic State claims California attackers who killed 14 were their followers Obama stands little chance of getting the Republican-led Congress to agree to any gun control measures. On Thursday, the Senate rejected legislation barring people suspected by the government of being terrorists from purchasing firearms. Gun rights advocates say such a ban would violate the rights of people who haven’t been convicted of crimes. Congress also has been unable to coalesce behind any plan to authorize more force against IS, and the administration’s proposal has languished since February. Obama repeated his long-standing opposition to an American-led ground war in the Middle East and made no mention of the more aggressive action others have suggested, including a enforcing a no-fly zone and safe corridors in Syria. Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/barack-obama-muslims-must-confront-spread-of-radical-islam-without-excuse/

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US 'will not be terrorized': Obama

06 December 2015

The U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday that the United States "will not be terrorized" after an armed attack by a couple left fourteen people dead and dozens injured Wednesday in San Bernadino, California.

Speaking during his weekly address, Obama said the two suspected attackers, Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, might have been radicalized, while adding that the investigators were still working to get a full picture of the shooting.

"It is entirely possible that these two attackers were radicalized to commit this act of terror," Obama noted. "And if so, it would underscore a threat we’ve been focused on for years -- the danger of people succumbing to violent extremist ideologies."

The president encouraged his country to work to help prevent people from becoming self-radicalized, which is considered difficult for the law enforcement to catch.

"We know that ISIL and other terrorist groups are actively encouraging people -- around the world and in our country -- to commit terrible acts of violence, often times as lone wolf actors," Obama said.

Wearing black masks and armed with assault rifles and handguns, the couple, Farook and Malik, opened fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino at around 11 a.m. local time (0300GMT), authorities said. A witness said the attackers fired for about 30 seconds before calmly reloading and opening fire again.

The couple were killed in an exchange of fire with police several hours after the initial rampage at the party.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/167077/kerry-confirms-next-syria-talks-in-new-york

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Kerry confirms next Syria talks in New York

06 December 2015

he next round of talks on ending the Syrian civil war will be held in New York later this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.

"The governments involved are going to meet later in this month in New York in order to continue to move this process forward," he told the Washington-based Brookings Institution.

"Our goal is to facilitate a transition that all parties have stated that they support."

The first two rounds were held in Austrian capital Vienna, where ministers from nearly 20 nations agreed to establish an UN-backed cease-fire and begin peace talks by Jan. 1.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/167084/kerry-confirms-next-syria-talks-in-new-york

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Pakistan

 

Deadlock in Pak-Afghan ties can hamper peace initiatives: Sherpao

Dec 7, 2015

PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao has warned that the deadlock in relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan can hamper peace initiatives in the region.

He claimed that the recent visit of Pakhtun leadership to Kabul had proved to be an icebreaker which could help to normalise bilateral relationship between the two neighbouring countries in future if relevant quarters took it seriously.

Mr Sherpao was speaking at a press conference at his party’s secretariat here on Sunday.

QWP chief terms Kabul visit by Pakhtun leaders ‘an icebreaker’

The QWP chairman said that peace in Pakistan was linked to restoration of peace in Afghanistan and it was a must for both the countries to take serious steps for improvement of bilateral relations and restoration of sustainable peace in the region.

The situation of mistrust between the two neighbouring countries, he suggested, should be removed and in this connection it was the responsibility of Pakhtun leadership to play a vital role to end the deadlock.

Mr Sherpa said that his party wanted improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan and it had been making efforts in this direction. He said that the Pakhtun belt had suffered the most for the last three decades and this was the time to double the efforts for peace in the region.

“Pakhtuns are peace-loving people and they are not terrorists,” he said and added that Pakhtuns had offered matchless sacrifices for the restoration of peace and resisted terrorism.

He said that those branding Pakhtuns as terrorists were involved in an international conspiracy against them. He added that his party leaders and workers were ready to help Pakhtuns get out of this chaotic situation being imposed on them by other forces.

About Fata reforms initiatives, the QWP leader said that the time had come to bring tribal regions into the mainstream so that the people could get their rights.

He said that his party supported the resolution by Fata parliamentarians to merge it into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the Pakhtun leadership in the province knew how to resolve issues of the tribal people.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224696/deadlock-in-pak-afghan-ties-can-hamper-peace-initiatives-sherpao

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90 per cent of Islamabad mosques ‘outside’ govt control

KHAWAR GHUMMAN

Dec 7, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Community and clergy-run mosques in the federal capital outnumber government-managed mosques by almost ten to one, according to a government report.

Prepared by the interior ministry, apparently in the context of the National Action Plan (NAP), the report found that the government has absolutely no influence over 868 of the total 957 mosques in the federal capital territory to discipline them.

It says that the government spends Rs49.33 million annually on paying salaries to the staff of the 89 mosques it manages and another Rs10.97 million for paying their utility bills and maintenance.

It does not offer the same information about the community-run mosques.

Dawn, however, learnt from officials at the interior ministry and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) that the budgets of the privately-funded mosques must be huge in comparison as they enjoy much bigger congregations. An average government-run mosque has capacity for1500 worshiper at the most, excluding, of course, the big Faisal Mosque and the Lal Masjid.

“These [privately-run] mosques saw a mushroom growth under state patronage in the 1980s during the regime of Gen Ziaul Haq and the trend continued till recently,” said a senior CDA official.

Indeed, none of the subsequent governments stopped the unauthorized construction of mosques on state land, even on the greenbelts of Islamabad.

Expansion of the so-called “illegal mosques” continued even after the bloody military operation in Lal Masjid in 2007 under another military dictator, Gen Pervez Musharraf.

But the massacre of schoolchildren at Army Public School in Peshawar a year ago forced the government to launch the NAP to fight extremism and terrorism in the country.

“Although, it’s heavy on the government’s purse to bring all mosques under its discipline, they cannot be left to operate on their own, without any control,” an interior ministry official said.

“In order to implement the NAP, the government is bound to closely monitor prayer leaders of the mosques,” he said in response to a query from Dawn.

In its report, the ministry points out that the government has to deploy 722 policemen at as many mosques and imambargahs in Islamabad to monitor hateful speeches from the pulpit.

They have to report any hate content in the sermons delivered by the Ulemas and Khateebs for starting possible legal action.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224675/90-per-cent-of-islamabad-mosques-outside-govt-control

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Three terrorists killed in Quetta raid

December 07, 2015

QUETTA - At least three terrorists of a banned outfit were killed and two others arrested in exchange of fire with security forces.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/07-Dec-2015/three-terrorists-killed-in-quetta-raid

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Sherpao stresses stronger Pak-Afghan ties for peace

December 07, 2015

PESHAWAR - Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmad Sherpao has said that the recent visit of Pakhtun leadership to Kabul has proved to be ice-breaker and it will be helpful to normalize bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan in future.

Addressing a joining ceremony at Watan Kor on Sunday, the QWP chief said that the impasse in bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan could hamper peace initiatives in the region. He said that the mistrust between the two neighbouring countries should be removed and in this connection it is the responsibility of the Pakhtun leadership to play a vital role to end the deadlock.

He maintained that his party wanted improved relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He added that the Pakhtun belt had suffered the most for the last three decades and this is the time to double our efforts in order to bring peace in the region.

Aftab Sherpao said that Pakhtuna are peace-loving people and they are not terrorists.

Talking about the Fata reforms initiatives, he said that the time had come to bring Fata into mainstream. He added that his party supported resolution by Fata Parliamentarians to merger it in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the Pakhtun leadership in the province better knows how to resolve issues and problems of the tribal people.

To a query, Aftab Sherpao said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could help revitalize life in militancy-hit areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/07-Dec-2015/sherpao-stresses-stronger-pak-afghan-ties-for-peace

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MoU inked for cementing Pak-Turky ties

December 07, 2015

LAHORE = During the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas, friendly MoU was signed between Municipality of Beyoglu Istanbul and Data Gunj Bakhsh Town Administration Lahore.

This MoU is a part of Istanbul-Lahore Twin City Project under which further enhancing cooperation in art & culture, tourism, economy, trade, youth affairs, sports and social activities was agreed. Under MoU, the administration of both the districts will benefit from each other’s experiences.

The chief minister was of the view that due to this friendly MoU, different activities will be held for bringing the people of both the districts closer and understanding the culture of both the districts.

Exchange of information between administrations of both the districts will become easy and mutual cooperation in administrative affairs will be promoted. Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas said that this MoU will prove to be a milestone for strengthening Turk-Pak relations and increasing mutual collaboration.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has expressed satisfaction over the conduct of third and final phase of local bodies’ elections in a peaceful manner in 12 districts of the province.

He said that by the grace of Almighty Allah and due to hard work of concerned institutions, polling remained peaceful, for which, Provincial Cabinet Committee on Law & Order, administration, police and law-enforcement agencies of the concerned districts deserve appreciation.

He said that political and administrative team of Punjab government took effective steps and worked round the clock for ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for the elections which is a result of excellent arrangements and effective team work.

The chief minister said that besides departments and institutions concerned of Punjab government, federal institutions also ensured conducive atmosphere for the local bodies’ elections. He said that exemplary steps were taken for ensuring protection of life and property of the people for which all concerned officials deserve appreciation.

Shahbaz Sharif said that by the grace of Almighty Allah, the third and the final phase of local bodies, has concluded amicably. He said that the entire team performed its duties efficiently and diligently and the efforts made for maintaining law and order were commendable.

He said that not only vigorous action was taken against those displaying firearms but those taking law into hand were also dealt with an iron hand. He said that due to the steps taken for ensuring supremacy of law and justice, the polling was held in a very peaceful manner in 12 districts and voters used their right of franchise freely.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif congratulated PML-N candidates on their victory in the third phase of local bodies’ elections. He said that results of local bodies’ elections have authenticated the transparency of general elections of 2013 and politics of public service, honesty and hard work has again won in the final phase of local bodies’ polls.

He said that masses have rejected the enemies of progress and development and those who have been raising hue and cry over so-called rigging in general elections should learn a lesson from their defeats.

He said that the elements creating hurdles in the projects aimed at prosperity of the masses have been rejected in all phases of local bodies’ elections and the enlightened people through the power of their vote have proved that they hate politics of allegations, lies and, hypocrisy.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/07-Dec-2015/mou-inked-for-cementing-pak-turky-ties

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Youtube accessible in mega cities despite ban

December 07, 2015

ISLAMABAD - After a ban of almost three years, video sharing website Youtube is once again accessible in many parts of the country.

The cities where the video sharing site is operational only in three big cities – Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

YouTube website has been blocked in Pakistan since September, 2012, when the website management turned down the Pakistan government’s request to block the blasphemous video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ for local viewership.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/07-Dec-2015/youtube-accessible-in-mega-cities-despite-ban

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Army chief lauds LEAs for 'improved' security as he arrives in Karachi

DAWN.COM | IMTIAZ ALI

Dec 7, 2015

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif arrived in Karachi on Monday to review law and order in the city and the rest of Sindh.

A meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah is underway at Governor House.

The Army chief at Corps Headquarters in Karachi chaired a meeting to review the security situation.

The meeting was attended by Corps Commander, Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence and the DG Rangers.

The army chief lauded the Rangers, intelligence agencies and other law enforcement agencies for "noticeable improvement" in the security situation in Karachi through ongoing operations and the peaceful conduct during local government elections held in the metropolis on Saturday.

The Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had earlier announced that he and Nawaz would be in attendance at the meeting, which will also be attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Home Minis­ter Sohail Anwar Sial and top military officials, including the Karachi corps comma­nder, the Sindh DG Rangers and the heads of other law-enforcement agencies.

The purpose of Nawaz's visit will be to sort out the issue of the Rangers' deployment in Karachi, the term of which expired Sunday.

According to earlier reports, it appears that there are differences between the federal and Sindh governments over extending the paramilitary forces' mandate.

On Sunday, Nisar expressed regret that Sindh had not made a decision on the issue of extending the Rangers’ deployment over the past two weeks.

"They should have done it by Saturday," he had remarked, insisting that Rangers could not be left in the province without legal cover and would be pulled out if no extension was given. The decision, he noted, ultimately lay with the provincial government. PPP spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar earlier told Dawn that no decision would be taken on Rangers’ continued deployment in the province unless it was approved by the Sindh government.

"The responsibility and the power to extend the mandate of Rangers rests with the provincial government," he said.

The PPP has been complaining about Rangers’ activities, especially after they acted against alleged irregularities and corruption in the land department of the provincial government.

Talking to Dawn, MQM leader Farooq Sattar earlier said that although his party had not opposed the operation against terrorism and extremism, it had some reservations over cases where Rangers had acted against their mandate.

He said a meeting of senior MQM leaders would also be held on Monday to review the situation against the backdrop of the proposed extension of Rangers’ deployment.

Sattar was of the view that the governments at the centre and in Sindh should take all stakeholders on board so that a unanimous decision could be taken.

Rumours that the PPP was unwilling to give the Rangers an extension in Karachi have been doing the rounds since the party began delaying a decision on the matter.

Sources in the Sindh government say that while the provincial government may agree to extend Rangers’ deployment in Karachi, it would definitely ask the federal government to revisit their mandate.

The federal government gave special powers to Rangers in Karachi in June 2015, under the Anti-Terrorism Act, to arrest anyone found involved in violence.

The arrest of PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain for his alleged role in terror financing is one of the most high-profile examples of Rangers exercising their special powers.

Background: Karachi operation

The Rangers are currently leading an operation against criminal elements in Karachi which completed two years in September this year.

The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224747/army-chief-lauds-leas-for-improved-security-as-he-arrives-in-karachi

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PAF demonstration: PM appreciates show of strength by aerial fighters in Sonmiani

Dec 7, 2015

SONMIANI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) firepower demonstration at the Sonmiani range, during his trip to Karachi on Monday.

Speaking at the event, Nawaz extended his felicitations to Air Marshall Sohail Aman and the PAF upon the successful culmination of the event.

He said the PAF has demonstrated excellence and was working in close coordination with the Pakistan Army to fight terrorism. "The significance of air power... has increased manifold in recent times," he said.

He said the government was going to commit resources to increase the strength of the air force and expressed appreciation for their sacrifices and enthusiasm.

"PAF airmen are playing their part well in Zarb-i-Azb and other campaigns against terrorism," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224757/paf-demonstration-pm-appreciates-show-of-strength-by-aerial-fighters-in-sonmiani

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Mashhadi wasn’t listening to MQM chief’s speech on July 12, court told

Dec 7, 2015

KARACHI: An antiterrorism court was informed on Friday that Muttahida Qaumi Movement Senator Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi was left out for lack of evidence in a case of listening to his party chief’s speech criticising the military establishment.

When a pre-arrest bail application of the MQM leader came up for hearing before ATC-I Judge Bashir Ahmed Khoso on Friday, the investigating officer informed the court that the applicant was not chargesheeted in a recently submitted investigation report for want of evidence and was discharged under Section 169 (release of accused when evidence deficient) of the criminal procedure code.

The investigation report said that Senator Mashhadi was not found among the audience at the party headquarters during the speech and referring to the statements of his police guard and neighbours it added that the applicant was at his residence on July 12.

According to the report, MQM chief Altaf Hussain, party leader Haider Abbas Rizvi and around 70 to 80 and 20 to 30 unknown men and women, respectively, were chargesheeted.

The prosecution said that the MQM chief in his July 12 speech had allegedly accused the Rangers chief and his subordinates of violating the army code of conduct during the Karachi operation while the other party leaders were booked for allegedly listening to their party chief’s speech.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224248/mashhadi-wasnt-listening-to-mqm-chiefs-speech-on-july-12-court-told

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Multi-party conference on China-Pakistan corridor soon: Mengal

Dec 7, 2015

QUETTA: President of his own faction of the Balochistan National Party Akhtar Mengal announced on Sunday that a multi- party conference would be convened in Islamabad soon to discuss reservations of the people of his province about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Addressing a press conference here, he said that elected representatives and the people of Balochistan had several reservations about the CPEC project, adding that those apprehensions must be removed to make the project non-controversial.

He said the BNP-M would invite all political parties to the conference in order to evolve a joint strategy about the mega project.

Take a look: Balochistan Assembly seeks funds for CPEC western route

The former chief minister of Balochistan said the government had ignored MNAs and MPAs elected from Gwadar as well as senators from the province while signing the agreement on the CPEC and other major projects.

He said memorandums of understanding and agreements regarding implementation of these projects were also signed without taking elected representatives of Balochistan into confidence.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224739/multi-party-conference-on-china-pakistan-corridor-soon-mengal

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South Asia

 

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Shiite mosque in Bangladesh

by Blanca Blake

December 06, 2015

The so-called Islamic State group has said it carried out an attack on a Shia mosque in Bangladesh on Thursday, according to reports. Police said the muezzin had been killed and three worshippers wounded in the shooting, a rare attack on minority Shia Muslims in the mainly Sunni nation. The assaults, claimed by radical Islamist groups, raised worries that religious extremism is taking hold in the average nation and have alarmed the global community. The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for a lethal attack on a northern Bangladesh mosque, US-based extremist monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group said. Police said five assailants were involved in the attack in the town of Haripur on Thursday evening. The Islamic State group claims responsibility, but the government again dismisses the idea that the group has any presence in the country.

Full report at:

http://drurymirror.com/2015/12/06/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-for-attack-on-shiite.html

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Heavy clashes reported among top Taliban leaders in Herat

Dec 07 2015

Heavy clashes have been reported among the top Taliban leaders in western Herat province of Afghanistan.

According to a security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, clashes erupted among the supporters of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and another Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Rasool.

The official further added that clashes started around 5:00 am local time in Shindand district and heavy gun fire still continue between the supporters of two sides.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/heavy-clashes-reported-among-top-taliban-leaders-in-herat-9623

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10 injured in bomb blasts at temple in Bangladesh

Dec 7, 2015

NEW DELHI: Unidentified attackers hurled three homemade bombs on the premises of a Hindu temple in northern Bangladesh during a drama performance early on Saturday, injuring 10 people, police said.

The incident occurred while an open-air performance was being staged outside the Kantajir temple during an annual fair in Dinajpur district, said Ruhul Amin, the local police chief.

In recent months, Bangladesh has experienced a series of attacks on secular bloggers, foreigners and minority groups amid concerns that religious extremism is on the rise in the Muslim-majority country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224447/10-injured-in-bomb-blasts-at-temple-in-bangladesh

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Afghan Taliban sources doubt Mansour alive

December 07, 2015

KABUL - Several senior sources within the Taliban on Sunday cast doubt on the authenticity of an audio message purporting to prove Mullah Akhtar Mansour was alive, highlighting mistrust within the ranks following the cover-up of Mullah Omar's death.

The insurgent group released the 16-minute file late Saturday following reports citing multiple intelligence and militant sources claiming the Taliban chief was killed in a firefight on Tuesday inside Pakistan.

But doubts continued to linger among the group's senior ranks, who are distrustful of their leadership following a two-year cover-up of the death of the Taliban's founder and first leader Mullah Omar. Mawlawi Hanifi, a commander based in southern Helmand province, told AFP: "I listened to the clip and it looks fake. "I think his voice has been mimicked. Mansour himself fooled us for two years, how can we trust this now?"

Another senior Taliban source said that the group is buying time to select a new leader and bring their organisation out of "this sudden shock". "We need more proof," he concluded.

Two other Taliban senior officials expressed similar concerns, with the latter insisting that Mansour succumbed to his injuries on Thursday. In the message, a man purporting to be Mansour said: "I have recorded this message to let everyone know that I am alive."

"I didn't have a fight with anyone, no meeting was held and I have not been to Kuchlak (near Quetta in Pakistan) in years. This is all enemy propaganda," the message added.

The man also offered his condolences to the relatives of civilians killed in central Wardak province where a firefight erupted between government forces and the Taliban on Friday.

But two other Taliban officials based in Pakistan's Quetta city told AFP the clip was genuine and said they had been present at the recording.

"This audio was recorded yesterday by our leader Mansour, we were present. The meeting was attended by our high officials, edited, and then sent on to the media," said one of the officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Rahimullah Yousufzai, a Pakistani analyst and long-time observer of the Taliban, said the voice sounded like Mansour's.

"I believe it is him," he said, but added that questions would be asked over the delay in releasing the clip.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/07-Dec-2015/afghan-taliban-sources-doubt-mansour-alive

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Afghan intelligence arrest 2 key Taliban group members in Takhar

Dec 07 2015

The Afghan intelligence operatives have detained two key Taliban group members in northeastern Takhar province of Afghanistan.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said Monday that the first suspect was arrested from Taloqan, the provincial capital of Takhar province.

A statement by NDS said the detained individual has been identified as Merajuddin who was tasked by the Taliban group to provide logistical support to the Taliban fighters, including procurement of weapons and explosives.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-intelligence-arrest-2-key-taliban-group-members-in-takhar-9622

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President Ghani to attend Heart of Asia summit in Islamabad

Dec 07 2015

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani will attend the Heart of Asia summit scheduled to begin on Tuesday in Islamabad – the capital city of Pakistan.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah informed regarding President Ghani’s participation in the summit during the weekly Council of Ministers meeting.

The summit is expected to be participated by the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, including Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China, India and Iran.

While representatives from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the UAE will also attend the summit.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-to-attend-heart-of-asia-summit-in-islamabad-9621

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Germany’s defense minister says ‘We are staying’ in Afghanistan

Dec 07 2015

Following Berlin’s announcement to expand the German forces scope of mission in Afghanistan, the country’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said Sunday “We are staying” in Afghanistan.

Von der Leyen reaffirmed Germany’s commitment ahead of a visit to northern Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan to meet with the Germany forces stationed there.

In her message to media after boarding the plane heading to Mazar-e-Sharif city, Von der Leyen said “The basic message must be: We’re staying.”

According to reports, at least 1,500 NATO soldiers are stationed in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of northern Balkh province with majority of them being German soldiers.

Von der Leyen is travelling to northern Afghanistan for her traditional holiday visit with German soldiers stationed.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/germanys-defense-minister-says-we-are-staying-in-afghanistan-1769

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Efforts to shift Taliban’s Quetta Council to Helmand shunned by Afghan forces

Dec 07 2015

A top Afghan defense official said Sunday that the Afghan security forces successfully shunned efforts by the enemies of the country to shift Taliban’s Quetta Council to southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Speaking to the general session of the Afghan parliament, Afghan National Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Qadam Shah Shaheem, said the anti-government armed militants with the support of the regional spy agencies did their best to take control of large swaths of the country during the current year.

He said the enemies of Afghanistan decided to remove the name of Quetta Council and shift to southern Helmand province but they could not reach to their target.

The remarks by Gen. Shaheem comes as the security situation in different parts of Helmand province have been deteriorating with the increased insurgency activities by the anti-government armed militant groups.

The local government officials had earlier admitted that the militants are looking to shift the Quetta Council to Helmand province by taking control of the northern districts.

The Quetta Council plays critical role in the leadership and activities of the Taliban group in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/efforts-to-shift-talibans-quetta-council-to-helmand-shunned-by-afghan-forces-1768

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Nizami’s appeal: Prosecution placing arguments

December 07, 2015

The Supreme Court today started hearing prosecution’s arguments on the appeal filed by war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami challenging the death penalty awarded to him for his wartime offices.

Starting around 9:30am today, the four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha began hearing the arguments placed by Attorney General Mahbubay Alam.

In his submission, Alam told the court that defence lawyer’s arguments on the charges brought against Nizami were not acceptable as the International Crimes Tribunal-1 has properly delivered the verdict.

The attorney general was placing argument before the court when the report was filed around 11:15am.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/nizamis-appeal-prosecution-placing-arguments-183697

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Africa

 

Nigeria police make arrests over Boko haram ‘sleeper cells’ in Abuja area

6 December 2015

Nigeria’s secret police on Saturday said they had arrested a dozen suspects linked to the discovery of “sleeper cells” operated by Boko Haram militants in and around the capital Abuja.

The Department of State Services said those arrested had travelled from the restive northeast of the country to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and were planning on staging attacks in Abuja during the year-end festivities.

“Boko Haram...has continued to establish and operate sleeper cells whose (sole) mandates are to conduct surveillance and carry out subsequent attacks in the FCT,” the DSS said in a statement.

The statement listed the names of 12 suspected Boko Haram members, including a Niger national, who were arrested in Abuja and neighboring towns between October 29 and December 1.

The suspects hid in plain sight, often working in legal jobs while carrying out surveillance to “map out soft targets for attacks”, the statement added.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Abuja in recent years in attacks blamed on Boko Haram, including the bombing of a United Nations building which left 25 dead in 2011.

Overall, the group’s six-year old insurgency has killed some 17,000 people and displaced 2.5 million others, mostly in Nigeria.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/12/06/Nigeria-police-make-arrests-over-Boko-haram-sleeper-cells-in-Abuja-area.html

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Citing Libya’s case, Italy rules out joining air strikes

Dec 7, 2015

ROME: Italy has no intention of joining a US-led coalition that is attacking militant Islamic State group targets in Syria, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday, warning that the air campaign would only add to chaos in the region.

Centre-right opponents have urged Mr Renzi to follow in the footsteps of Britain, which last week agreed to take part in missions over Syria, but he told Corriere della Sera newspaper that Italy would remain on the sidelines.

“If being a protagonist means playing at running after other people’s bombardments, then I say ‘no thank you’,” he was quoted as saying.

“Italy’s position is clear and solid. We want to wipe out terrorists, not please the commentators. The one thing we don’t need is to multiply on-the-spot reactions, without a strategic vision,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224731/citing-libyas-case-italy-rules-out-joining-air-strikes

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Deal reached on political solution to Libya conflict

6 December 2015

Warring Libyan factions meeting in Tunisia said Sunday they had reached an agreement to be approved by rival parliaments on ending the political deadlock that has plagued the country since Moamer Kadhafi’s overthrow.

“This is a historic moment the Libyans were waiting for, the Arabs were waiting for and the world was waiting for,” said Awad Mohammed Abdul-Sadiq, the first deputy head of the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC).

GNC officials had been holding talks in the suburbs of Tunis for several days with delegates from the internationally recognised House of Representatives.

Abdul-Sadiq called on Libyans to support what he called “a historic opportunity”.

“If this solution receives real Libyan support -- from the people and institutions -- we will surely arrive in no more than two weeks or a month to a solution to solve the political crisis,” he told a press conference.

Amna Emtair from the GNC delegation told AFP the agreement would set up a new representative body that would choose a committee to nominate a prime minister within 15 days, while another committee would conduct a review of Libya’s constitution.

“It is a major breakthrough,” Emtair said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/12/06/Agreement-reached-on-political-solution-to-Libya-conflict-officials.html

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Qaddafi son in Libya court over murder, repression

6 December 2015

A son of late dictator Muammar Qaddafi appeared in a Libyan court Sunday over the murder of a football coach in 2005 and alleged repression in the uprising that toppled his father.

Saadi Qaddafi , 42, sat alone in a caged dock of the courtroom located in the same complex as the al-Hadba prison where he is being held in Tripoli.

Dressed in a prison-issued blue uniform, the one-time playboy looked straight ahead and showed no emotions as the hearing got underway.

The judge said more time was needed to complete the investigation into the charges levelled against Saadi, and adjourned the trial until February 1.

Saadi was best known as the head of Libya’s football federation and a player who paid his way into Italy’s top division.

Qaddafi’s third oldest son, he is accused of murdering a former trainer at Tripoli’s Al-Ittihad football club in 2005 and repressing during the 2011 armed uprising.

His trial opened in May but has been adjourned several times, the last time on November 1.

In September, he told Human Rights Watch that he had been held in solitary confinement and that his rights had been violated during pretrial detention.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/12/06/Qaddafi-son-in-Libya-court-over-murder-repression-.html

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UN condemns Lake Chad triple bombing

Dec 6, 2015

The United Nations (UN)’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned a recent triple bombing attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group that killed at least 27 people on an island on the Chadian side of Lake Chad.

“The secretary-general condemns the triple suicide attack on the island of Koulfoua on the Chadian side of Lake Chad on 5 December 2015,” read a statement released by Ban’s office on Sunday. “These despicable acts demonstrate yet again the brutality of Boko Haram.”

Ban also offered “condolences to the families of those killed and injured.” Some 80 people were wounded in the Saturday attack.

In recent months, Boko Haram terrorists, who hail from Nigeria, have stepped up attacks and bombings on Chadian villages in the Lake Chad region as well as in neighboring Niger and Cameroon.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/06/440583/Ban-Kimoon-Chad-Nigeria-bombing-Boko-Haram

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Europe

 

ISIS propaganda and ammunition found after France mosque closure

7 December 2015

Kalashnikov ammunition and ISIS propaganda videos were seized in raids following the closure of a mosque in the Paris suburbs, French authorities said.

The prayer hall in Lagny-sur-Marne, around 30km east of the capital, was shut down last Wednesday following a large-scale police operation.

Associated with the traditionalist Salafist branch of Islam, it is the third mosque in France to be closed after the coordinated extremist attacks on Paris on November 13.

The prefect - the highest representative of the state - in the Seine-and-Marne department said on Sunday “7.62mm ammunition for a Kalashnikov rifle and propaganda videos” for ISIS had been found in raids linked to the closure of the prayer hall.

The locations of the raids were not given.

A revolver and extremist documents were also found during searches at the homes of the mosque leaders, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said previously.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/12/07/ISIS-propaganda-and-ammunition-found-after-France-mosque-closure.html

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Leytonstone Tube Attack: 'You Ain't No Muslim Bruv' Becomes Very British Response

06/12/2015

The apparent terror attack at a London tube station has prompted a very British response to Islamophobia on social media.

On Saturday, a man reportedly wielding a machete stabbed a man and injured two others, in what police are investigating as a terror attack at Leytonstone station in east London.

Before being arrested, the suspect reportedly shouted "this is for Syria" and "all your blood will be spilled" during the incident. The religion of the attacker is not known.

But video apparently filmed as police moved in to make the arrest shows commuters lambasting the assailant, with at least one man shouting: "You ain’t no Muslim bruv! You ain’t no Muslim!"

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/12/06/leytonstone-you-aint-no-muslim-bruv-becomes-very-british-response_n_8730746.html

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Knife attacker slashes man in London metro after screaming 'this is for Syria'

Dec 7, 2015

LONDON: A knife attacker slashed a man at an east London metro station, reportedly screaming "this is for Syria", in what police described as a terrorist incident, prompting a senior minister to urge Britons on Sunday not to be intimidated by the attack.

A pool of blood near the ticket barriers at the Leytonstone Underground station, about six miles (10 km) east of central London, could be seen in footage posted on Twitter that also showed the suspect confronting police on Saturday evening.

Police said the man, believed to be aged 29, had also threatened other bystanders. One man, thought to be 56 years old, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries and was in a stable condition at a London hospital. A second victim suffered minor injuries.

"I am treating this as a terrorist incident," Richard Walton, who leads the Counter Terrorism Command at London's Metropolitan Police, said in a statement. The man was arrested after police used a Taser to subdue him.

Detectives were searching a residential address in east London, police said on Sunday.

An eyewitness quoted by The Guardian and other British newspapers said the attacker appeared to claim that he was retaliating for Western air strikes on Islamist militants in Syria. Police declined to comment on those reports and it was not immediately possible to verify them independently.

British war planes joined the strikes for the first time on Thursday, a few hours after Prime Minister David Cameron won parliamentary approval to bomb the Islamist State group in Syria after the group claimed responsibility for the attacks on Paris last month that killed 130 people.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad mocked Cameron's strategy in the region, saying it would make the situation worse, not better.

Threat to Britain

Britain is on its second-highest security alert level of "severe", meaning a militant attack is considered highly likely - though not imminent - mainly because of the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said whatever the circumstances, Britons must not let the Leytonstone incident affect their behavior.

"We cannot let these sort of people, terrorists et cetera, actually dominate our space," he told the BBC. "The way we defeat them at the end of the day is with our values, our freedom of expression, our freedom of belief ... our ability to take our children, our families out at Christmas. None of that must be curtailed."

Nevertheless, the attack will draw parallels with the May 2013 murder of British army soldier Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1224580/knife-attacker-slashes-man-in-london-metro-after-screaming-this-is-for-syria

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UK police charge man over ‘terrorist incident’ at London metro station

7 December 2015

British detectives have charged a man with attempted murder after a knife attack at an east London metro station on Saturday night which was described by police as a terrorist incident.

Police said 29-year-old Muhaydin Mire of east London would appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court later on Monday.

One man suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries in the attack at Leytonstone underground station while a second person suffered minor injuries.

Eyewitnesses said the attacker had reportedly shouted out "This is for Syria!"

Britain is on its second-highest security alert level of "severe", meaning a militant attack is considered highly likely, though not imminent, mainly because of the threat posed by ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/12/07/UK-police-charge-man-over-terrorist-incident-at-London-metro-station.html

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/indian-muslims--islamic-state-not-a-threat-to-india/d/105534

 

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