New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 16 Jul 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

International Religious Authorities Set To Confront ISIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

ISIS paraphernalia is used more a sign of Sunni pride rather than as a sign of allegiance to any extremist groups. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

 

 

 

Arab World

International Religious Authorities Set To Confront ISIL

Islamic State Establishing Ties to Violent Israeli, Hamas Conflict: Report

‘States Want To Reopen Communication Channels with Syria

Iraq forces repel militant attack, kill 15

Bomb at Baghdad market kills at least 4

Neglected Tripoli finds strength in ISIS flag

Islamic State's Saudi ‘Mufti’ Abu Osama Al-Qahtani Slain In Iraq

Attacks on Muslims In Asian States Denounced: WAMY Chief

Syria: Army Repels Terrorists' Raid on Damascus

Mortars on Damascus kill 4 after Assad speech

Envoy: Hamas Standing against ISIL

UAE plans unmanned mission to Mars by 2021

 

Mideast

Israel, Hamas agree Gaza truce as death toll hits 223

President's Advisor: US, Israel Only Beneficiaries of Shiite-Sunni Differences

Secular Turks fear Kurdish–Islamic synthesis after presidentials

Intel tells court ISIL has two Turkish commanders

Hamas not seeking to draw Lebanon into Gaza war: official

Israeli naval shelling kills 4 boys on Gaza beach

Hamas spells out terms for cease-fire, including prayer access to Al-Aqusa

Netanyahu tells West: Israel won't rest until Gaza demilitarized

What is UN good for if Gaza in flames, asks Turkish PM

 

Pakistan

Anti-Taliban Lashkar Formed In Bajaur; Army Puts Off Operation

Lahore raid: Forces kill nine militants in drawn-out operation

Forces kill two Afghan militants in Bajaur Agency

Four killed in Hangu explosion

Blast in Hangu kills 6, injures 3

Two policemen killed in operation against terrorists in Raiwind

Pak HC officials accused of rape and child abduction

Madina sojourn: Nawaz likely to play Saudi card

 

India

Official says Israel has asked citizens to stay away from Kashmir

Oppose Israeli aggression, CPI (M) tells Govt.

Not ‘hobnobbing’ with Pakistan on 26/11 attack issue: Rajnath Singh

Citizenship nod to post ’71 Bangladesh refugees

Muslims in Mumbai to boycott Israeli products and observe Friday, 18th July as ‘Palestine Day’

 

South Asia

Attackers of Kabul airport were Urdu language speakers

Draft ready to amend ICT act to try Jamaat

 

Europe

Terrorism: France to redeploy its troops in Africa

Far-right group 'invades' mosque in London

Court: Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslim deaths

French body suspends plan for Halal prison meals

EU leaders on Gaza: 'Israel has right to protect itself but it must act proportionately'

Uzbek Hafizs take world tour in Ramadan

 

North America

Iran adherence to interim nuke deal 'surprisingly favourable': US

As White House marks Ramadan culture, Israeli tweet stirs anger

U.S. nurse refuses to force feed Guantanamo Bay detainees

Bill Clinton warns Israel on 'isolating itself from world opinion'

US sentences Britons for supporting Taliban

Obama says he wants cease-fire 'restored' between Israel, Hamas

 

Southeast Asia

Islam does not recognise transgenders, court hearing Shariah law review told

Using a woman’s menstrual cycle as excuse is pure discrimination — Chew Mei Fun

Police Complete Preparations for Id ul Fitr Exodus From Jakarta

 

Africa

14 Tunisia soldiers killed in mountain attack

'Mastermind' of Abuja Blast Back in Nigeria

Refugee survey suggests higher death toll in Central Africa

Morocco warns of terror plot from Syria, Iraq

Libyan airport staff strikes to protest shelling

AU chief urges end to Israeli strikes against Gaza

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/international-religious-authorities-set-to-confront-isil/d/98162

 

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Arab World

 

International Religious Authorities Set To Confront ISIL

17 July, 2014

The heads of religious institutions in Eurasia and prominent religious scholars from countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Saudi Arabia are to convene in Istanbul on July 17th, as part of an initiative to end bloodshed in the Islamic world triggered by the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq.

'The meeting will establish a wise men's delegation of religious scholars to struggle against ISIL and develop strategies to prevent the fragmentation of the Islamic world along sectarian lines, the Diyanet's press office told SES Türkiye in a statement.

The announcement comes amid rising public concern about the ISIL threat. At the end of June, families of 163 Turkish citizens applied to the security forces to declare their relatives missing. The police announced that the missing persons joined ISIL to fight alongside the organisation in Syria and Iraq.

According to the latest Turkish intelligence reports, there are currently 600 to 700 Turks in the group. However, unofficial estimates put the number around 3,000. Eight have died, according to intelligence reports.

Citing intelligence sources, Hurriyet daily reported that most of ISIL's Turkish members have come from Istanbul, Bursa, Eskisehir, Bingol, Adana, Gaziantep or Bitlis. Most have joined by illegally crossing the southern border into Syria. ISIL has also reportedly established training camps in the border region.

"I am deeply saddened by the fact that many of our young people have done bad things with bad people, perhaps because we failed to take measures to prevent this," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said in a recent speech.

"They talk about religion or Sharia law. They are people with beards. They say their goal is a caliphate, but they kill. They cut off heads, they use weapons, they resort to violence. They brutally murder because they are from a different sect."

As ISIL implemented a brutal interpretation of Sharia law in the towns it rules in Syria and Iraq, scholars started to debate ways to prevent extremist groups from expanding. The latest developments also stirred debate among scholars about the sufficiency of religious education and the role of religious institutions in Turkey.

Abdulhakim Yuce, dean of the theology faculty at Manisa's Celal Bayar University, told SES Türkiye it is important for religious experts to refute ISIL's religious interpretations.

"For example, how valid is it for ISIL to present the two main strands of Islam, Sunni and Shia, as adversaries?" he told SES Türkiye, adding that the two sects are more similar than they are different.

The organisation's extreme version of Wahhabism is marginal and incompatible with Sunni countries like Turkey, Yuce said.

"That's why the issue should be described correctly and the picture should be put on the table very clearly so that the efforts in finding solutions get results. Otherwise neither the flow of recruits to the organisation nor the massacres will come to an end," he told SES Türkiye.

Religious leaders and experts can contribute to a long-term solution by creating a methodology to explain Islamic concepts in a way that is consistent with the values of the majority of the world's Muslims, according to Yuce.

"Tens of concepts such as sharia, jihad, state, president, democracy, women, dressing and polytheism could be understood by the help of this methodology, and their contemporary interpretation could be possible," he said.

Mufid Yuksel, an author who has written widely on religious affairs, said he appreciates Diyanet's efforts but believes they are incapable of solving the problem. He and Yuce urged the international community to develop a strategy for fighting against ISIL.

"To keep damage to a minimum and solve the problem in the near term, the problem needs to be put on the international agenda for the development of a common strategy," Yuksel told SES Türkiye. "Here, neither the Diyanet nor the community of believers can have an impact. On this front, the problem needs to be seen not as a matter of religion and sect, but one of security, terrorism, protecting borders, refugees, intelligence, and mutual interests and relations."

Ali Semin, Middle East expert at the Wise Men Centre for Strategic Studies, said ISIL has drawn recruits from a wide range of countries.

"Today when a British man grows a beard and wants to joint to ISIL they directly approve his involvement," he told SES Türkiye. "They accept anyone. Today people from 81 different countries have joined ISIL. Russia has been ranked first with 800 people, and France follows with 700 people."

ISIL is unlikely to thrive in the long-term, according to Yuksel.

"In the end, these groups get fragmented within themselves, but they create huge problems before reaching that point. This is what happened in Afghanistan and in Chechnya. They will also be fragmented in Iraq, but until then they will continue to threaten the region and Turkey," he said.

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/169298/international-religious-authorities-set-to-confront-isil.html

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Islamic State Establishing Ties to Violent Israeli, Hamas Conflict: Report

17 July, 2014

Brutality between Israel and Hamas only continues to worsen 10 days into the conflict, with hundreds killed, new weapons being introduced, and a propaganda war raising the stakes for both sides. The situation is poised to only get more serious now, though, with reports that the Islamic State group (formerly known as ISIS) is working to involve itself in the conflict.

A Vocativ report based on ISIS forums buried in the hidden Deep Web seems to indicate that the radical Sunni group that’s been embroiled in the Syrian civil war against President Bashar Assad and has now taken control of large swaths of Iraq either already has connections with extremist groups fighting in Gaza or is working to establish connections. A least two Salafist Islamist groups, a movement that advocates violent jihad, have pledged their support for ISIS.

One group has changed its named to al Dawa al-Islamia, which translates to “The Islamic State,” and another is known as Ansar al Dawa al Islama, or “Supporters of the Islamic State,” according to Vocativ. Reported members of each group have claimed responsibility for recent rocket attacks last week, although the level of truth behind those claims is unknown.

These reports are contrary to a statement made by a spokesman for Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi indicating that the militant group does not intend to join the Israeli conflict because it has other wars to concentrate on before asserting itself alongside the Gazans.

Observers have long speculated that Hamas, which is known to receive support from Iran and Syria and has been classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, is not the only insurgent group operating within the small confines of the Gaza Strip. A Hamas spokesman said any reports of Islamic State involvement in the current conflict are “lies and fabrications” meant only to “distort the image of the Gaza Strip,” as quoted by Vocativ.

Yet, if the Gazans posting on the ISIS forums are to be believed, there is a hope among a fraction of civilians that the Islamic State finds a toehold in the dispute and helps bring the brutality to a close.

“We ask the caliphate to support the Salafis jihadis groups in Gaza with money and weapons,” one user wrote on the forum, according to Vocativ. “We don’t have enough strong men. We want your help. … Those with the wrong way [Hamas] have the support of Iran and the Shiite; we sit in our houses as women, without weapons. Our situation is bad.”

The situation for the nearly 2 million Gazans is indeed very bad. Ongoing Israeli rocket strikes have killed more than 200 people, including women and four children who were killed on a beach from what Palestinian officials said was an Israeli gunboat shell.

Only one Israeli fatality has been reported thus far, with the Iron Dome defense shield intercepting rockets from Gaza before they strike heavily populated cities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also threatened launching a ground war into the streets of the already crippled Gaza Strip to eliminate Hamas entirely. Brigadier-General Michael Herzog, a former chief of staff at Israel’s ministry of defence, wondered in an interview with the National Post, though, if the time has come to reassess the situation.

“One way in which in an Israeli military operation could backfire is by shaking Hamas’ control on the ground to the point that it allowed other factions, including jihadists, to come to the fore,” he said. “At least Hamas provides an address – you don’t have that with the jihadist factions. They aren’t dominant right now, but Hamas no longer controls Gaza as firmly as it used to, and it if was seriously weakened they could take advantage.”

http://www.ibtimes.com/islamic-state-isis-establishing-ties-violent-israeli-hamas-conflict-report-1630138

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‘States want to reopen communication channels with Syria’

July 17, 2014

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari has said some states change their stances and seek reopening communication channels and security cooperation with Damascus as the number of border-crossing terrorists and the threat they pose on all countries increases.

In an interview with al-Binaa Newspaper on Wednesday, al-Jaafari said that some countries are trying to use the terms “foreign fighters”, “insurgents”, “rebels” or “jihadists” to avoid admitting the true nature of those terrorists, adding that Syria’s geopolitical location has always set it in the face of grave challenges, and that what Syria is facing now has a very minor internal aspect compared to its regional and international dimensions.

Al-Jaafari said that certain countries are still obstinate in their aggressive approach towards Syria which serves their schemes and Israel’s interests in the region.

He said the UN Secretariat and its Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, have overlooked facts, and that in his reports, Ban has repeatedly considered terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and listed as terrorist organizations like the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra Front as armed Syrian opposition.

He expressed disappointment that the UN overlooked facts conveyed to it by more than 500 official messages from Syria to the UN Secretary-General and several heads of the UN Security Council, adding that the UN has overlooked many reports made by foreign and interior ministries in Europe, Australia, the US, Canada, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, and Persian Gulf states on the phenomenon of the “foreign terrorist fighters”, adding that those terrorists have come to Syria after being trained and funded by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel and under direct Western sponsorship.

Al-Jaafari stressed that the reason for the Russian-Chinese vetoes is their adherence to international law and the UN Charter, adding that Moscow and Beijing know that Syria’s defeat at the hands of terrorism would mean that the entire world will lose the battle against terrorism.

On the role of the UN regarding pan-Arab issues, al-Jaafari said the crisis in Syria has revealed the weakness of the UN and the strong influence of a few countries over it, adding that the UN should preserve the interests of all its 193 member states, not just a handful of countries.

Syria has been gripped by the foreign-hatched conflict since 2011. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

http://en.alalam.ir/news/1612369#sthash.dX5eixGT.dpuf

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Iraq forces repel militant attack, kill 15

17 July, 2014

KIRKUK: Iraqi security forces repelled an insurgent attack on a northern Shiite Turkmen town, killing 15 militants, an official said Thursday.

The attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) insurgents and allied Sunni Islamist extremists on the town of Amirli took place Wednesday, said Talib al-Bayati, an official from the nearby town of Suleiman Bek.

"Iraqi forces, with the help of military aircraft, repelled an attack on Amirli on three sides and killed 15 gunmen, according to an initial toll," said Bayati.

Amirli lies to the south of Suleiman Bek, which fell to an ISIS-led onslaught that swept parts of Iraq's north and west last month.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-17/264185-iraq-forces-repel-militant-attack-kill-15.ashx#ixzz37g9bvd7t

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Bomb at Baghdad market kills at least 4

17 July, 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraqi officials say a bomb in the main marketplace in central Baghdad has killed at least four people.

A police officer says the explosion took place early Thursday afternoon near a Shiite mosque in the Shurja Market, where residents of the capital come to buy food, clothes and electronics. The officer says the bomb was planted in a wooden cart.

He says 12 people were also wounded in the attack.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-17/264187-bomb-at-baghdad-market-kills-at-least-4.ashx#ixzz37g9kB4oo

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Neglected Tripoli finds strength in ISIS flag

17 July, 2014

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Azzam Sami sifted through stacks of T-shirts and unsold World Cup flags that lined his Tripoli-based toy store before settling on two distinct black flags.

“This one became popular in the ‘70s,” he said, as he pointed to the flag with the shahada, one of Islam’s pillars – “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger,” embellished in Arabic script.

“And here is the Al-Qaeda flag,” he continued, unfolding a second standard displaying the seal of the Prophet Mohammad. Not limited to Al-Qaeda, it’s a flag that has been used by Islamists from many different groups for years, but it has gained much wider international recognition since the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) adopted it as its banner.

While the first Islamist flag, or al-raya, is a ubiquitous sight in Tripoli – where it is hung from street posts and across storefronts to show piety and Sunni pride – the second is far less common.

Yet the ISIS-affiliated insignia is increasingly appearing outside some shops around Tripoli and is being donned by protesters at Islamist rallies in the city, a potential signal of the radical group’s growing reach and level of support in Lebanon’s second-biggest city. Others, however, insist it is merely a symbol of Sunni unity and pride.

From behind his desk, which is framed by plastic hula dancers, action heroes and board games, Sami explained that the flag became popular as a symbol of Sunni strength after deceased leader Osama bin Laden started using it in the ‘90s.

“People liked Osama bin Laden because he was strong,” he added. “They like whoever is strong.”

Sami said that because of a lack of education, economic opportunities and political leadership, Tripolitans were all too eager to rally behind symbols of power.

“Today, if you stomped on a German flag in some Tripoli neighborhoods, people would come and beat you up,” he said, shaking his head, referring to fervent local pride over the European country following its fourth football World Cup victory last week.

The sale of flags in Sami’s shop serves as a barometer of local allegiances in Tripoli.

“Before, 100 percent of what I sold were from the Free Syrian Army,” he said, gesturing to a clutch of green, black and white FSA headbands gathering dust. “Now it’s 10 percent.”

Sami said he had not noticed an uptick in sales of ISIS-affiliated items since the announcement of the caliphate last month, adding that business was relatively slow. He emphasized that in his opinion, the group’s adopted symbol was more prominent during times when Sunni Tripolitans felt they were being discriminated against for their religion.

But Sami’s shop is far from the only place people can go to for ISIS gear.

At his small wooden stand in Tripoli’s ancient bustling souks, Wissam was busy selling stickers, flags and headbands with the ISIS appropriated insignia alongside Islamic DVDs and prayer beads.

“They’re selling well because it’s Ramadan,” he said. A screen above Wissam’s stand, recently removed, previously treated passers-by to images of bin Laden.

Some of the ISIS-affiliated paraphernalia now being sold in Tripoli shops is printed at Soufi Print, which produces everything from Mercedes Benz banners to the German tricolor. The company’s website openly advertises Islamist flags and gear, along with personalized ashtrays and mugs. Although it does not include the ISIS-affiliated emblem in its public catalog, the manager said the shop did sell the flag with the seal of the Prophet.

The manager, who asked not to be identified, insisted that such flags were not symbols of terrorism but “things from the Prophet.”

He said he was not concerned about terrorists or their sympathizers purchasing the flags and using them for other reasons. “We’re a business,” he shrugged. “It’s no different than selling the Brazilian or the German flag.”

But although ISIS’ flag may be just a harmless symbol of religiousness or Sunni pride, in some corners of Tripoli it is a clear indicator of changing political opinions.

A young, bearded jewelry seller elsewhere in the souks said he taped the Prophet’s seal outside his shop last year when he “wasn’t in support of the Islamic State,” explaining that “I put it up for Muslims.”

Now, however, he supports ISIS because they practice “true Islam.”

On the counter in his shop, he has mounted a crude ISIS logo, apparently printed from the Internet, in a frame with a girlish bow at the crest.

“ ISIS goes into an area and purifies it,” he said.

He said that while there were currently no organized ISIS elements in Tripoli, “there are people who support them, who love them.”

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jul-17/264141-neglected-tripoli-finds-strength-in-isis-flag.ashx#ixzz37fHeH8ih

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Islamic State's Saudi ‘Mufti’ Abu Osama Al-Qahtani Slain In Iraq

17 July, 2014

A Saudi mufti with the Islamic State (IS or Daesh) has been killed in Iraq by the country’s armed forces, says an Iraqi news site, quoting an Iraqi military commander.

“Daesh mufti Abu Osama Al-Qahtani was killed inside a building in Baiji, Tikrit, along with four of his assistants in an air raid that targeted an IS meeting on Tuesday,” Lt. Gen. Ali Al-Freiji, commander in Saladin province, was quoted by Waradana as saying.

Al-Qahtani apparently succeeded another Saudi, Othman Al-Asiri, as mufti of the extremist Islamic State, after Al-Asiri was killed in Syria last year.

Al-Asiri, who had a Ph.D. in jurisprudence, was previously fired from the faculty of King Khalid University in Abha for sympathizing with the Al-Qaeda network. Al-Asiri had also been previously arrested in the Kingdom for killing seven people in a car accident.

Sources said Al-Asiri had joined IS and had held several training sessions for group members in Aleppo and Latakia prior to his death.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/603171

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Attacks On Muslims In Asian States Denounced: WAMY Chief

17 July, 2014

The attack on Muslims in Sri Lanka, China and Myanmar by extremist Buddhists and religious fanatics backed by governments is a matter of “serious concern” for the Muslim world and international community, said Saleh S. Al-Wohaibi, chief of the Riyadh-based World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), here Wednesday.

He voiced deep concern over the systematic persecution of innocent Muslim minorities in these three countries.

In an interview with Arab News, Al-Wohaibi said: “The Muslim communities in China, Sri Lanka and Myanmar are being subjected to attacks as people around the world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/603121

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Syria: Army Repels Terrorists' Raid on Damascus

17 July, 2014

The Syrian army thwarted an attempt by the terrorist groups to penetrate into Damascus as President Bashar Al-Assad was preparing for his swearing-in ceremony.

Military sources told FNA that the terrorist groups who were trying to penetrate into Damascus to carry out terrorist attacks in there were pushed back.

A large number of militants were trying to conduct operations against the military checkpoints and army bases and concentration centres in Jobar district next to Al-Abaseen Square, they added.

They said that the terrorists intended to create a chaotic situation in Damascus concurrent with the swearing-in ceremony.

President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in at noon on Wednesday for a new seven-year term.

Al-Assad was re-elected for a new term after winning a landslide victory in Syria’s first multi-candidate election held in June 3.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930425001148

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Mortars on Damascus kill 4 after Assad speech

17 July, 2014

DAMASCUS: Four people were killed and another 22 wounded by rebel mortars fired into central Damascus Wednesday, just as President Bashar Assad was sworn in for a third term, state news agency SANA said.

The mortars came minutes after Assad's inauguration speech ended.

"Four people were killed and 22 others wounded by mortars launched by terrorists against the business district of Shaalan," in the heart of Damascus, said SANA, using the regime's term for rebels seeking Assad's ouster.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 743 civilians including 197 children and 108 women have been killed in government air raids alone since Assad was re-elected on June 3.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-16/264080-mortars-on-damascus-kill-4-after-assad-speech.ashx#ixzz37fIj4nqM

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Envoy: Hamas Standing against ISIL

17 July, 2014

Hamas representative in Iran Khalid al-Qoddoumi underlined the resistance movement's opposition to the activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and said Hamas is standing against the ISIL.

"We have stood against the ISIL in the Palestinian territories and have confronted them and haven’t allowed them to operate in the Palestinian lands," Qoddoumi said, addressing a gathering in the Central city of Qom on Tuesday night.

Stressing that a large number of Muslims are opposed to the ISIL's way of thinking and ideology, he said, "Therefore, we have a high chance for removing this problem, which needs to be taken."

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930425000320

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UAE plans unmanned mission to Mars by 2021

17 July, 2014

DUBAI: The UAE said it planned to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021, in the Arab world's first mission to another planet.

A UAE Space Agency will be set up to supervise the mission and develop a space technology industry in the country, a government statement said. It did not give details such as the cost of the probe or how it would be designed and built.

"The UAE Mars probe represents the Islamic world's entry into the era of space exploration. We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity," said UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/602711

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Mideast

 

Israel, Hamas agree Gaza truce as death toll hits 223

17 July, 2014

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Israel and Hamas have agreed to a UN request to halt hostilities for five hours on humanitarian grounds on Thursday, while efforts continue to broker a longer-term truce.

The sides announced the temporary lull in fighting across the Gaza border after an Israeli strike killed four children on a beach in the coastal strip on Wednesday.

A punishing Israeli offensive aimed at halting rocket fire into Israel by Gaza militants had resumed after previous Egyptian-brokered truce efforts collapsed Tuesday.

Israel’s campaign, which entered its 10th day on Thursday, has killed 223 Palestinians so far, with a Gaza-based human rights group saying over 80 percent of them were civilians.

In the same period, militants have fired more than 1,200 rockets at Israel. They claimed their first Israeli life on Tuesday.

The army said early on Thursday that 82 rockets had hit Israel during the course of Wednesday and more than 30 were intercepted by Israel’s missile defenses.

Hamas had rejected intitial Egyptian efforts for a full cease-fire, saying it had not been included in the discussions.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/603181

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President's Advisor: US, Israel Only Beneficiaries of Shiite-Sunni Differences

17 July, 2014

 President's Special Adviser in Ethnic Minorities Affairs Ali Younesi lashed out at the US and Israel for supporting the terrorists groups in the Middle East, and said Washington and Tel Aviv benefit from differences between the Shiite and Sunnis.

"These savage violent acts which have been done in Muslim countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Egypt is a great service to the Zionist regime because Muslims instead of engaging in war with them engage in fighting with each other," Younesi said.

He reiterated that tens of satellite TV networks, radios and Internet sites are engaged in anti-Shiite activities while only the US and Zionists benefit from them.

Last month, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei urged Muslims from all walks of life, regardless of their sects and beliefs, to be vigilant against plots, saying enemies are doing their best to stir sectarian wars to stop the tidal waves of Islamic Awakening.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930425000864

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Secular Turks fear Kurdish–Islamic synthesis after presidentials

17 July, 2014

For Turkey’s secularist elites, for years Kurds were “mountain Turks.” For decades, they had a condescending attitude toward Kurds and turned a blind eye to their plight and demand to enjoy cultural rights.

I am sure it must be hard to digest for staunchly Kemalist secularist women to learn the best practices for gender equality from Kurds. However, the only political party that has a system of co-chairpersons - with male and female leaders heading the party - is the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which currently goes by the name of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Unfortunately, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which is supported by those secularist women, cannot even properly apply a 30 percent female quota.

Listening to Selahattin Demirtaş, the HDP’s presidential candidate, reveal his roadmap, one could get the impression that Turkey has imported a politician from Scandinavia, rather than the majority-Kurdish southeast of the country, which in the eyes of many happens to be one of the most backward regions in Turkey.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/secular-turks-fear-kurdishislamic-synthesis-after-presidentials.aspx?PageID=238&NID=69224&NewsCatID=412

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Intel tells court ISIL has two Turkish commanders

17 July, 2014

Turkish intelligence officials have detected two Turkish nationals commanding militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The chief public prosecutor’s office in Ankara last month launched an investigation into kidnapping of Turkish citizens by ISIL. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant group, was shown as the prime suspect in the probe, which also found that two Turkish nationals, identified as İsmet A. from Ankara and Murat G. from Konya, have been serving as high-ranking commanders in training camps.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/intel-tells-court-isil-has-two-turkish-commanders.aspx?pageID=238&nID=69231&NewsCatID=510

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Hamas not seeking to draw Lebanon into Gaza war: official

17 July, 2014

BEIRUT: None of the Palestinian factions want to draw Lebanon into the current Gaza conflict, a senior Hamas official told The Daily Star Wednesday, following a number of rocket attacks aimed at Israel over the past week.

“We believe that resistance in Palestine is effective, and our policy is not to create more troubles for the Arab countries surrounding Palestine,” said Osama Hamdan, a member of Hamas politburo and the party’s chief representative in Lebanon.

“No one is trying to drag Lebanon into the troubles.”

The 460,000 Palestinian refugees living in camps across Lebanon would also suffer if Israel attacked the country, he added.

However, Hamdan declined to denounce the recent spate of rockets launched from south Lebanon toward Israel.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jul-17/264146-hamas-not-seeking-to-draw-lebanon-into-gaza-war-official.ashx#ixzz37fI2aNmy

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Israeli naval shelling kills 4 boys on Gaza beach

17 July, 2014

GAZA/OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli shelling killed four boys on a Gaza beach Wednesday, a local health official said, and Palestinian militants fired a further 70 rockets into Israel after a failed Egyptian attempt to halt more than a week of warfare.

Israel urged the evacuation of several districts in the Gaza Strip where more than 100,000 people live, threatening ground operations to try to stem the rocket attacks.

An Israeli official said the defense minister asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security Cabinet to authorize the mobilization of another 8,000 reserve troops. The military has said that around 30,000 reservists have been called up since the Israeli offensive began a week ago.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-16/264044-israel-targets-hamas-leaders-in-new-gaza-raids.ashx#ixzz37fJEeCLh

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Hamas spells out terms for cease-fire, including prayer access to Al-Aqsa

17 July, 2014

According to an Egyptian daily, Palestinian sources reported that Israeli and Hamas representatives were staying in a well-known hotel in Cairo.

An Israeli delegation is in Cairo on Thursday for Egyptian-mediated cease-fire talks with Hamas aimed at bringing the latest round of fighting to an end.

According to the Egyptian daily Al-Yom as-Saba'a, Palestinian sources reported that Israeli and Hamas representatives were staying in a well-known hotel in Cairo.

The report stated that government officials were shuttling back and forth between their rooms with proposals for a cessation of hostilities.

Egyptian officials relayed to the Israelis the conditions that Hamas has demanded be met before agreeing to a cease-fire – the opening of all crossings on the Gaza-Israel border, the permanent opening of the Rafah crossing that serves as the terminal between Gaza and Sinai in addition to international guarantees that the crossing will not be closed, permitting maritime access to Gaza, permitting Gaza residents to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, releasing the Palestinians who were freed in the Gilad Schalit deal but then re-arrested after the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens last months, and an Israeli commitment to honor an agreement that Egypt brokered regarding the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Report-Hamas-spells-out-terms-for-ceasefire-including-prayer-access-to-Al-Aqsa-363139

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Netanyahu tells West: Israel won't rest until Gaza demilitarized

17 July, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday repeated his position that "Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend itself until peace and quiet are restored."

The premier spoke at a joint news conference with Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini at the Knesset on Wednesday.

Netanyahu called on the international community to condemn Hamas for committing the "double war crime" of firing on Israeli civilians and using Palestinian noncombatants as human shields. He also said that the "most important step for the international community to insist on" is "the demilitarization of Gaza."

The premier noted that while Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, Hamas rejected it.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Netanyahu-tells-West-Israel-wont-rest-until-Gaza-demilitarized-363044

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What is UN good for if Gaza in flames, asks Turkish PM

17 July, 2014

The humanitarian tragedy in Gaza due to Israel’s devastating attacks has moved Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to once again slam the United Nations’ alleged lack of effectiveness.

“I wonder, how can we make an explanation for what Israel has done, as a human being, no matter which religion or sect we are from?” Erdoğan said late on July 15.

“The United Nations is the number one responsible on this matter. I always ask the U.N: What do you serve for? Why was this U.N. founded? To provide the world’s peace? If the U.N. can’t fulfill its job, then it should check itself. You look at the U.N. Security Council, everything is between the lips of five countries,” Erdoğan said, speaking at a fast-breaking iftar meal hosted by his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for ambassadors accredited in Ankara.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/what-is-un-good-for-if-gaza-in-flames-asks-turkish-pm.aspx?pageID=238&nID=69230&NewsCatID=510

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Pakistan

 

Anti-Taliban Lashkar Formed In Bajaur; Army Puts Off Operation

17 July, 2014

PESHAWAR: Authorities put off on Wednesday a targeted military operation in Momand Tehsil of Bajaur Agency, which overlooks Afghanistan’s Kunar province and from where the Swat Taliban are attacking army positions, after a tribe assured they would not let the militants use their areas against the country. The move comes after the military ordered the Momand residents on Tuesday to leave their homes, as an anti-Taliban push was imminent. “Momand tribe held a jirga with the military and civilian administration to assure that they would fight together with the forces against the militants,” a senior government official told Daily Times, wishing not to be named. The tribe elders told the authorities that an armed Lashkar (group of armed volunteers) would be raised to guard the Momand areas against intrusion by militants. Anyone found guilty of supporting militancy will be expelled and their home demolished the jirga elders said while announcing punitive measures to win the authorities’ nod for putting off the operation. The targeted military operation was threatened after the Taliban attacked a Pakistani check post in Gakhi Pass, killing three soldiers, including an army captain, on July 12.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/17-Jul-2014/anti-taliban-lashkar-formed-in-bajaur-army-puts-off-operation

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Lahore raid: Forces kill nine militants in drawn-out operation

17 July, 2014

LAHORE: A rare targeted operation was launched against militants in Lahore's Raiwind area, with security forces and militants locked in a gun and grenade battle that began in the early hours of Thursday.

Officials told DawnNews that nine militants besieged in a safe house had been killed by security forces, with one member of the elite force also losing his life. Punjab Minister for Anti-Terrorism Col. (retd) Shuja Khanzada confirmed the death of seven militants, and said that three others were injured. The raid was jointly conducted by Punjab police, elite force as well as army personnel, who chanted celebratory slogans at the end of the operation.

10-hour operation

According to Superintendent of Police (SP) Investigation Nawaz Marwat, the raid began at 2am on Thursday, as security forces received a tip-off regarding the presence of militants in Araiyan Pind near Raiwind Road, a mere two kilometer distance from Raiwind Palace. After an intense firefight where militants used heavy arms and ammunition against security forces, the militant compound was penetrated by the police around noon.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1119792/lahore-raid-forces-kill-nine-militants-in-drawn-out-operation

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Forces kill two Afghan militants in Bajaur Agency

July 17, 2014

BAJAUR AGENCY - The security forces on Wednesday foiled an attack by Afghanistan-based militants in the border areas of Bajaur agency, killing two terrorists and wounding six others.

Talking to media, a security official said they with the help of Mamond Peace Committee members launched a search operation in the area after receiving credible information about the presence of a militants group hailing from Afghanistan’s Kunar province. He said the militants have entered the area under a plan to ambush a military check-post. He said that two key militant commanders belonging to Waziristan were killed while six others wounded during the search operation. He said that the security forces targeted several militants’ hideouts near the Pak-Afghan border areas.  Talking to media, Pakistan Army (North) Sector Commander Brig Ghulam Haider said that no one would be allowed to carry out terror attacks in Bajaur Agency. He said that the security forces are capable of protecting the border areas and the Mamond tribesmen are supporting the armed forces.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/17-Jul-2014/forces-kill-two-afghan-militants-in-bajaur-agency

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Four killed in Hangu explosion

17 July, 2014

PESHAWAR: At least four people were killed and three others were injured in a roadside bomb explosion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Hangu district, police said.

Police officials said the explosion hit a passenger bus in the Droreyo Banda area of Kahi in Hangu district.

Station House Officer (SHO) of Kahi police station Fareed Khan confirmed that four people had died and three had been injured in the blast which was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The vehicle was plying from Zargari to Hangu district when the bomb exploded.

Fareed Khan said the bomb disposal squad (BDU) was collecting evidence to ascertain the nature of the explosion.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1119796/four-killed-in-hangu-explosion

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Blast in Hangu kills 6, injures 3

July 17, 2014

KOHAT: A blast in Hangu on Thursday left six people dead and three others injured, Express News reported.

The explosion took place in the Torah Warhi area of the city.

Rescue team officials shifted the injured to nearby hospitals for medical treatment.

A bomb disposal unit (BDU) was also summoned after receiving information of a second bomb, which is reportedly planted on the side of a road.

Police has cordoned off the area and further investigations into the incident are under way.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/736937/blast-in-hangu-kills-6-injures-3/

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Two policemen killed in operation against terrorists in Raiwind

17 July, 2014

LAHORE: Two personnel of the Elite Force were killed and four others injured during an operation against terrorists holed up in a house in Raiwind on Thursday.

According to security forces, the terrorists were planning an attack on the Prime Minister House which is a few kilometers away from the terrorists’ house.

During the ten hour operation that began at 2:00 am, a terrorist was killed while another was arrested in injured condition. Additional IG Sarmad Saeed said huge cache of ammunition, weapons and explosives was recovered from the terrorist’s hideout.

The owner of the house has also been taken into custody and is currently being interrogated.

Acting on a tip off about the presence of militants, police surrounded a residential compound located on Raiwind Road. According to reports, heavy arms were used in the shootout while a blast was also heard amid the intermittent firing.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-154088-Two-policemen-killed-in-operation-against-terrorists-in-Raiwind

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Pak HC officials accused of rape and child abduction

July 17, 2014

LONDON-The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom claimed that representatives from Pakistan were accused of rape and child abduction.

Mark Simmonds, an FCO minister, revealed all “serious and significant” offences allegedly committed by diplomats to Parliament on Tuesday.

He said that the Metropolitan Police’s Diplomatic Protection Group had alerted the Government to 14 cases in total.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/17-Jul-2014/pak-hc-officials-accused-of-rape-and-child-abduction

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Madina sojourn: Nawaz likely to play Saudi card

 July 17, 2014

LAHORE: As the political rhetoric rises to a crescendo at home, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif prepares to fly to Saudi Arabia for a brief religious sojourn. However, sources say that his trip has important connotations given Riyadh’s key role in Pakistan’s internal matters.

The Sharif family is likely to leave for Saudi Arabia on July 20, sources told The Express Tribune. Nawaz will not accompany his family, but he’ll follow them on a week-long trip, they added. The family will stay at the residence of Hussain Nawaz in Jeddah, while Nawaz himself prefers to spend the last 10 days of the fasting month of Ramazan at Masjid-e-Nabvi (SAW) in Madina.

Since 2008, it has been an annual ritual for Nawaz to spend the last 10 days of Ramazan in Madina – but this year he has decided to cut short the planned religious retreat to a week due to the ongoing political hullabaloo in the country.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/736811/madina-sojourn-nawaz-likely-to-play-saudi-card/

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India

 

Official says Israel has asked citizens to stay away from Kashmir

By Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | July 17, 2014

Israel has issued a travel advisory to its citizens asking them to stay away from Kashmir, the region’s director tourism has said. The advisory comes in the wake of anti-Israel and pro-Gaza protests in Kashmir.

“I was informed about this development. It must be true,” Kashmir’s director tourism Talat Parvez told a local news agency. “This is only for Kashmir. No such advisory has been issued for Jammu or Ladakh,” he added.

Parvez, however, said he has not received any official communication in this regard. This is for the first time Israel has asked its citizens to stay away from Kashmir, a favoured tourist destination. When Europe issued an advisory against travelling to Kashmir in 1990 — the year militancy broke out in Kashmir — Israel decided against it.

Official figures put the number of Israeli tourists visiting Kashmir and Ladakh at 8,000-10,000 per year. Israeli tourists used to visit Kashmir even during the peak of militancy when most foreign nationals chose to stay away. There has been only one instance of Israeli tourists being targeted — in 1991, when militants abducted seven Israeli backpackers from a houseboat in Srinagar.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/official-says-israel-has-asked-citizens-to-stay-away-from-valley/

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Oppose Israeli aggression, CPI (M) tells Govt.

ANITA JOSHUA

India’s solidarity with the Palestinian cause goes back to the days of the freedom struggle, it said.

Accusing the Modi Government of double standards and going back on India’s long-standing position on Palestine by adopting a pro-Israeli stance, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday demanded that the Government take a ``categorical stand opposing the continuing Israeli aggression which has killed innocent civilians’’.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau statement came as proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were disrupted for the second day in a row as the Opposition demanded a discussion on ``the unprecedented spurt in violence in Gaza and West Bank area of Palestine causing death of scores of civilians’’.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/oppose-israeli-aggression-cpim-tells-govt/article6220942.ece

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Not ‘hobnobbing’ with Pakistan on 26/11 attack issue: Rajnath Singh

17 July, 2014

The government on Wednesday rubbished allegations that it was “hobnobbing” with Pakistan over the 26/11 attack issue after it was claimed that BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni was engaged in track-II diplomacy.

“I will like to say that our government never indulges in hobnobbing. Our vision is perfectly clear on issues,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in Rajya Sabha.

Singh’s remark came in reaction to Congress member Rajiv Shukla’s claim that Kulkarni has written about having gone to Pakistan for track-II diplomacy in the context of the 2008 Mumbai attack.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/not-hobnobbing-with-pakistan-on-2611-attack-issue-rajnath-singh/

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Citizenship nod to post ’71 Bangladesh refugees

Prabin Kalita,TNN | Jul 17, 2014

GUWAHATI: Joining the political race with BJP weeks after the Modi government announced a relaxed visa policy for select age groups of Bangladeshi nationals, the Congress government in Assam on Wednesday approved a proposal to grant Indian citizenship to lakhs of refugees from Bangladesh staying in the state for the last 43 years.

The state cabinet approved the proposal that states refugees who have fled religious persecution and discrimination in Bangladeshi and entered Assam post March 25, 1971, the cutoff date for determining an illegal migrant in the Assam Accord, will not be treated as foreigners. The proposal was lying with the state government, pending cabinet's approval, for the last two years.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Citizenship-nod-to-post-71-Bangladesh-refugees/articleshow/38538221.cms

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Muslims in Mumbai to boycott Israeli products and observe Friday - 18th July as ‘Palestine Day’

17 July, 2014

Mumbai: Ulemas and Islamic thinkers met in Mumbai on Tuesday to discuss Palestine people suffering due to continued Israeli aerial bombings and genocide in Gaza city and unanimously decided to observe Friday - July 18, 2014 as ‘Palestine Day’ and to urge people to boycott Israel and America made goods and stuffs. It was also decided to send a delegation to meet consulates of Israel, America and other country’s stationed in India and express Indian Muslims’ concern for the Palestine people.

Since July 8, Israel has been engaged in a large-scale aerial operation in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli war jets have carried out hundreds of intensive strikes on targets that belong to Hamas and other militant groups in the coastal enclave.

Full report at:

http://twocircles.net/2014jul17/muslims_mumbai_boycott_israeli_products_and_observe_friday_18th_july_%E2%80%98palestine_day%E2%80%99.html#.U8bXnZRdU4U

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South Asia

 

Attackers of Kabul airport were Urdu language speakers

By GHANIZADA - Thu Jul 17 2014

The interior ministry of Afghanistan has announced that the attackers on Kabul international airport were Urdu speakers which are mainly spoken in neighbouring Pakistan.

Sediq Sediqi, interior ministry spokesman, said the number of attackers involved in attack on Kabul airport were six people, who were all shot dead.

The attack was carried out around 4:00 am local time after the group of insurgents took position in an under construction building located near the airport.

All the militants were killed following the gun battle which lasted almost four hours.

Taliban militants group in Afghanistan claimed responsibility behind the attack.

http://www.khaama.com/attackers-of-kabul-airport-were-urdu-language-speakers-8329

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Draft ready to amend ICT act to try Jamaat

Mohosinul Karim

17 July, 2014

The ministry had already prepared the draft of the amendment, which would be placed to the cabinet after Eid-ul-Fitr

The Law Ministry has taken an initiative to amend the International Crimes Tribunal Act, keeping the provision of trying organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami and including the scope of bail for the accused.

The ministry had already prepared the draft of the amendment, which would be placed to the cabinet after Eid-ul-Fitr, officials told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.

Law Minister Anisul Haque said: “There is no option but to amend the ICT act to try Jamaat-e-Islami as a war criminal organisation. We are considering amending the law.

“We may decide on the matter after Eid-ul-Fitr.”

However, when asked about keeping the provision of bail for the accused, the minister refused to make any comment. He only said: “Nothing is finalised yet. It may take time to finalise the matter and we will inform the media of the amendment before it is placed in parliament.”

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-rights/2014/jul/17/draft-ready-amend-ict-act-try-jamaat#sthash.DX55KDOH.dpuf

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Europe

 

Terrorism: France to redeploy its troops in Africa

17 July, 2014

PARIS: French troops are still in Mali a year and a half after they were sent there for a targeted operation against extremists. And instead of leaving, they're about to expand their mission to fighting terrorism from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean.

That's because the region's terrorist problem hasn't gone away: French troops merely dispersed Mali's Al-Qaeda-linked militants, and their potential ties with Nigerian militant group Boko Haram are of increasing concern to the French government.

The redeployment of 3,000 French troops in five of its former colonies across northwest Africa is expected to become official in the coming days. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived Wednesday in Mali, and President Francois Hollande is starting a three-day visit to Ivory Coast, Niger and Chad Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2014/Jul-17/264179-terrorism-france-to-redeploy-its-troops-in-africa.ashx#ixzz37g9zq9c3

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Far-right group 'invades' mosque in London

World Bulletin / News Desk

17 July, 2014

Britain First, a far-right group in the UK which on a number of occassions have 'invaded' mosques around the country, charged into a mosque in south-east London, where they gave the imam a seven-day warning to remove signs regarding gender segregation.

The group's so-called "Kent battalion activists" stormed into the mosque's prayer hall with their shoes on, refusing requests from an elderly man to show respect to the place of worship, the Huffington Post reported.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/muslim-world/140820/far-right-group-invades-mosque-in-london

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Court: Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslim deaths

17 July, 2014

THE HAGUE, Netherlands: A court on Wednesday ordered the Netherlands to compensate the families of more than 300 Bosnian Muslims killed after Dutch peacekeeping troops handed them over to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.

The civil court in The Hague cleared the Netherlands of liability in the massacre of nearly 8,000 others, saying that although those people sought protection in the UN safe haven of Srebrenica they were never directly in the custody of the Dutch troops.

The ruling could be appealed, however, meaning it’s unlikely to resolve the Dutch national trauma over the country’s role in the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.

The court ruled that the Dutch peacekeeping troops could have protected the 300-plus men and boys who were among thousands of Muslims — mainly women, children and elderly people — taking shelter in a Dutch compound inside the UN-declared safe haven of Srebrenica.

The troops — part of a Dutch UN battalion known as Dutchbat — handed over those in the compound two days after the town fell. The Bosnian Serb troops then killed the Muslim men and boys, who “would have survived if Dutchbat had acted properly,” said Presiding Judge Larissa Alwin.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/602906

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French body suspends plan for Halal prison meals

17 July, 2014

PARIS: France’s highest administrative body has suspended a plan to provide Halal meals for Muslim inmates in one prison.

The council of state said Wednesday that providing Halal meat at Saint-Quentin-Fallavier prison in Grenoble, eastern France, was impractical “owing to its financial cost and high needs for organization.”

France’s Justice Minister Christiane Taubira also argued the plan would infringe France’s robust rules on secularism that ban religious expression in public places. France’s highest appeals court will have the final say.

The plan — which could have proved a test case — was being considered after the request of a Muslim inmate last November.

France has the largest Muslim population in western Europe, estimated at some 5 million.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/602751

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EU leaders on Gaza: 'Israel has right to protect itself but it must act proportionately'

17 July, 2014

BRUSSELS - European Union leaders on Wednesday called on Israelis and Palestinians to end violence and said they welcomed efforts, particularly from Egypt, to broker a cease-fire following more than a week of warfare.

The leaders, meeting in Brussels, urged both sides to "de-escalate the situation, to end the violence, to end the suffering of the civilian populations notably by allowing access to humanitarian assistance, and return to calm."

In a statement, the EU leaders welcomed Egypt's efforts to mediate and called on the Islamic Hamas, which rules Gaza, to agree to a cease-fire.

US President Barack Obama also said on Wednesday he supported Egypt's attempt to achieve a Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/EU-leaders-on-Gaza-Israel-has-right-to-protect-itself-but-must-act-proportionately-363108

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Uzbek hafizs take world tour in Ramadan

World Bulletin / News Desk

17 July, 2014

Since Ramadan is the month when holy Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad; Muslims traditionally focus more on reading it in this period of the year.

Hafizs, people who memorized the Qur'an and recite it without needing any help therefore become much busier in Ramadan.

A group of hafizs from Uzbekistan, who are known for their impressive voices, have been invited by Muslims in various countries to spend the Ramadan in with them.

The US, Ukraine and Russia are among the countries where most of the Uzbek hafizs have accepted the invitations. They recite the Qur'an in several mosques in Russia and Ukraine.

The number of mosques drastically declined to just 89 in the Soviet period, a time when religions were not tolerated and atheism was promoted.

However, today Uzbek Muslims freely practice Islamic obligations in more than 2,000 mosques.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/muslim-world/140821/uzbek-hafizs-take-world-tour-in-ramadan

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North America

 

Iran adherence to interim nuke deal 'surprisingly favourable': US

17 July, 2014

The United States said Wednesday that Iran's adherence to an interim nuclear deal had been "surprisingly favorable," as it contemplated a likely extension to talks on framing a final agreement.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was briefing President Barack Obama on the talks between world powers and the Islamic republic in Vienna, amid clear signs the process will go on after a Sunday deadline.

Kerry returned to Washington from the talks in Vienna late Tuesday, and is likely also to discuss any possible US mediation efforts in the conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

Kerry said before leaving Vienna that he would discuss with Obama "the prospects for a comprehensive agreement, as well as a path forward if we do not achieve one by the 20th of July, including the question of whether or not more time is warranted."

He said after two days of talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that there had been "tangible progress on key issues" but "very real gaps" remain.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest appeared to prepare the political ground for an extension of the dialogue.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/106429/World/Region/Iran-adherence-to-interim-nuke-deal-surprisingly-f.aspx

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As White House marks Ramadan culture, Israeli tweet stirs anger

17 July 2014

The White House has been holding iftar dinner events to celebrate Ramadan for over a decade, but what was meant to be a celebration of Muslim American contribution to American society and a reflection of American cultural diversity, has provoked an outpouring of anger amongst American Muslim social media users, following President Barack Obama’s position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For many American Muslims, President Obama’s 10-minute speech at this year’s iftar dinner will be less memorable for his message on “values of peace and charity, the importance of family and community.” Rather, it will be remembered for his defense on Israel’s right to defend itself, not least because, for many online, the primary source of Obama’s talk was received via the Israeli ambassador’s tweet:

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/art-and-culture/2014/07/17/As-White-House-marks-Ramadan-culture-Israeli-tweet-stirs-anger.html

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U.S. nurse refuses to force feed Guantanamo Bay detainees

World Bulletin/News Desk

17 July, 2014

A U.S. military nurse at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has declined to participate in the force feeding of inmates on hunger strikes, becoming the first conscientious objector to the practice there, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

"This nurse did not want to participate in the enteral feeding and has since been assigned other duties," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters, acknowledging a recent incident first reported by the Miami Herald.

Prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay naval base have engaged in hunger strikes for years and the Pentagon noted there was a previous incident where a medical practitioner declined to carry out other types of duties.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/140833/us-nurse-refuses-to-force-feed-guantanamo-bay-detainees

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Bill Clinton warns Israel on 'isolating itself from world opinion'

Agence France-Presse, New Delhi | World | Thu, July 17 2014

Former US president Bill Clinton has warned Israel about "isolating itself from world opinion" due to repeated conflicts in Gaza after four children were killed on a beach in the latest violence.

More than 220 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have died during 10 days of Israeli bombing and shelling in Gaza in retaliation for over 1,200 rocket attacks from Hamas militants.

"Over the long run it is not good for Israel to keep isolating itself from world opinion because of the absence of a viable peace process," Clinton told the Indian NDTV news channel on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/07/17/bill-clinton-warns-israel-isolating-itself-world-opinion.html

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US sentences Britons for supporting Taliban

17 Jul 2014

A US judge has sentenced two British nationals to far shorter prison sentences than prosecutors were seeking after the men pleaded guilty in December to supporting armed groups through print and online publications.

Babar Ahmad was sentenced on Wednesday to 12 and a half years of a maximum 25 years for the crime, which prosecutors said included helping raise money and recruit fighters for the Taliban before, and after, the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

"It is my conclusion that the defendant does not present a risk of becoming involved in future crimes, and was never involved directly with al-Qaeda," Judge Janet Hall said, explaining the lighter sentence, the Reuters news agency reported.

"While these are serious crimes that raised funds for the Taliban and helped its ability to protect Osama Bin Laden and to carry out his September 11 attacks, there must be a distinction made between providing material support and actually taking part in terrorism," Hall said.

The sentence will include the 10 years Ahmad already has served, she said.

A second man, Syed Talha Ahsan, who also pleaded guilty alongside Ahmad to supporting the Taliban through the publications was sentenced to time already served in Britain and the US, which amounted to more than eight years.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/07/us-sentences-britons-supporting-taliban-201471721913511910.html

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Obama says he wants cease-fire 'restored' between Israel, Hamas

17 July 2014

VIENNA -- The United States is committed to a diplomatic effort that will "restore the cease-fire" between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, US President Barack Obama said from the White House on Wednesday.

Obama noted the Israeli government initially accepted a cease-fire brokered by Egypt and re-affirmed that Israel had a right to defend itself. 

"Unfortunately, Hamas continued to fire rockets at civilians" during the Egyptian effort, Obama said, "thereby prolonging the conflict."

"As I’ve said repeatedly, Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks that terrorize the Israeli people.  There is no country on Earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets," Obama said.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/In-first-comment-on-Gaza-crisis-Obama-says-he-wants-ceasefire-restored-363098

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Southeast Asia

 

Islam does not recognise transgenders, court hearing Shariah law review told

17 July, 2014

PUTRAJAYA, July 17 ― Islam does not recognise transgenderism, only hermaphroditism, the Attorney-General's Chamber (AGC) argued in a judicial review of a Negri Sembilan state enactment that criminalises cross-dressing today.

The AGC’s counsel also contended that Section 66 of the Negri Sembilan Shariah Criminal Enactment 1992 is not unconstitutional as a state may enact laws upholding the precepts of Islam under item 1, List II, of the Ninth Schedule in the Federal Constitution.

"Islam does not recognise transvestites... Unless we're talking about hermaphrodites, which they're not," said senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, referring to the transgender women who filed the review.

“Transvestite” is an outdated term that refers to a person who cross-dresses in the garb of the opposite gender, and is considered derogatory to some.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/islam-does-not-recognise-transgenders-court-hearing-shariah-law-review-told#sthash.MH4nDZaa.dpuf

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Using a woman’s menstrual cycle as excuse is pure discrimination — Chew Mei Fun

17 July, 2014

I disagree with the incredulous logic by Umno law consultant Datuk Hafarizam Harun’s excuse that women are unable to become heads of state due to their “period” as it will prevent them from accompanying the Sultan to religious activities. This remark which was meant to discredit PKR President Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah from becoming the new Selangor Menteri Besar, is an act of discrimination against women and will deprive women of their rights to senior government positions.

It is common knowledge that the chairman of a party will be given the top post in the government. As such, seeing that incumbent Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is going to be remove due to PKR’s infighting, the logical choice will be to field Wan Azizah as the first female MB. However, rumours say that the candidate to replace Khalid is not Wan Azizah, but PKR deputy president candidate Azmin Ali instead. If this is true, it means that PKR’s “Kajang Move,” which saw former Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh being forced to resign, is a manipulation of our democracy and proves that PKR has been lying to the voters.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/using-a-womans-menstrual-cycle-as-excuse-is-pure-discrimination-chew-mei-fu#sthash.61tfGanW.dpuf

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Police Complete Preparations for Idul Fitri Exodus From Jakarta

17 July, 2014

Jakarta. The National Police on Wednesday said that preparations were complete ahead of the annual mass exodus from the Jakarta metropolitan area for the Idul Fitri holiday, known locally as mudik — a time when millions of Indonesian head back to their hometowns to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Last year, an estimated 9.7 million took to the road in the Jakarta area and some 30 million nationwide. Thousands of accidents and hundreds of deaths were reported.

Traffic Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Sam Budi Gusdian said at the National Police headquarters that thousands of officers would be deployed along Pantura, Java’s northern coastal highway — the major artery for Idul Fitri travelers.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/jakarta/police-complete-preparations-idul-fitri-exodus/

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Africa

 

14 Tunisia soldiers killed in mountain attack

Agence France Presse

17 July, 2014

TUNIS: Assailants killed 14 Tunisian soldiers in an attack on two posts near the border with Algeria, where the army has been waging a crackdown on jihadists, the government said Thursday.

"The toll has risen to 14 dead among the soldiers, and is expected to rise," the Defense Ministry said, updating an earlier toll of four killed during the attack in the Mount Chaambi area.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Jul-17/264165-14-tunisia-soldiers-killed-in-mountain-attack.ashx#ixzz37fGccYaG

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'Mastermind' of Abuja Blast Back in Nigeria

17 July, 2014

ABUJA — Nigerian security forces have taken custody of a former army intelligence officer who is accused of "masterminding" a bombing in the capital that killed dozens of people.

In the early hours of April 14, the Nyanya bus station on the outskirts of Abuja was filled with commuters headed to the center of town for work when two bombs detonated.  At least 71 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

The blasts were the first in the capital in two years and by far the most deadly in the city's history. 

Nigerian security forces arrested five suspects in May, saying two others, "the masterminds," were at large. 

State Security Services spokesperson Marilyn Ogar said one of those suspects, Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, was returned to Nigeria on Tuesday. 

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/alleged-mastermind-of-abuja-bombing-returned-to-nigeria/1958603.html

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Refugee survey suggests higher death toll in Central Africa

World Bulletin/News Desk

17 July, 2014

Fighting in Central African Republic may have claimed more lives than previously thought because many Muslim victims were never taken to state hospitals and families buried their dead at home because of security fears, according to aid workers.

Violence spiralled in the former French colony after the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted the government of President Francois Bozize in March 2013 and Seleka leader Michel Djotodia declared himself president of the majority Christian country.

Medical charity MSF said on Wednesday a survey of nearly 33,000 Central African refugees in neighbouring Chad had shown 8 percent questioned had lost at least one member of their family.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/140803/refugee-survey-suggests-higher-death-toll-in-central-africa

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Morocco warns of terror plot from Syria, Iraq

17 July, 2014

RABAT, Morocco: Morocco’s interior minister says that Moroccan extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria are plotting terror attacks on prominent figures and sites back home.

State news agency MAP quotes Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad as saying that 1,212 Moroccans belong to terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria, including the Islamic State group, and several Moroccans have committed suicide attacks there.

Hassad told legislators Tuesday the extremists are joining the Islamic State “not only to fight at its side, but also to receive training with a view to staging attacks against the kingdom.” He didn’t give any details on the possible terrorist plots.

Moroccan authorities have dismantled several cells accused of recruiting fighters to join jihadists in Syria. Human rights groups say Moroccan authorities sometimes go overboard in pursuing alleged terrorists.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/602901

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Libyan airport staff strike to protest shelling

 17 July 2014

Air controllers in western Libya have gone on strike to protest the shelling of Tripoli's main airport, halting flights in much of the oil-producing country, a government official said on Thursday.

The strike puts pressure on rival militias to end four days of heavy fighting over control of the country's biggest airport, during which at least 20 aircraft have been damaged in the worst violence in the Libyan capital for six months.

The Tripoli air controllers refused to go to work at the control tower in Tripoli, which regulates traffic for all of western Libya, said Tarek Arwa, a spokesman for the transport ministry.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/17/Libyan-air-controllers-strike-to-protest-airport-shelling.html

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AU chief urges end to Israeli strikes against Gaza

World Bulletin / News Desk

17 July, 2014

African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday regretted the outbreak of violence between Israel and Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip and called for ending Israeli airstrikes against the Palestinian enclave.

“Dlamini-Zuma has been following with concern developments in the Palestine [Palestinian territories] and Israel, in the context of Africa’s ongoing solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people for self-determination,” the pan-African body said in a statement.

“The civilians in Gaza continue to suffer from these attacks and intensified restriction of movement,” it said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/140861/au-chief-urges-end-to-israeli-strikes-against-gaza

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/international-religious-authorities-set-to-confront-isil/d/98162

 

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