New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 01:16 PM

Islamic World News ( 29 Oct 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

ISIL Kills 200 Defectors in Syria, Claims Syrian Observatory for Human Rights


















Bangladesh police escort Minhajul Abedin Russel (R), Russel Chowdhury (2R), Shakhawat Hossain (2L) and Tamjid Ahmed Rubel ( L) after they were arrested over the murder of Italian citizen Cesare Tavella in Dhaka on October 26, 2015. Italian citizen Cesare Tavella was shot dead by armed criminals in the capital's Gulshan diplomatic zone on September 28. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN

 

Arab World

ISIL Kills 200 Defectors in Syria, Claims Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Army Kills Dozens of Terrorists in Hama-Aleppo Road

At Least 40 Killed In Missile Attack on Syria’s Douma

‘Increased Strikes’ Kill 35 In Syria Hospitals: MSF

Over 160 Terrorists Give up Fight as Syrian-Russian Forces Storm Militant Positions

Syrian Troops Win Back Strategic Areas in Homs

Syria: War Raging in Hama, Tens of Terrorists Killed

‘Flexibility’ urged at multilateral Syria talks

Syria peace talks under way with 17 countries

Key Syria players seek path out of war

Syrian Forces Regain Control of another Strategic Road

Syrian Forces Thwart Terrorists' Attack on Deir Ezzur Airbase

Syrian Airstrikes Kill Jaish Al-Islam Terrorists in Damascus

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South Asia

Bangladesh Accuses Opposition Official of Italian’s Murder

ISIS Claim of Bomb Attack in Old Dhaka does not Add Up

UN Investigator Urges Myanmar to Allow Muslims To Vote

Mojaheed war trial: Jamaat plans demo for tomorrow

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India

Temple Preserver Yeasin Pathan Returns Harmony Award in Protest against Rising Intolerance

Shocking! Indian Muslim Denied Entry in Georgia Because Of His Beard

Gujarat Akshardham attack: SC to hear plea of 6 Muslims acquitted

Mumbai youth who helped Majeed join IS identified

Now, Kulkarni to go to Pakistan for Kasuri’s book launch

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Pakistan

US Urges Pakistan to Act against Lashkar-e-Taiba, FATA Safe Havens

Iran Calls for Proposal for a Currency Swap Arrangement to Promote Trade

World Powers Urged Not To Pressurise Pakistan on N-Issue

Landmine blast kills tribal elder, six others in Quetta

Senior officer to probe allegation against Sana

Ferry service for pilgrims to Iran planned: minister

Terror common enemy of Pakistan, Iran: Nawaz

Police arrest terrorist in Pindi

Imran accuses PML-N govt of introducing hooliganism in politics

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Mideast

Yemeni Forces Kill Tens of Saudi-Led Aggressors in Ma'rib

Turkish Police Raid Media Group Linked To Gulen

Little outcry as hospitals bombed in Syria, Yemen

MHP: Nationalist wild card in Turkey’s crucial election

Iran's Top Commander: Saudi Arabia's Presence in Syria Talks Illegitimate

U.N. seeks to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks

U.S., Iran to meet before multilateral Syria talks

MSF demands Saudi answer over airstrike on Yemen hospital

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Africa

Warplanes Bomb Libya’s Sirte, Target ISIS

Daesh Risk for Libya’s Troubled Oil Sector

Rebels abduct 12 UN contractors in South Sudan

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Southeast Asia

In Indonesia, Minorities under Threat from Muslim Hardliners

Hindu Mother, Sons Fail to Remove Muslim Names, ‘Islam’ From Malaysian ICs

Man fined RM12, 000 for slapping Masjid Negara Imam

New GMMF chief brushes off extremist tag, says champions moderation

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North America

US Presidential Candidate Vows to End Islamophobia

Last Briton Released From Guantanamo

UNI to host series on Islam, Iowa politics

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Europe

Islamist militants pose biggest threat to Britain for decades: Spy chief

Britain’s long-awaited Iraq inquiry to be published in June or July 2016

21 refugees die as boats sink off Greek islands

Any use of military force in Syria needs gov’t approval: Russia

500 refugees stranded in cold on Russia-Norway border

Hungary 'will not accept' refugees from other EU states

Refugee crisis dominates German FM's Greece visit

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Australia

National Mosque Open Day: Public welcomed inside Melbourne mosque to quash Islam misconceptions

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isil-kills-200-defectors-in-syria,-claims-syrian-observatory-for-human-rights/d/105103

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Arab World

 

ISIL Kills 200 Defectors in Syria, Claims Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Oct 29, 2015

The so-called Syrian observatory for human rights claimed that the ISIL group has executed some 200 defectors who tried to leave its ranks to join al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusta Front.

A former ISIL operative who asked not to be named told the observatory that the defectors, mostly Chechen nationals and individuals from Central Asia, were hanged to death for attempting to leave to al-Nusra Front.

According to the operative, the defectors decided to join al-Nusra Front due to intentions to fight back against the Syrian army which is advancing against the Takfiri terrorist groups.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000495

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Army Kills Dozens of Terrorists in Hama-Aleppo Road

Oct 29, 2015

The Syrian army, backed by Russian warplanes, attacked ISIL positions along the Khanasser-Ithriya Highway, and killed dozens of militants, informed sources said.

The Syrian government forces also retook a strategic road in Hama province from the Takfiri militants, hours after the terrorists captured it.

The Syrian army, backed by the National Defense Forces, regained full control of Ithriya-Salamiyah Road, and killed scores of the terrorist on Wednesday.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000301

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At least 40 killed in missile attack on Syria’s Douma

30 October 2015

At least 40 people were killed and about 100 wounded after Syrian government forces fired missiles into a market place in a town near Damascus, a conflict monitor and a local rescue group said on Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government forces fired 12 missiles at Douma, 10-15 km northeast of Damascus.

The Syrian Civil Defence group posted a picture on its Facebook page of about a dozen bloodied bodies laid on the ground and said more than 45 had died in the attack.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/30/At-least-40-killed-in-missile-attack-on-Syria-s-Douma.html

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‘Increased strikes’ kill 35 in Syria hospitals: MSF

Oct 29, 2015

BEIRUT — A “significant increase” of air strikes on Syrian hospitals recently has killed at least 35 patients and medical staff and wounded 72, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Thursday.

The group said the escalating attacks began in late September, though it did not identify who was behind them, and that 12 hospitals had been hit in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces, including six supported by MSF.

Russia began an aerial campaign in support of Syria’s government on September 30 and has been accused by several other medical groups of hitting hospitals and field clinics since then.

In total, MSF said, “six hospitals were forced to close… and four ambulances destroyed.”

“One hospital has since reopened, yet access to emergency, maternity, pediatric and primary health care services remains severely disrupted.”

The statement said “tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes” as a result of the attacks.

“After more than four years of war, I remain flabbergasted at how international humanitarian law can be so easily flouted by all parties to this conflict,” said Sylvain Groulx, MSF chief for Syria.

In addition to Russia’s air strikes, Syria’s air force and a US-led coalition targeting the Daesh group are also carrying out raids in Syria.

In recent days two medical organizations have directly accused Russia of strikes that have hit their medical facilities.

Last week, the Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS), said an estimated nine Russian air strikes had hit hospitals or field clinics in Syria, including several of its facilities.

Among them was a field clinic in the town of Sarmin in the northwestern province of Idlib, which was hit on October 20, killing 13 people, including a physiotherapist and a nurse, according to SAMS.

And this week, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations NGO said three hospitals it supports had been targeted in air strikes.

One of the facilities, in Latamneh in Hama province had been targeted by Russian strikes on two occasions, killing ten patients and injuring civilians and medical workers, the confederation of medical organizations said.

More than 250,000 people have died in the Syrian war, now in its fifth year.

More than seven million people have been displaced inside the country and another 4.2 million have fled abroad in one of the largest displacement crises of modern times. — AFP

http://saudigazette.com.sa/world/increased-strikes-kill-35-in-syria-hospitals-msf/

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Over 160 Terrorists Give up Fight as Syrian-Russian Forces Storm Militant Positions

Oct 29, 2015

Over 150 wanted militants have surrendered to the Syrian authorities as the army troops, backed by Russian air support, gained a faster momentum in their march on terrorist-held regions.

According to military sources, 49 militants from Damascus, Quneitra and Hama turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities.

Meanwhile, 117 gunmen gave up fight and turning themselves in to authorities of Homs province to be pardoned.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940806001463

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Syrian Troops Win Back Strategic Areas in Homs

Oct 29, 2015

The Syrian army, backed by the National Defense Forces, retook full control over the Eastern part of the towns of Jawalek and Sinaysil in Homs, killing scores of terrorists and destroying their weapons and vehicles.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army intensified its military operations against the Takfiri militants in the Province of Homs, leaving at least 10 terrorists dead.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000319

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Syria: War Raging in Hama, Tens of Terrorists Killed

Oct 29, 2015

The Syrian army targeted militants' positions in Kafr Zita town in Hama, killing tens of terrorist.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000618

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‘Flexibility’ urged at multilateral Syria talks

30 October 2015

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged participants at international talks aimed at resolving the brutal war in Syria to show “flexibility” and welcomed Iran’s participation for the first time in the discussions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will join key players in the Syria crisis - including Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia - in Vienna on Friday for a renewed effort to end more than four years of bloodshed.

It will be the first time all the major players in the conflict are in the same room, though there has been no mention of either the Syrian government or the opposition attending.

“I am encouraged that the high level leaders are meeting in Vienna tomorrow to discuss the situation in Syria,” the U.N. chief told a news conference in Madrid when asked about Iran?s participation the talks.

“My sincere hope is that they will really address this issue with a sense of flexibility, whatever differences they may have in their political views, in their approaches. They should be united.”

The inclusion of Iran - a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - in this week’s meetings marks a crucial shift after Tehran was excluded from earlier talks, mainly because of opposition from Washington and Riyadh.

The key international players in the conflict remain bitterly divided over the question of Assad.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/30/U-N-chief-urges-flexibility-at-multilateral-Syria-talks.html

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Syria peace talks under way with 17 countries

30 October 2015

Talks on a political solution to the civil war in Syria got under way on Friday with 17 countries plus the United Nations and European Union taking part, a U.S. official said.

Syria itself was not represented, but senior envoys from Turkey, Italy, Britain, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Germany, Qatar, France, the UAE, Oman, the United States and China were present in Vienna.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/30/Syria-peace-talks-under-way-with-17-countries-EU-and-U-N-.html

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Key Syria players seek path out of war

October 30, 2015

VIENNA - Major backers of Syria’s warring rivals including the United States, Russia and Iran will seek Thursday to narrow divisions over the future of the country and its embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

The participation of Iran at the international crisis talks in Vienna for the first time is seen as a crucial shift because the key regime supporter was previously excluded.

The United States and its allies including Saudi Arabia and Turkey have long been at odds with Assad’s backers Russia and Iran over if and when the Syrian leader should step down.

But an exodus of Syrian refugees and the Islamic State militant group’s sweeping territorial gains have brought signs of a narrowing of differences over a four-year conflict that has cost a quarter of a million lives.

“Europe’s refugee crisis has convinced everyone that we needed a transition phase, that Assad’s authoritarianism was the lesser of two evils,” said Karim Bitar of the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris.

“Most Westerners have adopted a more realistic stance on Syria and sort of accepted the idea that Assad will remain at the helm for a transition period.”

In Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on Thursday that there must be a political solution to the crisis in Syria.

China has repeatedly expressed opposition to the use of force to resolve the crisis in Syria, saying that a political solution was the only way out.

Li said the urgency of resolving the Syria situation issue was rising.

“The most important thing is to seize the opportunity to implement a political resolution and set up an equal, inclusive and open political dialogue,” he told reporters. He said many global leaders had made suggestions about how to tackle the crisis.

“We need a diplomatic political solution,” Merkel said. “It is urgent to find one. At least there are signs for a format of talks that will bring the necessary participants together.” Merkel is under intense pressure for her handling of a wave of refugees in Germany, mainly from Syria and Afghanistan.

Doctors without Borders warned Thursday that a “significant increase” of air strikes on Syrian hospitals had killed at least 35 patients and medical staff recently, without specifying who was behind bombings.

A “significant increase” of air strikes on Syrian hospitals recently has killed at least 35 patients and medical staff and wounded 72, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Thursday. The group said the escalating attacks began in late September, though it did not identify who was behind them, and that 12 hospitals had been hit in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces, including six supported by MSF.

Russia began an aerial campaign in support of Syria’s government on September 30 and has been accused by several other medical groups of hitting hospitals and field clinics since then.

In the meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry met his Iranian counterpart Muhammad Javad Zarif in Vienna on the eve of key talks on ending the Syrian conflict. Foes since Iran’s Islamic revolution, Tehran and Washington have no diplomatic ties and the fact that Iran is in Vienna at all will be seen by some as a sign of progress. Kerry and Zarif know each other well after negotiating a nuclear deal in July, but Washington’s Arab allies have resisted allowing Bashar al-Assad’s ally a role in the Syria dialogue.

On the eve of broader talks, the top US diplomat left his Vienna hotel and walked 100 yards (metres) up the street to his counterpart’s accommodation for a closed-door meeting. Zarif was also scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, according to the Russian news wire Interfax, before joining a dozen powers for the main talks on Friday.

The talks come in the context of two days of diplomatic efforts involving all the major international players in the same room for the first time.

Later Thursday, Russia — which backs Assad — will hold talks with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, all of whom back rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian leader. It will be the second time in less than a week that the four envoys have met on Syria. Friday’s talks will be a wider gathering of players which will see Zarif join representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Lebanon and the European Union.

So far there has been no mention of either the Syrian government or the opposition joining. The sides remain bitterly divided over the question of Assad, and an earlier round of talks on October 23 ended inconclusively. On one side, Russia and Iran are backing Assad’s forces on the ground and say Damascus must be helped to defeat “terrorism” before a political process can take shape. On the other, the US and its key regional allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia are supporting groups fighting Assad and insist he must step down in favour of a unity government. Around a quarter of a million people have died in the Syrian conflict over the past four-and-a-half years.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/30-Oct-2015/key-syria-players-seek-path-out-of-war

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Syrian Forces Regain Control of Another Strategic Road

Oct 29, 2015

The Syrian army, backed by the National Defense Forces, regained full control of Ithriya-Salamiyah Road, and killed scores of the terrorist on Wednesday.

The Syrian Armed Force, with the aerial backup of the Russian fighter jets, pushed back militants from Salamiyah-Raqqa highway in Hama province, and retook full control over the strategic route, local sources announced on Wednesday.

The sources said that the Russian warplanes carried out several sorties over the militants' positions near the Salamiyah-Raqqa highway and hit them hard with their bombs and missiles, later the Syrian soldiers stormed the terrorist groups' defense lines to take control over the highway.

The Syrian army troops seized back the highway after fierce clashes with the Takfiri terrorists.

Salamiyah is a city and district in Western Syria, in the Hama province. It is located 33 km Southeast of Hama, 45 km Northeast of Homs.

On Tuesday, Syrian air raids killed a large group of terrorists in the countryside of Hama province.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000245

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Syrian Forces Thwart Terrorists' Attack on Deir Ezzur Airbase

Oct 29, 2015

The Syrian army, backed by the National Defense Forces, thwarted the terrorists' attack on Deir Ezzur military airport, and killed scores of militants, sources said.

Last Thursday, the Syrian army, backed by Russian warplanes, thwarted a terrorists' attack on Deir Ezzur military airport, killing 25 Takfiri militants.

The Syrian forces repelled the attack on Deir Ezzur military airport, and killed 25 Takfiri terrorists and injured at least 40 others.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000408

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Syrian Airstrikes Kill Jaish Al-Islam Terrorists in Damascus

Oct 29, 2015

The air raids hit the terrorists' positions in Douma in Damascus countryside, killing a large number of militants, informed sources said.

On Wednesday, the army destroyed a position of Jaish al-Islam terrorists in Douma, killing several terrorists, including their senior commander, Omar al-Suis.

Al-Suis was identified as a Libyan terrorist.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000403

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh Accuses Opposition Official of Italian’s Murder

Oct 30, 2015

DHAKA — A senior Bangladeshi minister accused a main opposition party official Wednesday of ordering an Italian aid worker’s murder as part of a plot to destabilize the government. Police are hunting for Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) official M.A. Quayum for allegedly orchestrating the deadly shooting of Cesare Tavella in the capital late last month.

Four people have been arrested over the attack, with police on Monday saying three of them admitted carrying out the Sept. 28 killing on the orders of a so-called “big brother”. “Quayum is the big brother,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters on Wednesday.

Quayum, who is believed to have fled the country, is a mid-ranking BNP official and a former Dhaka councilor. Kamal said police have “conclusive evidence” Quayum ordered the killing as part of a “conspiracy” to trigger anarchy and pile pressure on the government, although he did not elaborate.

The killing near Dhaka’s diplomatic zone was the first of a series of attacks to be claimed by Daesh (so-called IS) and was followed days later by the gunning down of a Japanese farmer in northern Bangladesh. A weekend bombing of the capital’s main Shiite shrine, which killed one person and wounded dozens more, has further heightened the fears of minorities living in the mainly Muslim but officially secular nation.

Although that attack was also claimed by Daesh, the government responded by denying that the extremist group was active in Bangladesh. And instead it rounded up dozens of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s opponents. BNP secretary general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir rejected the home minister’s accusation, saying that it was “unacceptable and not believable”.

“We’ve said clearly that the government should conduct proper investigations into these murders. Instead, they are using these to suppress a democratic opposition,” he told AFP. The government has consistently blamed the BNP and its main Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami for unrest which has plagued Bangladesh since their refusal to take part in a January 2014 general election.

Full Report at:

http://saudigazette.com.sa/world/bangladesh-accuses-opposition-official-of-italians-murder-2/

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ISIS Claim of Bomb Attack in Old Dhaka does not Add Up

October 30, 2015

Shakhawat Liton

The claim that the brutal militant group IS has carried out the bomb attack at the Huseni Dalan in Old Dhaka on the eve of the Tazia parade early last Saturday does not stand to reason. If one looks at the history of the emergence of the Islamic State or IS as it is better known, and its current operations in some regions in the Mid-east, it does not seem that the militant group was behind the attack.

Conditions here are not similar to the ongoing Sunni-Shia conflicts in some other Muslim countries and there appears no justification for IS to carry out any operation here at this time.   

Even then, just like in the two previous cases of the gunning down of one Italian and one Japanese national, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group has attributed the bombings on the Shia site to IS, the Sunni group.

The attack on the Shia community is perplexing to all. It has aggrieved people regardless of their affiliations, be it Sunni or Shia. There is no record of any attack on the Shia community in the last 400 years since the Huseni Dalan was built as an Imambara, known as a shrine, for mourning the events of Muharram.

In fact, every year, a large number of people belonging to the Sunni community join the Tazia parade as remembrance of the battle of Karbala when Imam Hussein (RA), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), was killed by the forces of Yazid. The boy who was killed in the blast on Huseni Dalan that day was a Sunni.

Both communities in Dhaka have been living with each other for long. No feelings of hatred exist between them. The conflicts and rivalries between the Sunnis and the Shias in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries have never affected the Sunnis and the Shias in Bangladesh.

Even though this schism within Islam has been in existence for around 1400 years, many of us were not acutely aware of it.

The sectarianism has not been, however, deep or bloody for centuries in other Muslim countries as well, it is a rather recent phenomenon. The modern day's struggle between the Sunni and Shia had begun in 1979 following the Islamic revolution in Iran. The Shias had come to power through the revolution and their subsequent adoption of a theological statehood made the world nervous.

The rise of the Shia in Iran had left conservative Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and others in Middle East worried. Since then Saudi Arabia and Iran have started extending financial and armed supports to the Sunnis and the Shias in other countries to fight proxy wars to establish their political supremacy.

The Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s has intensified the sectarian schism as most of the Arab countries supported Saddam Hussein's Sunni dominated regime in Iraq against the Shias in Iran. Saudi Arabia had reportedly provided huge financial support to Saddam to fight Iran.

Now lets look at how IS was born and how its reasons.

The invasion of Iraq by USA in 2003 has sown the seeds of IS, a claim by many. It has even been acknowledged by Tony Blair who had committed his country in the Iraq war. The invasion ousted Saddam along with the Arab Sunni camp from power. Their ouster put the Shia in state power.

Full Report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/claim-does-not-add-164539

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UN investigator urges Myanmar to allow Muslims to vote

October 30, 2015

UNITED NATIONS: A United Nations investigator accused Myanmar of discrimination and urged the government to take immediate action to allow minorities and migrants to vote in November elections.

Yanghee Lee, the special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, also urged the country's Election Commission to establish an independent process to review the disqualification of candidates, many of them Muslims - including two current members of parliament.

Lee told said Thursday that the Nov 8 legislative elections will be "an important milestone" in the country's democratic transition. But she said the elections won't be free and fair unless they are inclusive.

"The credibility of the elections will be judged by the environment in which they are conducted and the extent to which all sectors of Myanmar society have been allowed to freely participate in the political process," Lee said.

Read: Why is Suu Kyi silent on the plight of Rohingya people?

She stressed that "the disenfranchisement of certain communities and groups, particularly on discriminatory grounds, does not meet that test."

Lee pointed to the disenfranchisement of some 760,000 people who previously held temporary registration cards, mainly Rohingyas in Rakhine state, but also ethnic Chinese and Indians.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216372/un-investigator-urges-myanmar-to-allow-muslims-to-vote

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Mojaheed war trial: Jamaat plans demo for tomorrow

October 30, 2015

Jamaat-e-Islami will observe demonstrations across the country tomorrow demanding release of condemned war criminal Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and all detained leaders and activists.

Shafiqur Rahman, acting secretary general of Jamaat, has called the demonstrations through a press release today.

The Supreme Court on November 2 is scheduled to hear a petition of Mojaheed seeking review of its judgement that upheld his death penalty for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.

Full Report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/country/mojaheed-war-trial-jamaat-plans-demo-tomorrow-164743

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India

 

Temple Preserver Yeasin Pathan Returns Harmony Award in Protest against Rising Intolerance

Sujay Khanra

Oct 30, 2015

MIDNAPORE: Yeasin Pathan, a Midnapore resident who was honoured with the Kabir Award in 1994 by the home ministry for his efforts to conserve 30 ancient temples, has decided to return it in protest against rising intolerance.

Pathan hopes his gesture will "make a statement for communal harmony". The 63-year-old former school clerk, who lives in Pathra, has been involved in preserving temples since 1971. His efforts prompted Archaeological Survey of India to take up several restoration projects. Pathan said he was alarmed by the "rise in incidents based on communal issues".

Full Report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Temple-preserver-Yeasin-Pathan-returns-harmony-award/articleshow/49588752.cms

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Shocking! Indian Muslim denied entry in Georgia because of his beard

October 30, 2015

Dubai, October 30: In yet another incident of religious discrimination, an Indian national Muslim accountant was denied entry in Georgia because he has a beard. According to a report published in Daily Mail portal, Indian national Jainulabedin Hakimji, who has been living in the UAE for eight years, was allegedly thrown out of the Georgia by security official at the airport because he sports a long beard.

The 36-year old Jainulabedin Hakimji was planning a three-day holiday in European country Georgia to celebrate Muslim New Year. Hakimji said that he was stopped at border control and ‘treated like a criminal’. The security officials did not even allow him to use toiled while waiting for a return flight to his home country. While Hakimji was denied entry, his colleague was allowed through border control without a hitch. However both were travelling with the same UAE resident visa and were from the same country. Hakimji claimed that the only difference between them was that his colleague was ‘clean-shaven’. (ALSO READ: Ghar Wapsi? Muslim student sent to RSS camp as part of educational tour in UP)

“When she saw me the lady at the counter immediately called over another officer and directed me to the last counter in the row, without looking at my passport,” Hakimji told Gulf News. “They said they couldn’t let me in for security reasons. But they did not let me in because of my appearance,” he added.

Full Report at:

http://www.india.com/news/india/shocking-indian-muslim-denied-entry-in-georgia-because-of-his-beard-668662/

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Gujarat Akshardham attack: SC to hear plea of 6 Muslims acquitted

Oct 29, 2015

The Supreme Court is set to consider the maintainability of petition filed by six Muslim men who were acquitted last year in the Akshardham attack case seeking “adequate compensation” and action against the Gujarat police officers who framed them.

A bench of justice TS Thakur and justice V Gopala Gowda said the acquitted terror accused could raise their contentions before the trial court. However, on request of senior counsel KTS Tulsi, appearing for the six men, agreed to examine their pleas.

The bench said it would first examine if the petition was maintainable as the court couldn’t be expected to conduct a “roving” inquiry. “You could have asked for prosecution in the appeal (in the top court). That should have been part of our judgment...,” the bench said.

After Tulsi sought time for placing on record judgments in support of the petition, the bench adjourned the matter by four weeks.

Full Report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/gujarat-akshardham-attack-sc-to-hear-plea-of-6-muslims-acquitted/story-Vrc24A31UXbe6J9qTgtUfO.html

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Mumbai youth who helped Majeed join IS identified

Neeraj Chauhan

Oct 30, 2015

NEW DELHI: In a major development in the probe against Islamic State militant Areeb Majeed, investigators have identified the person who facilitated the travel of the Kalyan-based youth to Iraq after he was convinced to join the terror group.

Presently on the run, the suspect, Abu Bakr Siddiqui, reportedly a resident of Kalyan itself, had arranged Majeed's passport and other travel documents to go with Fahad Shaikh, Shaheem Tanki and Aman Tandel to Iraq on the intervening night of May 24 and 25 last year, disguising them as pilgrims. Majeed was deported from Turkey in November 2014 while Tanki is said to have been killed in an airstrike in Iraq.

Sources told TOI that Abu Bakr Siddiqui was approached by Afghani businessman Rehman Daulati to arrange the travel of Majeed and others.

IS man tweets pictures of Majeed, Twitter suspends account

"We have learnt that Siddiqui had met Areeb Majeed and other youths to hand them over the documents. Daulati had fled India in December itself while Siddiqui's travel details are being investigated. There is a possibility that he fled to a gulf country after Areeb Majeed was deported from Turkey," said a senior government official.

When asked whether Siddiqui had any role in the recruitment of Majeed or if he was in touch with IS operatives based in different countries, sources said that aspect is being investigated.

The revelation comes even as a team of officials from ministry of home affairs and National Investigation Agency visited Australia earlier this week and pushed for technical evidence against Areeb Majeed.

Full Report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mumbai-youth-who-helped-Majeed-join-IS-identified/articleshow/49590041.cms

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Now, Kulkarni to go to Pakistan for Kasuri’s book launch

Oct 30, 2015

MUMBAI: A fortnight after his face was sprayed with oil paint by Shiv Sainiks for hosting the book launch of ex-Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Sudheendra Kulkarni is all set to go to Pakistan for the launch of the same book in Karachi.

Kulkarni, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation, told TOI he has also been invited by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations for a seminar on Indo-Pak relations. "I said at the book launch function in the city that Mumbai was the worst victim of cross-border terrorism, and I will, in front of Kasuri, condemn Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Karachi," he said during a debate at a literary festival in the city.

Full Report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Now-Kulkarni-to-go-to-Pakistan-for-Kasuris-book-launch/articleshow/49588421.cms?

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Pakistan

 

US Urges Pakistan To Act Against Lashkar-e-Taiba, FATA Safe Havens

ANWAR IQBAL

October 30, 2015

WASHINGTON: Less than a week after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the US capital, the United States has again said that terrorists still have safe havens in FATA.

At a news briefing in Washington, US State Department’s spokesperson John Kirby reminded Pakistan of its pledge to take effective action against Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“We know that the safe haven still exists along that border region, and we’ve been very plain about our concerns over those continued safe havens,” he said.

Take a look: Kashmir needs third party intervention, US most relevant: Nawaz

During his four-day stay in Washington, the prime minister held a series of meetings with key US leaders and lawmakers, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Ashton Carter.

After Mr Sharif’s departure, senior US officials told reporters that President Obama and other US leaders told him that the security situation in Afghanistan was serious and urged him to do more to stop cross-border attacks.

The issue was raised again at a State Department briefing when a reporter referred to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s recent interview in which he acknowledged the presence of certain militant outfits in Pakistan during his reign.

Mr Kirby said he would not like to “re-litigate the past” and instead would focus on the future, “a future … that can lead us all to a better outcome with respect to violent extremism”.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216309/us-urges-pakistan-to-act-against-lashkar-e-taiba-FATA-safe-havens

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Iran calls for proposal for a currency swap arrangement to promote trade

BAQIR SAJJAD SYED

October 30, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Iran has renewed its proposal for a currency swap arrangement with Pakistan to promote trade.

Iran’s secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, who was on a two-day visit to Pakistan, pitched the currency swap proposal again during a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday.

Although security cooperation was high on the agenda of the top Iranian security official’s visit, the two sides also deliberated on opportunities for expanding cooperation.

PM expects Chabahar and Gwadar to complement each other, not be rivals

The two countries had explored the possibility of doing trade in their currencies in the past, but progress could not be made then due to the sanctions on Iran.

The proposal has now been made at a time when sanctions are about to be lifted and the two neighbours are discussing ways to increase their bilateral cooperation.

The current volume of bilateral trade is about $230 million per annum, but the two countries are eyeing to increase it to $5 billion over the next five years.

Mr Shamkhani said there was a lot of scope for enhancing bilateral economic and trade links.

The two countries are also discussing a proposal for establishing a fibre-optic link.

Mr Sharif was quoted by the Prime Minister’s Office as having told the Iranian guest that Pakistan expected Chabahar and Gwadar ports to complement each other instead of being rivals.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216324/iran-calls-for-expansion-of-trade-cooperation

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World Powers Urged Not To Pressurise Pakistan on N-Issue

October 30, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secre­tary Aizaz Chaudhry asked global powers on Thursday not to pressurise Pakistan on its nuclear programme.

“Rather than making unrealistic demands on Pakistan to compromise on its core security interests, major powers must consider implications of their actions and policies,” Mr Chaudhry said at a seminar on ‘Defence, Deterrence and Stability in South Asia’, which was jointly organised by Islamabad-based think-tank Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) and The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) of London.

He did not name the world powers he was referring to.

Know more: Political impasse: US, Pakistan agree to disagree

The foreign secretary’s comments, however, come against the backdrop of media reports that the US had offered to mainstream Pakistan in return for certain restrictions on its nuclear programme. The secretary categorically rejected a perception that “any deal” was being negotiated.

He said Pakistan was confronted with a credible threat from India, which was pursuing “dangerous, provocative and irresponsible doctrines like Cold Start Doctrine and Proactive Strategy and whose conventional military build-up was Pakistan specific”.

He described Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal as weapons of deterrence.

Mr Chaudhry said that despite all the provocation from India and the widening conventional asymmetry, Pakistan’s policy was characterised by restraint and responsibility.

He said that the discriminatory nuclear cooperation agreements being signed by NSG member countries with India and the waivers being granted to it were undermining strategic stability in South Asia.

“The international community must appreciate our legitimate and serious security concerns and adopt a comprehensive non-discriminatory and fair approach towards the region,” he emphasised.

“This myopic policy of dual standards towards South Asia, based on narrow strategic, political and commercial considerations, bodes ill for the region’s long-term peace and stability,” he said. Responding to concerns expressed by the West about Pakistan’s Full Spectrum Deterrence doctrine, he said, it did not represent “a quantitative change” in level of deterrence; rather it was “a qualitative response” to the entire threat spectrum.

“Our conduct continues to be guided strictly by the principle of credible minimum deterrence,” he noted.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216319/world-powers-urged-not-to-pressurise-pakistan-on-n-issue

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Landmine blast kills tribal elder, six others in Quetta

October 30, 2015

QUETTA: At least seven people, including the tribal elder Mir Gul Khan Marri, were killed in a roadside blast when their vehicle hit a landmine in Marwar area of Quetta district, DawnNews reported on Thursday.

Levis sources said that the convoy of Gul Khan Marri accidentally hit a landmine in the suburb area of the provincial capital.

The vehicle was badly damaged due to the intensity of the blast, killing the tribal elder and his aides and guards.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216206/landmine-blast-kills-tribal-elder-six-others-in-quetta

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Senior officer to probe allegation against Sana

October 30, 2015

LAHORE: An SP-rank official will be deputed to probe into murder case of Bhola Gujjar in the light of confessional statement of the accused claiming he committed the crime in Faisalabad on the orders of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah.

Inspector General of Punjab Police Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera said this while responding to media queries at the inaugural ceremony of a project here on Thursday.

The IG said the court had directed the police to assign an officer (no less than of SP rank) to investigate the case in the context of the confessional statement of the murder accused.

He said the confessional statement of the accused was not sufficient in the eyes of law to hold the minister guilty.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216314/senior-officer-to-probe-allegation-against-sana

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Ferry service for pilgrims to Iran planned: minister

PARVAIZ ISHFAQ RANA

October 30, 2015

KARACHI: The government is setting up a company for introducing a ferry service for people intending to visit holy places in Iran.

This was stated by federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael at a meeting held at the PNSC building here on Thursday.

The minister said two passenger ferries had been shortlisted for the operation. One will travel from Karachi to Chabahar (Iran) and the other from Karachi via Ormara and Gwadar.

He said the ferry service would reduce the cost of journey and would be an alternate route, more secure than road travel.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216303/ferry-service-for-pilgrims-to-iran-planned-minister

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Terror common enemy of Pakistan, Iran: Nawaz

October 30, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said terrorism was the common enemy of Pakistan and Iran.

In a meeting with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani here, Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan was determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism. He said the government was committed to stopping terrorists from using its soil to further their nefarious agenda.

He affirmed Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan as its stability was in the interest of all the neighbours, including Iran.

Sharif said Pakistan had rendered invaluable sacrifices in the war against terrorism while operation Zarb-e-Azb was yielding very positive and fruitful results.

The prime minster said Pakistan and Iran were brotherly countries and shared deep historic and cultural ties. He added Chabahar and Gawadar ports’ operational activity would complement each other as sister ports.

The Iranian National Security secretary agreed terrorism had no boundaries and it was a common enemy of both the countries, adding a stable Afghanistan was in the best interest of both Iran and Pakistan.

He said there was a lot of scope for enhanced cooperation in economic and communication areas between the two countries. He added Pakistan and Iran would establish fibre-optic link connecting each other.

“The two sides expressed grief and sorrow over the tragic incident of Mina in which citizens of both the countries died,” said an official statement.

Shamkhani also called on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan after meeting the PM. “The matters relating to Pak-Iran bilateral ties and mutual cooperation in the areas of security were discussed. They also discussed ways and means to further cement mutual cooperation to face common challenges and promote regional peace,” said an official statement.

Earlier, Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Iran and Pakistan had agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and counterterrorism. The adviser said the international community had concerns about the Afghan issue and no world power wanted another war in Afghanistan.

He affirmed the Afghan government had not so far approached Pakistan regarding contacts with Taliban. “It is up to the Afghan government to resume talks with Taliban and our job is just of a facilitator,” he remarked. Aziz added Pakistan’s stance was very much clear that its soil would not be used against any country.

Pakistan-Iran ties have been complicated since Iran’s Islamic revolution and the Soviet-Afghan war in 1979. However, since 2001 the two countries have been maintaining normal bilateral relations despite some persisting irritants such as border insecurity and their contrasting ties with Saudi Arabia, the US, Afghanistan and India.

Pakistan showed a significant tilt towards Saudi Arabia on the Syrian conflict, but the incumbent Pakistan government has been trying to balance its ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Besides, the international sanctions on Iran continue to put pressure on the two countries’ economic and trade cooperation. Tehran believes Saudi Arabia and the US were behind Pakistan’s lukewarm response to the completion of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project as per the agreement signed in 2013.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/30-Oct-2015/terror-common-enemy-of-pakistan-iran-nawaz

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Police arrest terrorist in Pindi

October 30, 2015

Rawalpindi - The Counter Terrorism Department nabbed a high profile terrorist and also recovered explosive materials from his possession during a raid at Girja Road within limits of Police Station Saddar Bairooni, a CTD spokesman informed yesterday.

He said the terrorist was identified as Muhammad Siraj son of Gul Shah Jahanzeb and 500 grams explosive, 2 detonators and 1 fuse were recovered from him.

He said that CTD team raided a house at Misri Khel Kashmir Colony on Girja Road and arrested Siraj along with explosive materials.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/30-Oct-2015/police-arrest-terrorist-in-pindi

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MSF demands Saudi answer over airstrike on Yemen hospital

Oct 30, 2015

Doctors Without Borders, a medical charity organization also known by its French acronym MSF, has called upon Saudi Arabia to provide convincing explanations over a recent aerial attack against a medical facility run by the group in northwestern Yemen.

Speaking at a press conference in the French capital city of Paris on Thursday, Isabelle Defourny, the head of the MSF’s operations, said that the hospital was hit by Saudi airstrikes, and “that is without a shadow of a doubt.”

She added that what the Paris-based medical charity demands is that Riyadh “recognizes that this bombing took place, explains what happened, and commits to helping with the deployment of humanitarian assistance.”

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday denied that its military aircraft had targeted the MSF-run hospital in the northwestern Yemeni province of Sa’ada on October 26.

Laurent Sury, the head of the MSF’s emergency response team, said that “five or six strikes” hit the hospital and completely destroyed it.

“Luckily, there weren’t any casualties,” he said, explaining that the individuals inside the hospital were able to get out in time.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/30/435566/MSF-Doctors-Without-Border-Saudi-Arabia-answers-airstrike-hospital-Saada-

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Mideast

 

Yemeni Forces Kill Tens of Saudi-Led Aggressors in Ma'rib

Oct 29, 2015

"Tens of foreign forces taking part in the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen were killed in fierce clashes in Ma'rib," local sources said.

The sources also said that tens of Saudi soldiers were also wounded and captured in the Yemeni forces' operations on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia has recently hired thousands of foreign troops from ISIL and al-Nusra Front terrorists to Sudanese mercenaries and Colombian soldiers to fight popular forces in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 218 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 6,914 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000429

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Turkish police raid media group linked to Gulen

29 October 2015

ISTANBUL: Turkish police forced their way into the offices of an opposition media company on Wednesday, days before an election, in a crackdown on companies linked to a US-based cleric.

Police fired pepper spray as they pushed their way through the front gates and used water cannon to disperse around 500 people who gathered in front of the offices of Kanalturk and Bugun TV in Istanbul to protest against the police action.

Erdogan hopes Sunday’s election will restore the overall majority lost in a June vote by the AK Party he founded. Polls, however, indicate it is unlikely it will secure such a victory, let alone the large majority needed to change the constitution and endow the presidency with the broad powers Erdogan seeks.

Full Report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/827236

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Little outcry as hospitals bombed in Syria, Yemen

October 30, 2015

BEIRUT: The first missile slammed into the field hospital in the rebel-held Syrian town of Sarmeen, killing a physiotherapist inside. Five minutes later, the aircraft returned, firing another missile that hit nearby just as the first responders were arriving.

A total of 13 were killed, and the hospital organisers blamed Russian warplanes.

In Yemen, airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels destroyed a hospital run by the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders this week. Although there were no deaths, the hospital was the latest casualty of a campaign that has claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people since March.

Read: Six MSF-supported hospitals targeted in Syria air strikes: MSF

But those strikes on hospitals brought little international outcry - a sharp contrast to an Oct 3 American strike on a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 30 people and brought a firestorm of criticism on Washington.

The reasons are many, perhaps chief among them is general fatigue over the conflicts in Syria, now in its fifth year, and in Yemen, a relatively impoverished and isolated country mired in turmoil for more than a decade.

Also, while the US acknowledged relatively quickly that it carried out the strikes and President Barack Obama apologised to Doctors Without Borders, which also ran that facility, Russia and Saudi Arabia categorically deny that their campaigns hit civilians, and conditions on the ground make confirmations more difficult, muddying the waters for critics. Russia denied it hit the Sarmeen hospital, which was struck Oct. 20.

"After more than four years of war, I remain flabbergasted at how international humanitarian law can be so easily flouted by all parties to this conflict," said Sylvain Groulx, head of Doctors Without Borders' mission for Syria. "We can only wonder whether this concept is dead."

The Syrian conflict has killed a quarter of a million people, producing a seemingly endless churn of death and devastation to viewers around the world. Hundreds of medical facilities have been destroyed throughout the war and 670 medical personnel have died since the start of the conflict in March 2011, according to Physicians for Human Rights.

Also read: MSF facility in Yemen hit by Saudi-led air strikes: MSF

The war in Yemen has generated little attention. There, Saudi Arabia and its allies have been waging an air campaign since March to back the president, ousted by Shia rebels who have taken over large parts of the country. Civilian areas have borne a large part of the violence, and the U. said the Doctors Without Borders hospital hit Monday was the 39th health center struck in the air campaign.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1216373/little-outcry-as-hospitals-bombed-in-syria-yemen

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MHP: Nationalist wild card in Turkey’s crucial election

Oct 30, 2015

“Turkey is in deep trouble. Its future is on a knife-edge,” Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) roars at a campaign rally ahead of Sunday’s election.

“When Turkish nationalists come to power, the bombers, assassins and assailants will look for a place to hide. We are the fearless guardians of Turkey.”

Mixing full-blooded nationalist rhetoric with virulent attacks on the 13-year rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the MHP has emerged as a player that cannot be ignored. It is expected to reap between 14 and 16 percent of the vote, a performance that could be crucial in determining the future government.

The election is the second in five months, called after the AKP dramatically lost its parliamentary majority in June and then failed to form a coalition.

Despite the fiery campaign speeches, the MHP could be open to joining an AKP government in the event of another hung parliament. But Bahceli, MHP leader for almost two decades, is expected to drive a hard bargain.

The MHP, established in 1969 by Alparslan Turkes, was an ultra-radical formation in the 1970s and 80s, with its Grey Wolves militant unit operating death squads that killed numerous left-wing activists and students.

Bahceli took control of the MHP in 1997, seeking to turn it into a more mainstream movement that could achieve success at the ballot box.

But the party has not lost its radicalism, playing on fears that the modern state founded by Ataturk out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire is in existential danger.

At a weekend rally in Ankara drawing a crowd of up to 20,000, people shouted as they made the two-fingered wolf gesture: “A tooth for a tooth, blood for blood, revenge, revenge!”

Bahceli bellowed back: “No need for revenge. Just sit back and watch the people who have hurt, we, the Turks eventually fall.”

He said Turkey’s “heritage and divinity” was being destroyed because of the AKP. “Walls of security have been destroyed and our national identity and future have been taken hostage.”

A key MHP policy is opposition to the peace process with Kurdish rebels, which the nationalists see as a threat to the fabric of the Turkish nation created by Ataturk.

The MHP is also demanding a reopening of the corruption investigation into President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cronies — and for the strongman to stay well out of politics.

Bahceli accuses the government of showing weakness over the upsurge in Kurdish violence that has seen about 150 members of the security forces killed in the past few months.

“I can see from your eyes… that the MHP is here, to embrace our martyrs, to foil their dirty plans one by one, but most importantly to declare that we haven’t collapsed, we’ve been standing,” he told the Ankara crowds.

Ilte Turan, professor of politics at Istanbul Bilgi University, told AFP the MHP had successfully broken out of its 1970s image of ultra-nationalism.

“Bahceli has pulled the youth off the streets, turning the party into a more peaceful one, free of guns.”

But nonetheless, he said “the majority of the MHP voters are ultra-nationalist” with their natural enemies leftists and minorities such as the Kurds.

The MHP draws its support mainly from conservative populations, often in smaller towns, who believe their “Turkishness” is under threat and are angry at perceived widespread corruption under the AKP. “I’ve been voting for the MHP since 1973 and my party has never betrayed me. Even if I was the only person left in the world to vote for MHP, I would vote for them,” retired teacher Sezgin Turan, 60, said at the Ankara rally.

“We are not against any minorities. There is a difference between hating foreigners and defending your own nation.”

Full Report at:

http://saudigazette.com.sa/world/mhp-nationalist-wild-card-in-turkeys-crucial-election/

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Iran's Top Commander: Saudi Arabia's Presence in Syria Talks Illegitimate

Oct 29, 2015

"The Saudi regime with its all-out support for the ISIL and its terrorist acts in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as well as numerous crimes, including its attacks on hospitals, schools and people's homes, is a war criminal and its presence in the Vienna multilateral talks is, thus, suspicious and illegitimate," General Firiouzabadi said on Thursday.

He, meantime, warned the Saudi regime against execution of senior Shiite Cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqer al-Nimr, and said, "Harsh repercussion will be waiting for the Saudi rulers" if they take such an unwise move.

Top diplomats from Iran, Russia, the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey will convene in Vienna on Friday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Nimr was attacked and arrested in the Qatif region of Eastern Province in July 2012, and has been charged with undermining the kingdom’s security, making anti-government speeches, and defending political prisoners. Nimr has denied the accusations.

In October 2014, a Saudi court sentenced Sheikh Nimr to death, provoking huge condemnations and criticism in the Middle East and the world.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940807000781

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U.N. seeks to revive Israeli-Palestinian talks

30 October 2015

A draft U.N. resolution aimed at reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks calls for a freeze on Jewish settlements and halting moves to prosecute Israel at the International Criminal Court.

The text drafted by New Zealand has been circulated to the 15 Security Council members, as well as Israel and the Palestinians, diplomats said on Thursday.

The measure is the latest attempt by the U.N.’s top body to try to forge a consensus on the way forward in the Middle East peace process amid a new flare-up of violence.

The draft resolution calls on Israelis and the Palestinians to end the violence, prepare for peace talks and declares the two-state solution to be the “only credible pathway to peace”, according to the text seen by AFP.

But the text touches on two sensitive issues that are bound to raise hackles on both sides: Jewish settlements and the Palestinian push to prosecute Israel for war crimes at the ICC.

The 10-point measure calls on both sides to refrain from action that could undermine the peace effort “including continued expansion of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories.”

It also demands a halt to “referring a situation concerning Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories to the International Criminal Court” after the Palestinians joined the ICC this year.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully told the Security Council last week of his plan to present a draft resolution that he said could help “stimulate a level of debate” on the crisis.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/30/U-N-resolution-seeks-to-revive-Israeli-Palestinian-talks.html

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U.S., Iran to meet before multilateral Syria talks

30 October 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet his Iranian counterpart in Vienna on Thursday ahead of a fresh round of talks on ending the Syrian conflict, a senior State Department official said.

Tehran will join the talks on Friday in what will be the first time it has participated in international negotiations aimed at resolving the bloodshed as key nations backing Syria’s warring sides seek to thrash out differences over the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

The inclusion of Iran -- a key Assad backer -- marks a crucial shift after it was excluded from earlier talks, largely due to opposition from the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was also to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday, according to the Russian news wire Interfax.

The talks come in the context of two days of diplomatic efforts involving all the major international players in the same room for the first time.

On Thursday evening, Russia -- which backs Assad -- will hold talks with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, all of whom back rebels seeking to overthrow the Syrian leader.

It will be the second time in less than a week that the four envoys have met on Syria.

But Friday’s talks will be a wider gathering of regional players which will see Zarif joining representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Lebanon and the European Union.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/30/U-S-Iran-to-meet-before-multilateral-Syria-talks-.html

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MSF demands Saudi answer over airstrike on Yemen hospital

Oct 30, 2015

Doctors Without Borders, a medical charity organization also known by its French acronym MSF, has called upon Saudi Arabia to provide convincing explanations over a recent aerial attack against a medical facility run by the group in northwestern Yemen.

Speaking at a press conference in the French capital city of Paris on Thursday, Isabelle Defourny, the head of the MSF’s operations, said that the hospital was hit by Saudi airstrikes, and “that is without a shadow of a doubt.”

She added that what the Paris-based medical charity demands is that Riyadh “recognizes that this bombing took place, explains what happened, and commits to helping with the deployment of humanitarian assistance.”

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday denied that its military aircraft had targeted the MSF-run hospital in the northwestern Yemeni province of Sa’ada on October 26.

Laurent Sury, the head of the MSF’s emergency response team, said that “five or six strikes” hit the hospital and completely destroyed it.

“Luckily, there weren’t any casualties,” he said, explaining that the individuals inside the hospital were able to get out in time.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/30/435566/MSF-Doctors-Without-Border-Saudi-Arabia-answers-airstrike-hospital-Saada-

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Africa

 

Warplanes bomb Libya’s Sirte, target ISIS

30 October 2015

Unidentified warplanes carried out air strikes on Libya's Sirte city, targeting areas controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in the south and west, a witness said on Thursday.

The strikes were the second on ISIS in the city this month. Neither of Libya's rival governments nor other warring factions immediately claimed responsibility.

"We heard the warplanes around midnight, then there were massive explosions," the witness said.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/30/Warplanes-bomb-Libya-s-Sirte-target-ISIS.html

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Daesh risk for Libya’s troubled oil sector

Oct 30, 2015

When Daesh (the so-called IS) militants attacked a perimeter gate guarding Libya’s Es Sider oil terminal this month, they sent gunmen to kill guards before attempting to detonate a car bomb in a bid to breach the port’s defenses.

The assault failed to get closer than a mile (1.6 km) from one of Libya’s major oil ports, but it signaled the Daesh intent to expand beyond its base in the city of Sirte and target the OPEC state’s oil infrastructure.

our years after the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is in a conflict with two rival governments each backed by competing armed factions, creating a power vacuum that has allowed Daesh to establish a foothold in North Africa.

It was not the first Daesh attack on Libyan oil. But the country’s petroleum industry is already battered by conflict and protests, producing less than half the output of 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) it had in 2011.

In its Middle East heartland, where it controls large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria, Daesh has accessed revenue from oilfields. Terrorism experts estimate its income at $2.9 billion a year, much of it from oil and gas.

In Libya, though, Daesh is still consolidating. It co-opts domestic Islamist ranks, but faces rival armed factions with strong local ties. That resistance and the structure of Libya’s energy industry and export system may also prevent Daesh from controlling assets and revenue. But as chaos deepens, so do its opportunities. With Sirte as a base, earlier this year Daesh fighters attacked several nearby oilfields, disrupting oil production in the area.

Libya’s oil sector is still in turmoil. Production is at around 500,000 bpd, several oilfields are closed due to fighting among rivals or protests, and two key export terminals, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, have been shut since December.

“No doubt, we have an obstacle which is Daesh, especially in the middle region of Libya,” the oil minister for Tripoli’s government, Mashallah Zwei, told Reuters. “But Daesh in Libya is different to Iraq and Syria.”

The attack on Es Sider’s perimeter earlier this month looked a typical hit-and-run strike of a group facing a stronger opponent rather than an orchestrated takeover. Gunmen in several vehicles opened fire with Kalashnikov rifles and heavy machine guns at a gate around 700 meters west of the port.

One guard, belonging to a federalist force allied with the recognized government, was killed. Militants tried to detonate a car-bomb at the gate, but four of them were shot dead.

Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, with a total export capacity of 500,000 bpd, have been closed since December because of fighting between federalist forces controlling the ports and brigades allied with Tripoli’s self-styled government who vowed to take them back. “Daesh has realized that the largest factions are more interested in fighting each other,” said Mattia Toaldo, Libya specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “It is expanding in central Libya, encountering little resistance.”

On-the-ground realities

Since the NATO-backed revolt toppled Gaddafi, Libya has fractured into a complex jigsaw of rival brigades of ex-rebels, tribal factions and Islamist-leaning forces who have steadily turned against one another in an internecine battle for control.

Tripoli has been held since last year by Libya Dawn, an alliance of armed factions from the port city of Misrata and Islamist-leaning fighters who drove rivals out of the capital and set up their own self-declared government.

Libya’s internationally recognized government and elected parliament now operate out of Tobruk in the east, backed by a loose coalition of armed forces, including ex-Gaddafi ally Gen. Khalifa Haftar and the federalists controlling the ports.

Powerful armed factions hold different areas and cities and their loyalties are often more aligned with local interests, complicating UN attempts to negotiate a unity government.

Libya’s oilfields and ports also sit in areas held by competing factions, allowing one armed group to cut off a pipeline, for example, to pressure another.

In March, Daesh made its first major move on oil, storming and damaging several Libyan oilfields around Al-Ghani. That forced the government to declare force majeure, and shut down production at 11 oilfields in the central Sirte basin. Eleven guards were killed, several by beheading.

Full Report at:

http://saudigazette.com.sa/world/daesh-risk-for-libyas-troubled-oil-sector/

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Rebels abduct 12 UN contractors in South Sudan

Oct 29, 2015

Rebels in South Sudan have abducted 12 UN contractors operating a barge carrying fuel, weapons and equipment for international peacekeepers.

UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said on Thursday that the incident happened in the town of Kaka, in the northeastern province of Upper Nile, AFP reported.

Dujarric demanded that the “national contractors be released immediately, unharmed and unhurt,” adding that attacks against peacekeepers may constitute a war crime.

Dujarric called on rebel leader, Riek Machar, to “take his responsibilities” and “uphold his commitment to the United Nations that all be returned safely."

In a similar incident on Monday, 100 heavily-armed rebels kidnapped 20 peacekeepers when they captured the barge traveling on the Nile, north of Malakal. The peacekeepers, however, were released on Thursday.

According to reports, some 12,500 peacekeepers have been deployed in South Sudan since 2013.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/29/435540/South-Sudan-UN-rebels-Kaka--Malakal-Stephane-Dujarric-

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Southeast Asia

 

In Indonesia, Minorities under Threat from Muslim Hardliners

October 29, 2015

When a mob of Muslims swooped on a little church deep in rural Aceh in Indonesia this month, the local police were nowhere to be seen, although they had received warnings of a possible attack.

When they did arrive, the police were mostly unarmed and outnumbered by hundreds of activists from the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) group and others who burned the rickety church down.

The FPI made no apology for the incident, saying authorities had ignored repeated complaints about churches and makeshift altars that have popped up without permits in Aceh Singkil, a district in the most conservative province of this Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation.

In the wake of the attack, authorities gave in to the FPI’s demands, and used sledgehammers and axes to demolish 10 other churches in the area that lacked proper permits. The national police chief later said intelligence reports that such an attack was being planned had been received.

The raid, and the aftermath, reflects an increasingly militant attitude towards other faiths in Aceh, where Sharia law now requires non-Muslims to abide by rules forbidding extra-martial sex, homosexual relationships and public displays of affection.

Analysts say the FPI and similar hard-line groups, emboldened by government inaction, are using legal pretexts to undermine Christians, Hindus, and smaller Islamic sects.

“These churches have been mushrooming here for years and the Christians are violating laws because they don’t have permits,” said Muslim Al Thahiry, chief of FPI’s Aceh chapter.

“If the police or the government don’t do anything about it, then don’t blame the Muslims for getting emotional and responding. Islam shouldn’t have to be a guest in its own home.”

Residents of Aceh Singkil say the number of non-Muslims there has swelled in recent years because of migrants from neighboring North Sumatra, where Christians make up a third of the population, looking for work in palm oil plantations.

Census data shows the Christian community in Aceh Singkil has nearly doubled from about 6,500 at the turn of the century, when they made up six percent of the population. Today, over 11 percent is Christian, although the overall population of the district has remained static at about 100,000.

Full Report at:

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2015/10/29/in-indonesia-minorities-under-threat-from-muslim-hardliners/

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Hindu Mother, Sons Fail to Remove Muslim Names, ‘Islam’ From Malaysian ICs

30 October 2015

The Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal by a mother and her four sons to remove the word "Islam" and their Muslim names from their identity cards.

A three-man bench chaired by Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh ruled that based on evidence on record, the National Registration Department's decision not to change their names and religion was correct in law.

"It cannot be categorised as unreasonable, perverse and illegal for us to interfere," Zawawi said of the unanimous ruling.

The other two judges on the bench were Datuk Nalini Pathmanathan and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli.

Zawawi said the four had identified themselves as Indian Muslims professing the religion of Islam.

"It is not supported with cogent evidence that they were not Muslims," he said, affirming the High Court ruling made early this year.

The court also ordered the four to pay RM5,000 in costs to the government.

Cleaner Jamilah Jan Vasanthegokelam, 56 and her sons Mohd Shariff Abdullah, 35; Mohd Jefrey Mohd Baser, 32; Mohd Jass, 28; and Mohd Naser, 22 had applied to the department to remove the religion and their Muslim names but were refused.

Jamilah Jan wanted to be identified only as Vasanthegokelam, Shariff as Mahendran, Jefrey as Saiprasad Pillai, Jass as Jagath Kishore Pillai and Naser as Yuthesh Pillai.

Their lawyer, S. Nithiyawathi, who appeared along with counsel Robin Lim, said the men were still unmarried and were practising Hindus.

"They could not get married to Hindu women because of the Muslim names and religion on their identity cards," she told The Malaysian Insider.

The four were not in court today.

Senior federal counsel Mazlifah Ayob today submitted that the mother went to the department in 1983 to change her name from Vasanthegokelam to Jamilah Jan.

Mazlifah said Jamilah returned to the department in 1985 to replace her identity card using the same name.

“In 2013, she came to the department remove her name and the word ‘Islam’ in the identity card but was refused unless she produced a conversion certificate from the religious authorities.”

Full Report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/hindu-mother-and-sons-fail-to-remove-muslim-names-islam-from-ics

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Man fined RM12, 000 for slapping Masjid Negara Imam

October 30, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — An Indian national who slapped the Imam of Masjid Negara during Friday prayers last month was fined RM12,000 or three months’ jail by the Magistrate’s Court here today.

Shabir Ahmad Khan, 31, admitted before magistrate Siti Radziah Kamarudin to three charges of voluntarily causing hurt to the Imam; disturbing a religious assembly; and overstaying in Malaysia.

He committed the offences at Masjid Negara, Jalan Perdana here, at 1.30 pm on Sept 18.

Shabir, from Kashmir, who worked as a driver and possessed a social visit pass which had already expired, paid the fine.

He was first charged on Sept 30 and had pleaded guilty but his plea was rejected after appearing to be confused.

The court then ordered him to be sent to Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta in Tanjung Rambutan, Perak for mental assessment.

According to the facts of the case presented by deputy public prosecutor Nor Diana Nor Azwa Shabir, Shabir had shoved Imam Mohd Zuhairee Mohd Yatim, 39, who was leading the congregation on the first chapter of the Friday prayers.

When the victim stood up to continue reciting the prayers, Shabir slapped him on the left cheek violently.

Full Report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/man-fined-rm12000-for-slapping-masjid-negara-imam

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New GMMF chief brushes off extremist tag, says champions moderation

October 30, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 ― New chief executive of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF)  Nasharudin Mat Isa has brushed off claims that he held extremist and conservative views during his tenure as PAS deputy president, saying that the principles of moderation was an issue he always championed and believed in.

Acknowledging that his appointment as GMMF came as a surprise, Nasharudin said that being moderate does not mean that an individual should allow their principles to be compromised.

“For example, you let someone challenge the supremacy of the law or the position of certain articles in the Constitution.

“When this happens, it means you are compromising your principles. Yes, we are moderate in our principles, but GMM needs to be a principles-based movement,” The Star Online quoted him as saying.

During his time in PAS, Nasharudin broke ranks with other party leaders when he had openly attacked former Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan over the Bersih 3 rally back in 2012.

He was also alleged to have been among key PAS leaders in support of forming a unity government with Umno.

“If my political background is taken into account, I would not be appointed because I am still a card-carrying PAS member.

“In GMM, we would like to focus on nation-building at the international level, and this is what I am here for,” he said.

Nasharudin replaced Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah as GMMF chief when the latter vacated the position after quitting Umno to join PKR.

Nasharudin was PAS’s deputy president from 2008 to 2013 before he was defeated by Mohamad Sabu.

Nasharudin had also served as Yan MP from 1999 to 2004, is currently a fellow of Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (YADIM) and a member of the Council of Islamic Chinese Relations (CICR).

Full Report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/new-gmmf-chief-brushes-off-extremist-tag-says-champions-moderation

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North America

 

US Presidential Candidate Vows to End Islamophobia

29 October 2015

CAIRO – A leading US Muslim advocacy group welcomed Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s pledge to end Islamophobia and all other forms of racism during a town hall hosted at George Mason University on Wednesday.

“What should have been an unremarkable statement against racism was made noteworthy because only a handful of presidential candidates have gone on the record to denounce Islamophobia,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Thursday, October 29.

“Bernie Sanders’s willingness to vow to stand together in eradicating Islamophobia and all forms of racism is inspirational.”

The praised encounter occurred when Sanders invited Muslim George Mason University student Remaz Abdelgader to join him on stage during a campaign stop and responded to her remarks about Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s position that a Muslim should not be president.

Abdelgader expressed to Sanders the personal impact that Islamophobia in the presidential election was having on her.

“Being an American is such a strong part of my identity, but I want to create a change in this society,” Abdelgader said.

“I’m so tired of listening to this rhetoric saying I can’t be president one day, that I should not be in office. It makes me so angry and upset. This is my country.”

“If we stand for anything we have to stand together and end all forms of racism in this country,” Sanders said. “I will lead that effort as president.”

This is not the first time Sanders has challenged Islamophobia in the election.

After the detention of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school, Sanders had tweeted, "we must stand strong against anti-Muslim bigotry.”

McCaw challenged Republican front runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson to similarly denounce Islamophobia.

Full Report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/495915-us-presidential-candidate-vows-to-end-islamophobia.html

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Last Briton released from Guantanamo

30 October 2015

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in Guantanamo Bay jail, has been released and is on his way to Britain. The release was confirmed to Sky News by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond this morning.

Mr Aamer is due to arrive back in Britain later today, Mr Hammond said.

He has been held in the prison for 13 years without trial.

His case was debated in Westminster in March and MPs lobbied Washington to speed up the transfer, which was cleared in 2007.

Mr Aamer was originally detained in Afghanistan in 2001 and accused of having links to al Qaeda.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/165819/last-briton-released-from-guantanamo

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UNI to host series on Islam, Iowa politics

30 October 2015

CEDAR FALLS -- The University of Northern Iowa Department of Philosophy and World Religions will offer a series of three lectures on “Islam and Iowa Politics.”

The lectures will focus on perceptions about Islam that have received broad media attention as presidential candidates campaign in Iowa.

John Burnight, assistant professor of religion, will present “Abraham, Moses and Jesus: The Heritage of the Bible in the Qur’an” at 4 p.m. Friday in McCollum Science Hall, Room 137. This presentation will examine a number of the Quar’anic passages discussing these and other biblical figures, highlighting the important role each plays in Islam.

Full Report at:

http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/education/uni-to-host-series-on-islam-iowa-politics/article_7e17b5bf-3822-5eb0-a75a-691d723a7374.html

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Europe

 

Islamist militants pose biggest threat to Britain for decades: Spy chief

October 30, 2015

LONDON - Britain’s domestic spy service chief said Islamist militants pose the biggest threat to the country that he had seen in his 32 years in intelligence, as he called for new digital surveillance powers to keep Britons safe.

Andrew Parker, head of MI5, said again that militants are planning mass casualty attacks, and the threat was “on a scale and at a tempo that I have not seen before in my career”, according to a transcript of a speech delivered on Wednesday.

His remarks coincide with Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to bolster the powers of spies and police.

“(Islamic State) uses the full range of modern communications tools to spread its message of hate, and to inspire extremists, sometimes as young as their teens, to conduct attacks in whatever way they can,” he said.

Intelligence chiefs and Cameron have argued for years that the security agencies need more powers to address the threat and prevent another attack on the scale of the London suicide bombings in 2005 when four British Islamists killed 52 people.

Opposition to more surveillance is widespread, including from within Cameron’s Conservative party, fuelled in part by former US spy contractor Edward Snowden who suggested US and British spies were conducting mass monitoring of communications. Privacy and human rights campaigners are also fiercely opposed to measures that they say are an assault on freedoms.

The proposed new laws are expected to begin their passage through Britain’s parliament next week.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/30-Oct-2015/islamist-militants-pose-biggest-threat-to-britain-for-decades-spy-chief

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Britain’s long-awaited Iraq inquiry to be published in June or July 2016

29 October 2015

The chairman of a British public inquiry into the Iraq War that has been running for seven years said on Thursday he expected to publish his report mid-2016, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to urge him to speed up the process.

The inquiry aims to shed light on every aspect of Britain's involvement with Iraq from 2001 to 2009, from the build-up to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to the withdrawal of combat troops, and to identify lessons that can be learned.

The Iraq War, and in particular the role of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair in leading the nation into it, are still live political issues in Britain and the inquiry has come under repeated criticism from lawmakers and relatives of those killed over how long it has taken.

"My colleagues and I estimate that we will be able to complete the text of our report in the week commencing 18 April 2016. At that point, national security checking of its contents ... can begin," John Chilcot said in a letter to Cameron published on the inquiry's website.

Chilcot said due to the length of the report - more than 2 million words - it would then take many weeks to prepare for printing, making publication in June or July most likely.

Cameron welcomed that there was now "a clear end in sight" for the inquiry, but said he was disappointed Chilcot did not believe it would logistically be possible to publish the report until next summer.

"I recognise that you have a significant task, but would welcome any further steps you can take to expedite the final stages of the inquiry," he said in a letter to Chilcot released by his office.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/10/29/Britain-s-long-awaited-Iraq-inquiry-to-be-published-in-June-or-July-2016.html

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21 refugees die as boats sink off Greek islands

Oct 30, 2015

ome 21 refugees have died in an incident in which their boats capsized on the way from Turkey to Greece in the eastern Aegean Sea, Greek authorities say.

Eighteen people died while 138 others were rescued after their boat sank Friday overnight off the Greek island of Kalymnos.

A second boat capsized near the island of Rhodes early Friday killing three people. Six others were rescued.

Many refugees have lost their lives in dangerous boat journeys from Turkey to Europe.

On Thursday, ten refugees drowned in waters near Greece after four boats overturned. Some 200 people were also rescued in the incident.

Earlier, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid a visit to the Greek capital, Athens, pledging further help for Greece.

“At a moment when Greece is trying to recover economically, this influx is an extraordinary burden,” he said on Thursday.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/30/435572/Greece-refugee-crisis-Aegean-sea-Turkey-Kalymnos-Rhodes

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Any use of military force in Syria needs gov’t approval: Russia

Oct 30, 2015

Russia says no country can use military force in Syria without getting the approval of the Syrian government.

Asked about reports that the United States may launch a ground operation in Syria, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that, “The question of using military force in any form without the agreement of Damascus is for us unacceptable.”

“This situation has continued for a long time, and it is one of the topics on which we fundamentally disagree with the United States,” he added.

The Russian diplomat said that instead of further complicating the situation, the US should work with Moscow and look for ways to settle the Syrian crisis.

The US and its regional allies, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have been backing the militants fighting the Syrian government.

Since September 2014, the US, along with some of its allies, has been conducting airstrikes against purported Daesh targets inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The airstrikes in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against alleged Daesh positions in Iraq, which started in August 2014. Many have criticized the ineffectiveness of the raids.

Russia launched its own air campaign against Daesh Takfiris in Syria on September 30 upon a request from Damascus.

Washington accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of focusing its aerial attacks on foreign-backed groups that are fighting the Syria government, a claim that has been repeatedly rejected by Moscow.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/30/435570/Syria-Russia-Sergei-Ryabkov-

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500 refugees stranded in cold on Russia-Norway border

30 October 2015

More than 500 Syrian refugees had been stuck on Russia-Norway border in the northern Murmansk region, the FlashNord reported Thursday.

Russian border guards refused to let the refugees cross into Norway leaving them stranded there.

Temperatures in Nikel — the closest town to the checkpoint — hovered around freezing on Thursday, and some of the refugees had caught a cold.

Earlier, on Wednesday it has been reported that around 100 Syrian refugees asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for urgent help after being turned away at the crossing point in a letter.

Though not a member of the European Union, Norway is a member of the Schengen zone, which would give Syrian refugees who enter Norway free access to other European countries. The route into Europe through Russia is also considered by many Syrian refugees to be a safer, although longer, journey than crossing the Mediterranean.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165813/un-chief-hopes-for-united-spain-in-the-future

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Hungary 'will not accept' refugees from other EU states

30 October 2015

Hungary has said it will not accept any refugees sent to it by other European Union countries.

Janos Lazar, the minister in charge of the Hungarian Prime Ministry, told reporters on Thursday:

"Western European countries want to send about 40,000 migrants back to Hungary; we will not accept them, [not] even one of them."

"The migrants did not enter the European Union zone from Hungary; they entered from Greece, [to] where they should be sent," Lazar added.

Hungary closed its border with Croatia on 16 Oct., forcing refugees to take a new route toward Austria and Germany by passing through Slovenia.

Budapest also closed its frontier with Serbia on Sept. 14.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165806/hungary-will-not-accept-refugees-from-other-eu-states

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Refugee crisis dominates German FM's Greece visit

30 October 2015

The refugee crisis was at the top of the agenda for German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s meetings with high-ranking officials in Athens on Thursday.

Greece has become the entry point for tens of thousands of migrants to the EU from nearby Turkey and has experienced great difficulty coping with the influx due to its cash-strapped economy.

President Prokopis Pavlopoulos was the first to meet the German FM, saying: "Europe has borders which are primarily determined by international and European laws and they are defined by the dominant member states."

“We will protect them together, but we, as a dominant state will define which are the borders and the way we will protect them."

Steinmeier said that throwing the blame from one country to the other leads nowhere and pointed out that Europe needs a written policy.

Referring to Greek-German relations, he underlined that they have been affected by misunderstandings, emphasizing that traditional relations should be restored.

However, while Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has attempted to secure an easing of bailout austerity terms to compensate for Greece's financial burden in managing migration flows, Steinmeier – in remarks on the eve of his visit – insisted on decoupling the two issues.

"We continue our efforts to keep Greece in the euro zone. But, it will not work without decisive steps by Athens," the German Foreign Ministry tweeted following a meeting between Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni, in Berlin on Wednesday.

At his meeting with Steinmeier on Thursday, Tsipras noted that the government is proceeding with the implementation of the bailout agreement.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165803/refugee-crisis-dominates-german-fms-greece-visit

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Australia

 

National Mosque Open Day: Public welcomed inside Melbourne mosque to quash Islam misconceptions

30 October 2015

Mosques across Australia will host an open day this weekend, in an effort to demystify and destigmatise the meeting places for Muslims.

The Lebanese Muslim Association runs National Mosque Open Day annually, incorporating mosques from across the country.

In Melbourne's west, members of the Hoppers Crossing Virgin Mary Mosque hope to break some of the misconceptions about Islam.

"Anyone who has any doubt about what we do and what we teach is welcome to the mosque," Sheik Nawas Saleem said.

Questions and curiosity will be welcomed at the mosque on the open day Saturday October 31.

Sheik Saleem said nothing would be hidden from the public.

"The mosque is a place which is very open — there is only one room, we have our books on display, there is no hiding space or hidden chambers," he said.

The mosque's name and its location — next to a large Christian Church — were intentional, to help build bridges with other religions.

For regular attendees, like Ismail Baig, it is a place of community, teaching and prayer — common characteristics of every major religion.

"From my perspective, the mosque is the most important thing for every Muslim," Mr Baig said.

"This is the place you find yourself belonging, and you find something you need all the time; it's essential for my life.

"It is just like any other mosque, temple, or synagogue, to learn you have to go to the institution, and this is my institution."

'Mosques should not be seen as a threat'

Ever since the 9/11 terror attacks, Sheik Saleem said he was forced to defend his faith against public criticism and condemnation of Islam.

Full Report at:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-30/national-mosque-open-day-public-welcomed-inside-melbourne-mosque/6888224

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isil-kills-200-defectors-in-syria,-claims-syrian-observatory-for-human-rights/d/105103


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