New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 10:49 AM

Islamic World News ( 10 Oct 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

ISIS Reduces Prayer Frequency from Five to Three in Nineveh, Issues Fatwa














ISIS prepares the children from a very young age and rewards them with ‘slave brides’ when they turn 15. (ISIS propaganda)

 

How ISIS Grooms ‘Illegitimate Sons’ As Its Next Generation

Hillary in Leaked Email: Saudi Arabia and Qatar Are Funding ISIS

Islamic State Recruiting Criminals in Europe by Offering Redemption: Report

Key Taliban Leader Arrested With Pakistani Currency, Weapons in Logar

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Arab World

ISIS Reduces Prayer Frequency from Five to Three in Nineveh, Issues Fatwa

How ISIS Grooms ‘Illegitimate Sons’ As Its Next Generation

ISIS Demolishes Assyrian Church In Culture-Rich Nineveh, Iraq

ISIS forces people of Mosul to use its currency, confiscates Iraqi Dinars

ISIS suffers major land loss ahead of planned Mosul assault report finds

Syrian tribal force switching to politics wants role in Mosul offensive

ISIL's Would-Be "Iran Emir" Killed

Iran's General Soleimani: Saudi Deputy Crown Prince May Kill King Salman to Ascend to Throne

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North America

Hillary in Leaked Email: Saudi Arabia and Qatar Are Funding ISIS

Muslim-Americans Respond To a Caustic Campaign by Raising Money and Mobilizing

Donald Trump: Muslims in America Need to Warn Cops about Pending Jihad Attacks

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Europe

Islamic State Recruiting Criminals in Europe by Offering Redemption: Report

Post-Brexit UK 'Unbearable' For Muslims, Says Scottish Minister

Is Muslim sectarian violence a new reality for Britain?

Alain Gresh: The idea of unified Muslims in the West is nonsense

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South Asia

Key Taliban Leader Arrested With Pakistani Currency, Weapons in Logar

Bangladesh's Pujo Paradox: Joyous Celebrations under the Shadow of the Gun

Taliban militants take control of Ghormach in North of Afghanistan

Afghan Air Force to get a further 4 A-29 light attack aircraft from US

Explosion near Jalalabad Madrasa, no casualties reported

NDS Chief Masoom Stanikzai apologizes for partial fall of Kunduz city

‘Irrational’ border closure a setback to Pak-India ties: Chinese analysts

China insists on consensus for India’s NSG bid, sticks to Jaish leader stand

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India

Punjab: Locals to burn Nawaz Sharif’s effigy with Ravan on Dussehra

Entire Kashmir Is Ours Including Gilgit-Baltistan: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Law Minister Backs Muslim Marriage Law Reform

Muslim Family Keeps Alive Tradition of Effigy Making In Jammu

Don’t endorse Nawazuddin ouster from Ramlila: Shiv Sena

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Mideast

Turkish Gov’t to Change Laws for ‘Efficient Trials’ Of Coup Plotters

New Talks Required If Migrant Deal Delayed To 2017: Turkish Official

Turkey, Russia strike strategic Turkish Stream gas pipeline deal

Turkey calls on world to share energy for peace

First indictment Turkey’s coup attempt ready against 60 suspects in Denizli

PKK kills local AKP politician in Turkey’s Diyarbakır

Detentions sought for 125 police department personnel

Israel thwarts Hamas suicide bombing plot on bus in Jerusalem

Turkey Expresses Solidarity with Pakistan on Kashmir

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Southeast Asia

Ahok Apologized, Police to Investigate Alleged Religious Defamation

Indonesia police probe mosque vandalism amid ethnic tension

Myanmar sends troops into Muslim-majority region after deadly attacks

Malaysia Arrests 16 Over Alleged Ties to Terrorism

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Pakistan

Journalist Who Reported Rift between Govt and Army Barred From Leaving Pak

Minister Asks Militants to Surrender, Join Mainstream

PPP seeks world’s help for Kashmiris

PTI asks SC for early hearing of petition against PM

Nawaz Sharif orders action over news story on national security

 

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Africa

Police Secure Assakio Central Mosque to Maintain Peace

Outlawed Shiite group reports arrests of members in Nigeria

The identity issue paralyzes Sudan and African continent: Museveni

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isis-reduces-prayer-frequency-from-five-to-three-in-nineveh,-issues-fatwa/d/108827

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ISIS Reduces Prayer Frequency from Five to Three in Nineveh, Issues Fatwa

October 11, 2016

In a surprising move, the Islamic State group has reduced the number of times a Muslim resident of Nineveh in Iraq has to pray from five to three, with the terror outfit's internal panel even issuing a fatwa in this regard. Defaulters will have to face severe punishment.

The most astonishing aspect of the fatwa is that it orders people to do something for which several people have been killed by the terror group itself!

Earlier, the Islamic State group — also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) — had meted out punishments for people who had not prayed the mandatory number of times during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

According to a local news outlet: "Isis has issued a decree in Nineveh to lessen Muslim ritual prayers from five to three times a day, due to what it calls a state of war. So, prayers might be shortened or combined. All preachers and imams have been informed to abide by this decree that covers all Isis-controlled areas in Nineveh."

It may be mentioned that the five-times-a-day prayers — referred to as Salah — is considered one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Given that Isis not only strictly follows and enforces the Sharia version of Islamic law, but also heavily punishes people for breaking that law, it comes as another surprise that the terror group has "threatened to flog the violators of the decree with 30 lashes."

Earlier, such punishments were meted out to those who smoked during Ramadan, women who did not follow strict dress code or people who deviated ever so slightly from Sharia law.

Interestingly, this is not the first time the terror group has ordered changes in the Islamic religious practices. It had earlier changed the timings of the calls to the aforementioned prayers on the ground that these timings had been set by governments and not religious authorities.

Source: ibtimes.co.in/isis-u-turn-terror-group-reduces-prayer-frequency-nineveh-issues-fatwa-699163

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How ISIS grooms ‘illegitimate sons’ as its next generation

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has reportedly found a solution for children born to “slave women” in captivity by adopting them as “sons of ISIS”.

A source inside Syria confirmed to AlArabiya.net that ISIS has built numerous homes that specifically house the “illegitimate sons” whose fathers cannot be identified while their mothers are held captive and sold to fighters.

According to the source, nearly 20 percent of such children belong to “unknown” fathers while 90 percent belong to “foreign fighters”. Of those, nearly half are European in ethnicity while the remaining are Arabs. The mothers of these children were taken in as “Sabaya” – women who were trafficked from captured cities and sold to ISIS militants and their supporters.

These houses bring in the “sons of ISIS” when they turn 12 years of age in a bid to prepare the second generation of ISIS. According to inside sources, two men take care of the young: Mahmoud al-Khamis in Raqqa (nicknamed Abu Mariah al-Ansari) and Abu Aziz al-Jazrawi from Saudi Arabia. They are paid anywhere between $1,000 to $1,800 for their services.

The next generation

ISIS start preparing the children from a very young age and, according to information obtained by Al Arabiya, these children - who range from infants up to 12-years - are given Islamic lessons in the mosque as well as lessons in the Arabic language.

Those aged between 13 and 15 are then taken to closed workshops, presumably to submit them to ISIS propaganda. According to the sources, these workshops are boot-camp in nature and can last up to two weeks without any contact with their outside world.

An insight into the lives of these “sons of ISIS” in an ISIS propaganda magazine once said that competitions are routinely held where the prize for a young 15-year-old ISIS achiever would be a new “sabaya” – young new prisoner-wife.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2016/10/10/-Caliphate-s-illegitimate-sons-Grooming-the-next-generation-of-ISIS-fighters.html

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Hillary In Leaked Email: Saudi Arabia And Qatar Are Funding ISIS

10/10/2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent an email to her campaign chairman John Podesta in 2014, who was then-counselor to President Barack Obama, that said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both giving financial and logistical support to the Islamic State and other extremist Sunni groups, according to a recent Wikileaks release.

Clinton sent the email on August 17, 2014 to Podesta. It was an eight-point plan to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Clinton’s email said that the United States should support Kurdish forces on the ground with U.S. military advisers and avoid the use of a conventional ground operation.

“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote.

The former secretary of state added: “This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”

The email from Clinton to Podesta contains a similar format of previous intelligence reports Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal would send to the former secretary of state. The Daily Caller has previously reported how Clinton had previously asked aides to remove markings showing Blumenthal wrote the reports before sending them to White House officials.

The August 2014 email that pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia and Qatar does not contain any information linking it to Blumenthal in particular and is sent from one of Clinton’s personal emails. The batch of Wikileaks emails has not been independently verified by TheDC. However, Clinton and her spokesman Brian Fallon did not dispute the legitimacy of leaked speech transcripts released by Wikileaks at Sunday’s debate.

TheDC reached out to the Clinton campaign and asked if they dispute the legitimacy of the email, but they have not responded. The Daily Caller also emailed Blumenthal asking if he authored the memo, and he also did not respond.

Do You At All Find It Concerning That Saudi Arabia And Qatar Has Donated To The Clinton Foundation?

Completing this poll entitles you to Daily Caller news updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Qatar has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and Saudi Arabia has donated upwards of $25 million dollars to the Foundation.

The Clinton campaign has not replied to a Daily Caller inquiry about whether the Clinton Foundation will return donations from these two nations that, according to Hillary Clinton, fund ISIS.

In 2010, Clinton’s top aide said that the up to $60 billion weapons transfer of fighter jets and helicopters to Saudi Arabia was a “top priority.” The Clinton campaign did not give comment when The Daily Caller asked if Hillary was elected would she cede military support to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Source: dailycaller.com/2016/10/10/hillary-in-leaked-email-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-are-funding-isis/

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Islamic State recruiting criminals in Europe by offering redemption: Report

Tue, 11 Oct 2016

Young men looking for redemption from crime, drugs or gangs by waging 'jihad' are the new targets for the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group, a media report said on Tuesday.

In what it called a "dangerous new crime-terror nexus", The Telegraph reported that more than half of European jihadis have criminal histories as ISIS offers 'redemption'.

A poster with an image of a masked fighter wielding a Kalashnikov shared on Facebook by Rayat al-Tawheed, a group of British ISIS fighters from London calling themselves the "Banner of God" had the slogan: "Sometimes people with the worst pasts create the best futures."

"Their target is young men looking for redemption from crime, drugs or gangs, willing to save their souls by waging jihad for the so-called Islamic State," the report said.

It cited new research to show that "for all of its professed piousness", majority of recruits of the terror group have criminal histories an unprecedented figure for former Islamist movements emphasising purity and scholarly knowledge.

A report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) shows that criminal and terrorist networks across Europe are merging to create a dangerous brand of jihadi for whom violence is not just a holy pursuit, but a way of life, it said.

Professor Peter Neumann, director of the ICSR at King's College London, was quoted as saying that the new "crime- terror nexus" was making radicalisation harder to spot for European security services.

Several European fighters in the ICSR's database continue to smoke, drink and even take drugs up until their departure for the ISIS even as security services might expect radicalised young men to change their behaviour and act "religiously", Neumann said.

"Similarly, criminality does not always stop with a commitment to jihad. Said Kouachi may have used funds from selling counterfeit trainers to buy the weapons he and his brother used to carry out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, while the Paris and Brussels "supercell" used their connections in the criminal underworld to manufacture the fake documents that would let them evade security services," the report said.

Neumann said that of the jihadis examined for the study, two-thirds had not just a criminal history but a violent history. In European countries where the figure is known, more than half of ISIS fighters were previously known to the police. "It gives criminals a moral justification for doing what they have always been doing only now they will go to heaven," he said.

ISIS' ideology puts less emphasis on theological knowledge and more on absolute obedience to its own interpretation, with the majority of recruits listed in leaked registration forms tellingly describing their Sharia knowledge as "basic".

"It (ISIS) basically says 'you can come in if you sign up to the mission, we don't care if you know true Islam we are true Islam'," Neumann said.

Source: dnaindia.com/world/report-islamic-state-recruiting-criminals-in-europe-by-offering-redemption-report-2263210

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Key Taliban leader arrested with Pakistani currency, weapons in Logar

Tue Oct 11 2016

A key Taliban leader who was channeling funds to the group’s fighters in central Logar province was arrested during a special military operation, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Tuesday.

According to a statement by MoI, the Taliban leader Taj Mohammad, was also involved in supplying the militants with weapons and other logistics.

The statement further added Taj Mohammad was arrested during the operation conducted in the vicinity of Charkh district of Logar.

The Afghan security forces confiscated some weapons and Pakistani currency from Taj Mohammad, MoI said, adding that Taj Mohammad was playing a key role in equipping and supporting the group’s fighters in thsi province.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

The arrested of Taj Mohammad comes as the Afghan forces are busy in conducting their annual operation “Shafaq” which was launched in response to Taliban’s spring offensive “Omari Operations”.

The Afghan security officials are saying the annual Shafaq operations mainly focus on eliminating the key leaders of Taliban in a bid to repulse the annual offensive of the group.

Source: khaama.com/key-taliban-leader-arrested-with-pakistani-currency-weapons-in-logar-02054

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Arab World

ISIS Reduces Prayer Frequency from Five to Three in Nineveh, Issues Fatwa

October 11, 2016

In a surprising move, the Islamic State group has reduced the number of times a Muslim resident of Nineveh in Iraq has to pray from five to three, with the terror outfit's internal panel even issuing a fatwa in this regard. Defaulters will have to face severe punishment.

The most astonishing aspect of the fatwa is that it orders people to do something for which several people have been killed by the terror group itself!

Earlier, the Islamic State group — also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) — had meted out punishments for people who had not prayed the mandatory number of times during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

According to a local news outlet: "Isis has issued a decree in Nineveh to lessen Muslim ritual prayers from five to three times a day, due to what it calls a state of war. So, prayers might be shortened or combined. All preachers and imams have been informed to abide by this decree that covers all Isis-controlled areas in Nineveh."

It may be mentioned that the five-times-a-day prayers — referred to as Salah — is considered one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Given that Isis not only strictly follows and enforces the Sharia version of Islamic law, but also heavily punishes people for breaking that law, it comes as another surprise that the terror group has "threatened to flog the violators of the decree with 30 lashes."

Earlier, such punishments were meted out to those who smoked during Ramadan, women who did not follow strict dress code or people who deviated ever so slightly from Sharia law.

Interestingly, this is not the first time the terror group has ordered changes in the Islamic religious practices. It had earlier changed the timings of the calls to the aforementioned prayers on the ground that these timings had been set by governments and not religious authorities.

Source: ibtimes.co.in/isis-u-turn-terror-group-reduces-prayer-frequency-nineveh-issues-fatwa-699163

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How ISIS grooms ‘illegitimate sons’ as its next generation

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has reportedly found a solution for children born to “slave women” in captivity by adopting them as “sons of ISIS”.

A source inside Syria confirmed to AlArabiya.net that ISIS has built numerous homes that specifically house the “illegitimate sons” whose fathers cannot be identified while their mothers are held captive and sold to fighters.

According to the source, nearly 20 percent of such children belong to “unknown” fathers while 90 percent belong to “foreign fighters”. Of those, nearly half are European in ethnicity while the remaining are Arabs. The mothers of these children were taken in as “Sabaya” – women who were trafficked from captured cities and sold to ISIS militants and their supporters.

These houses bring in the “sons of ISIS” when they turn 12 years of age in a bid to prepare the second generation of ISIS. According to inside sources, two men take care of the young: Mahmoud al-Khamis in Raqqa (nicknamed Abu Mariah al-Ansari) and Abu Aziz al-Jazrawi from Saudi Arabia. They are paid anywhere between $1,000 to $1,800 for their services.

The next generation

ISIS start preparing the children from a very young age and, according to information obtained by Al Arabiya, these children - who range from infants up to 12-years - are given Islamic lessons in the mosque as well as lessons in the Arabic language.

Those aged between 13 and 15 are then taken to closed workshops, presumably to submit them to ISIS propaganda. According to the sources, these workshops are boot-camp in nature and can last up to two weeks without any contact with their outside world.

An insight into the lives of these “sons of ISIS” in an ISIS propaganda magazine once said that competitions are routinely held where the prize for a young 15-year-old ISIS achiever would be a new “sabaya” – young new prisoner-wife.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2016/10/10/-Caliphate-s-illegitimate-sons-Grooming-the-next-generation-of-ISIS-fighters.html

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ISIS demolishes Assyrian church in culture-rich Nineveh, Iraq

11 Oct, 2016

The destruction of the building follows a similar string of grave offences, as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) attempts to wipe out precious cultural artefacts they consider sacrilegious. These include the partially-destroyed ancient ruins of Palmyra, the 2,000-year-old Gate of God in Iraq, Syria’s national treasure – the Assyrian-era Tal Ajaja settlement – and countless other prized relics that have faced IS explosives and sledgehammers.

It emerged in March this year that all six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria have either been damaged or destroyed in the five years of civil war. In Iraq, the destruction took off in earnest a little later, in 2014, after the fall of Mosul to IS. Over 28 historical relics and places of worship have been attacked and looted.

The destruction doesn’t just happen for the sake of IS’s anti-cultural agenda: the terrorists loot and sell the artefacts they salvage later on the black market to finance their murderous campaign.

The Assyrian town of Karmlis and the surrounding Christian villages have all been abandoned by escaping civilians, turning the IS-ridden Nineveh Governorate in the northwest of Iraq into a ghost town.

The thousands of families have reportedly fled to Kurdish-held Iraq. According to Shamoun, IS’s purpose is to “eliminate the historical identity of the area.”

The terrorists seized control of the strategically-important Mosul in 2014, and have since been rampaging through the region on a quest to completely rid it of culture, as they have been doing in Syria.

IS and other terrorist groups have attacked more than 1,000 archaeological sites across both countries, according to local reports.

Almost exactly a year ago, in light of the local forces’ inability to step in, the United Nations unveiled plans to defend cultural relics from the terrorist group by employing peacekeepers to guard them.

“Faced with IS terrorist attacks and the terrible images of Palmyra, the international community cannot stand back and watch,” Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, said.

According to the minister, the UN peacekeeping mission would aim to protect“important sites at risk from terrorist attacks, or in war zones, or zones hit by natural disasters, where the international community will be able to send Cultural Blue Helmets to ... defend them before they can be destroyed.”

Around the same time as the UN became more proactive, Russia had joined the campaign at the request of Damascus to help out in Syria by targeting IS from the air. In that time the Russian Air Force has eliminated thousands of jihadists, but also liberated Palmyra, which the international community considered all but lost.

The ancient city had been under terrorist control since May 2015, before they were expelled thanks to a Russian-Syrian operation in March this year.

Source: rt.com/news/362338-isis-destroys-church-iraq/

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ISIS forces people of Mosul to use its currency, confiscates Iraqi Dinars

Oct 10, 2016

(IraqiNews.com) Nineveh – Iraqi media outlets reported on Monday that the Islamic State prohibited Iraqi Dinar currency from Mosul in order compel its people to adopt ISIS currency.

Al Sumaria News stated, “ISIS confiscated large quantities of the Iraqi Dinar currency from the people of Mosul, forcing them to exchange it with ISIS currency. ISIS gave the residents receipts with the amounts taken from them.”

“The so-called ISIS Sharia Court issued a fatwa prohibiting the Iraqi Dinar currency in markets in the city of Mosul,” Al Sumaria added.

The coffers of ISIS were adversely affected after Iraqi security forces liberated many areas and cities in Iraq.

Source: iraqinews.com/iraq-war/isis-collects-iraqi-currency-replace-currency-mosul/

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ISIS suffers major land loss ahead of planned Mosul assault report finds

October 11, 2016

U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and ground fighting have depleted the Islamic State’s territory in Iraq and Syria in a big way, reportedly by 16 percent over just 9 months, a new study has found.

ISIS now controls only 25,000 square miles of land in the region, an area roughly the size of West Virginia, IHS Conflict Monitor reports. It marks a sharp reversal from the terror network’s massive land grab in 2014 and is down drastically from the reported 35,000 square miles controlled at the start of 2015.

Analysts said one of the biggest blows against ISIS came when Turkey, a stalwart ally of the U.S., entered Syria at the end of August, capturing the strategically important border town of Jarablus.

“The loss of direct road access to cross-border smuggling routes into Turkey severely restricts the group’s ability to recruit new fighters from abroad,” said Columb Strack, senior analyst for IHS.

The news comes ahead of a planned assault on Mosul, the terror group’s biggest stronghold in Iraq. Local counterterrorism units, Kurdish Peshmerga forces, Sunni and Shia militias will take part in the assault along with coalition air support, The Telegraph reports.

Mosul isn’t the only ISIS stronghold on the verge of collapse. Syrian rebels backed by Turkish military forces are converging on the Syrian town of Dabiq, just north of the battle-ravaged city of Aleppo. ISIS fighters have said they believed the end of the world would unfold there with an apocalyptic battle between Christians and Muslims.

Syrian government forces and ISIS fighters are also locked in battle over control of Deir El-Zour province, which is also the setting of some of the fiercest international coalition air raids against the terrorists.

The U.S.-led coalition is targeting bridges up and down the Euphrates River, leading the Syrian foreign ministry to accuse the air campaign of destroying the country's infrastructure.

The extremists have kept the provincial capital, also called Deir el-Zour, under siege since 2014, but pro-government forces have withstood the encirclement thanks to air-dropped humanitarian assistance from the United Nations and weapons and ammunition flown into the nearby airport, which remains under government control.

Source: foxnews.com/world/2016/10/11/isis-suffers-major-land-loss-ahead-planned-mosul-assault-report-finds.html

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Syrian tribal force switching to politics wants role in Mosul offensive

October 11, 2016

Bandar Al-Himedi Daham is a member of al-Shammar, one of the biggest Arab tribes in Syria and he is now the commander of Al-Sanadid Force, an unofficial army of 4,500 fighters, combating the Islamic State (ISIS). In this interview with Rudaw, Al-Himedi says the goal of his force was initially to defend their territory against ISIS without any political agenda. But now the situation has changed and their leaders pursue political goals.

Al-Himedi’s force has partnered with the Kurdish YPG on several occasions to fight ISIS militants, including in the Hasakah province. Despite his good ties with the Kurds, Al-Himedi rejects federalism for Syria if it leads to the country’s partition. Al-Himedi reveals that he has asked the international coalition and Iraqi government to allow his force to join the Mosul offensive in order to help defeat ISIS and protect members of the Shmmar tribe who live on the other side of the border.

Rudaw: What is the political agenda of Sanadid, and your objectives?

Bandar Al-Himedi: Sanadid is a force that was created out of the need for self-defense. Our tribe members resorted to arms in order to protect this region from the danger of ISIS. That is why we did not have any political objectives or any political agenda initially. But in light of the recent events, the success this force has achieved, and the changing dynamics in the situations on the ground, the political leadership is going to determine what our objectives are. I am a military person. What I know is that we have taken up arms for self-defense purposes.

Our tribe members resorted to arms in order to protect this region from the danger of ISIS. 

Did the Kurds support you in forming the Sanadid Force?

The history of our relationship with the Kurds will further strengthen mutual trust. This even reflects on the war fronts. Our faith in Kurds is rooted in our historic relations and our past alliance. We have had an alliance with the Kurds in every crisis. ISIS attacked our region where Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians live. It is because of this and the danger of terrorism that we had to form an alliance with all the parties of the region. But our alliance with the Kurds is a different thing. We formed an alliance with the Kurds right at the beginning of the formation of the Sanadid Force, and this alliance was directly against ISIS. Before the advent of ISIS, there were small terrorist groups in the region, and we were able to repel their danger in light combat. Hence, we did not have an official alliance. But our alliance with the Kurds became official, only with the advent of ISIS.

Will political disagreements affect your alliance with the Kurds?

We are a defensive force. We are not doing politics, which is why political disagreements will have no effect on our alliance, which is an alliance on the war fronts, not a political alliance. Political events will not be influencing us in a way to change or withdraw from our alliance with the Kurds or other parties. 

Full report at:rudaw.net/english/interview/11102016

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ISIL's Would-Be "Iran Emir" Killed

October 11, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Security forces have reportedly killed the designated emir of the ISIL in Iran, a Persian-language media outlet reported citing unnamed sources.

Official Tehran and the ISIL have yet to confirm or comment on the report which was published by Pars News on Sept. 27 and cannot be independently verified by FNA.

The circumstances surrounding the attack are consistent with one conducted and reported in August in which authorities said they had killed a high-ranking ISIL member, though the details were murky.

Iranian authorities have announced a series of operations against ISIL operatives attempting to infiltrate Iran to launch attacks.

“The biggest security measure to prevent the formation of ISIL cells in Iran has taken place,” Pars News said.

“Some time ago in one of the border cities of Kermanshah province an individual who was supposed to be announced the Emir of ISIL in Iran was killed in a complex and massive operation with the hard work of intelligence and security forces,” the report said.

“Security sources have not revealed the name of the hunted ISIL man, but some local sources have called him ‘Abu Ayesheh,’ which is not his real name and was only called so in the organization under this name.”

“It is said that Shafi’i Sunnis live in that area [and] that the Shafi’i ulema (clerics) and the people of this region highly cooperated in the success of this operation.”

“Abu Ayesheh was the self-declared leader of DAESH (ISIL) for all of Iran, and DAESH had entered Iran multiple times for operations, but fell in the trap of the Islamic Republic and security systems in all of these operations.”

“This time, Abu Ayesheh himself came to Iran to form DAESH in Iran and was detected during this operation. In this pursuit, a sniper killed him.”

Pars said that the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), and the regular Army cooperated in the operation. The LEF Counter-Terrorism Special Forces (NOPO) snipers had “serious roles” in this operation, according to the report. The Intelligence Ministry was credited for tracking the ISIL operative from within Iraq in cooperation with the IRGC.

The Pars report appears to match some of the details of back-to-back operations last month in Kermanshah Province against two purported ISIL teams in the city of Kermanshah, which is predominantly Shiite Kurdish, and Javanrud County, a Shafi’i Sunni Kurd area close to the border with Iraq.

On Aug. 16, Iranian media first reported that security forces killed three members of a “takfiri terrorist” cell in the city’s Baq-e Abrisham neighborhood. The Kermanshah province LEF chief confirmed to reporters that LEF-NOPO, in coordination with Intelligence Ministry, raided the safe house of the “takfiri” team after it crossed from Iraq, killing all three team members and confiscating one AK-47 rifle, two magazines, and a suicide-bombing belt.

Government officials then revealed that a second operation had taken place on the night of Aug. 15 in Javanrud. They said that six perpetrators were arrested, and that the one suspect killed was a high-ranking ISIL member and an “influential” element based out of Iraq.

The Pars report that cites unnamed intelligence and local sources matches official accounts from the operation in Javanrud. Iranian authorities have yet to publicly speak about whether they have killed the alleged emir of ISIL in Iran attempting to form a cell in the country. However, Iran’s intelligence minister did say that one of the individuals killed was a regional emir.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950719000932

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Iran's General Soleimani: Saudi Deputy Crown Prince May Kill King Salman to Ascend to Throne

October 11, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Major General Ghassem Soleimani said Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince is so wild and thirsty for power that he could even kill his own father to take the throne.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the youthful, ambitious son of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz who is also the defense minister is so thirsty for power and has taken the country's affairs into his hand in such a bold and aggressive manner that many believe he is the heir apparent and would topple the Crown Prince, Muhammad Bin Nayef, in one way or another soon.

Addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday, General Soleimani said the Saudi prince "is so impatient that he might kill his own father, the king".

Mohammed bin Salman's ascension has been surrounded by a great deal of palace intrigue, including the grumbling protestations of royals angry about the prince skipping the lines of succession.

Saudi Sources revealed in late June that Saudi Arabia’s young deputy crown prince is being advised by the UAE on how he can win backing from the US and ascend to the throne by the end of the year.

Two "well-placed Saudi sources" have said that de facto UAE ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan is advising Mohammed on a two-pronged strategy to become Washington's preferred choice as the next Saudi ruler.

The first Saudi source said bin Zayed has told bin Salman that he must “end the rule of Wahhabism” if he wants to be accepted by the Americans.

Wahhabism is the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia which has inspired Takfiri groups such as ISIL and al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front to wreak havoc in the Middle East.  

Bin Zayed has also told bin Salman that he must open a “strong channel of communication” with Israel if he is to be Washington’s preferred candidate to be king.

The second Saudi source reportedly said bin Salman is willing to win the backing of Washington after telling close associates recently that he would complete the mission of becoming king before the end of the year.

The 30-year-old bin Salman, who also serves as the Saudi defense minister, has been granted increasing power since he was named the third in line to the throne last April.

He is heading up the country’s economic reforms plan, the kingdom's policy towards Syria and its deadly aggression against Yemen.

Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950719001453

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North America

Hillary In Leaked Email: Saudi Arabia And Qatar Are Funding ISIS

10/10/2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent an email to her campaign chairman John Podesta in 2014, who was then-counselor to President Barack Obama, that said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are both giving financial and logistical support to the Islamic State and other extremist Sunni groups, according to a recent Wikileaks release.

Clinton sent the email on August 17, 2014 to Podesta. It was an eight-point plan to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Clinton’s email said that the United States should support Kurdish forces on the ground with U.S. military advisers and avoid the use of a conventional ground operation.

“While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” Clinton wrote.

The former secretary of state added: “This effort will be enhanced by the stepped up commitment in the [Kurdish Regional Government]. The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure.”

The email from Clinton to Podesta contains a similar format of previous intelligence reports Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal would send to the former secretary of state. The Daily Caller has previously reported how Clinton had previously asked aides to remove markings showing Blumenthal wrote the reports before sending them to White House officials.

The August 2014 email that pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia and Qatar does not contain any information linking it to Blumenthal in particular and is sent from one of Clinton’s personal emails. The batch of Wikileaks emails has not been independently verified by TheDC. However, Clinton and her spokesman Brian Fallon did not dispute the legitimacy of leaked speech transcripts released by Wikileaks at Sunday’s debate.

TheDC reached out to the Clinton campaign and asked if they dispute the legitimacy of the email, but they have not responded. The Daily Caller also emailed Blumenthal asking if he authored the memo, and he also did not respond.

Do You At All Find It Concerning That Saudi Arabia And Qatar Has Donated To The Clinton Foundation?

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Qatar has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and Saudi Arabia has donated upwards of $25 million dollars to the Foundation.

The Clinton campaign has not replied to a Daily Caller inquiry about whether the Clinton Foundation will return donations from these two nations that, according to Hillary Clinton, fund ISIS.

In 2010, Clinton’s top aide said that the up to $60 billion weapons transfer of fighter jets and helicopters to Saudi Arabia was a “top priority.” The Clinton campaign did not give comment when The Daily Caller asked if Hillary was elected would she cede military support to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Source: dailycaller.com/2016/10/10/hillary-in-leaked-email-saudi-arabia-and-qatar-are-funding-isis/

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Muslim-Americans Respond To A Caustic Campaign By Raising Money And Mobilizing

Oct 11, 2016

CHARLESTON, South Carolina — “I am a psychologist, and I run [the] Islamic School of Charleston,” said Ruby Abid, 48, an ace multitasker who has raised three grown children. “I am a substitute teacher, too, in like American schools, and I’m a Realtor. I sell houses, and I run a business, and I teach Arabic online, and like little stuff here and there.”

But midday on Fridays, Abid takes a pause from work for Jummah, the Friday prayer services at the Central Mosque of Charleston, a former church on a corner lot in a working-class neighborhood. A police patrol is stationed in the parking lot during worship. The mosque’s former president, Shahid Hussein, said it was just one of several houses of worship in Charleston that have been targets of threats or attacks, including the mass killing of nine people by a white supremacist at Emanuel AME church last year. During prayers, men sit in the main room where the imam leads prayer, while women are on the other side of a partition through which they can see and hear, with a separate entrance.

During the February primary season in South Carolina, Abid, who lives in nearby Mount Pleasant, told me that she was going to vote “with Democrats, maybe Hillary.” (She wouldn’t divulge who got her vote, in the end.) Donald Trump was speaking in town that very night, and Abid said “we’re more than happy to host him here and answer whatever questions he has about Islam and maybe we’ll be able to satisfy his … you know, whatever hatred he has about Muslims. Muslims are not bad people.”

Abid, a naturalized U.S. citizen who moved here from Pakistan two decades ago, is one of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim American voters who will get to have their say in an election in which one of the two main candidates has openly proposed banning Muslims and immigrants from nations “compromised by terrorism.” According to data from the Public Religion Research Institute, there are only a handful of swing states that have more than 1 percent Muslim population.

The Pew Research Center has estimated there were about 3.3 million Muslims in the United States in 2015, or about 1 percent of the population.1 By 2050, according to Pew, the Muslim share of the population should more than double, surpassing the number of Jewish Americans (who are estimated to decline to 1.4 percent from 1.8 percent now) and double the number of Hindus.

Full report at:fivethirtyeight.com/features/muslim-americans-respond-to-a-caustic-campaign-by-raising-money-and-mobilizing/

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Donald Trump: Muslims in America Need to Warn Cops About Pending Jihad Attacks

Oct 2016

Muslims living in America need to alert the government when they see “hatred,” Donald Trump told a Muslim woman invited to the second presidential debate to ask a question about “Islamophobia” among Americans.

“Whether we like it or not, and we could be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not, there is a problem,” Trump told the woman. “And we have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on, they have to report it,” Trump said.

The questioner did not refer to Americans being killed in terror attacks, but suggested that Muslims are indirect victims of the jihad attacks. “With Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?” the questioner said.

There were no warnings about numerous pending Islamic attacks, including the Boston bombings, the 2015 San Bernardino attack and the recent bombings in New Jersey, despite evidence of extensive preparations.

In his response to the question, Trump cited the San Bernardino attack:

In San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people. Horribly wounded. They’ll never be the same. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.

In her response to the same question, Hillary Clinton criticized Trump for his insistence on greater cooperation from Muslims, and she downplayed the question of whether Muslims should do more to alert police when fellow Muslims are preparing to killed Americans.

It’s also very short-sighted and even dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric that Donald has about Muslims,” she said.

We need American Muslims to be part of our eyes and ears on our front lines. I’ve worked with a lot of different Muslim groups around America. I’ve met with a lot of them, and I’ve heard how important it is for them to feel that they are wanted and included and part of our country, part of our homeland security, and that’s what I want to see.

Clinton also insisted there’s no conflict between Islam and the non-Islamic West, despite the statements by Islamic attackers that they’re motivated by Islam.

We are not at war with Islam. And it is a mistake and it plays into the hands of the terrorists to act as though we are. So I want a country where citizens like you and your family are just as welcome as anyone else.

Under President Barack Obama, various Islamic political groups have opposed bipartisan demands for cooperation, and have successfully lobbied for restrictions on FBI investigations. These groups have also successfully pushed the establishment media to use the term, “Islamophobia” which suggests that Americans’ reaction to terror attacks is excessive. 

Source: breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/10/trump-muslims-must-warn-cops/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+breitbart+(Breitbart+News)

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Europe

Islamic State recruiting criminals in Europe by offering redemption: Report

Tue, 11 Oct 2016

Young men looking for redemption from crime, drugs or gangs by waging 'jihad' are the new targets for the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group, a media report said on Tuesday.

In what it called a "dangerous new crime-terror nexus", The Telegraph reported that more than half of European jihadis have criminal histories as ISIS offers 'redemption'.

A poster with an image of a masked fighter wielding a Kalashnikov shared on Facebook by Rayat al-Tawheed, a group of British ISIS fighters from London calling themselves the "Banner of God" had the slogan: "Sometimes people with the worst pasts create the best futures."

"Their target is young men looking for redemption from crime, drugs or gangs, willing to save their souls by waging jihad for the so-called Islamic State," the report said.

It cited new research to show that "for all of its professed piousness", majority of recruits of the terror group have criminal histories an unprecedented figure for former Islamist movements emphasising purity and scholarly knowledge.

A report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) shows that criminal and terrorist networks across Europe are merging to create a dangerous brand of jihadi for whom violence is not just a holy pursuit, but a way of life, it said.

Professor Peter Neumann, director of the ICSR at King's College London, was quoted as saying that the new "crime- terror nexus" was making radicalisation harder to spot for European security services.

Several European fighters in the ICSR's database continue to smoke, drink and even take drugs up until their departure for the ISIS even as security services might expect radicalised young men to change their behaviour and act "religiously", Neumann said.

"Similarly, criminality does not always stop with a commitment to jihad. Said Kouachi may have used funds from selling counterfeit trainers to buy the weapons he and his brother used to carry out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, while the Paris and Brussels "supercell" used their connections in the criminal underworld to manufacture the fake documents that would let them evade security services," the report said.

Neumann said that of the jihadis examined for the study, two-thirds had not just a criminal history but a violent history. In European countries where the figure is known, more than half of ISIS fighters were previously known to the police. "It gives criminals a moral justification for doing what they have always been doing only now they will go to heaven," he said.

ISIS' ideology puts less emphasis on theological knowledge and more on absolute obedience to its own interpretation, with the majority of recruits listed in leaked registration forms tellingly describing their Sharia knowledge as "basic".

"It (ISIS) basically says 'you can come in if you sign up to the mission, we don't care if you know true Islam we are true Islam'," Neumann said.

Source: dnaindia.com/world/report-islamic-state-recruiting-criminals-in-europe-by-offering-redemption-report-2263210

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Post-Brexit UK 'unbearable' for Muslims, says Scottish minister

October 11, 2016

A Scottish parliament member, Mhairi Black has sparked a controversial Nazi debate, while criticizing the British governments' post-Brexit immigration policies. Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf also defended Black's remarks after she compared the Conservatives to the Nazis, according to British daily newspaper the Daily Express.

"The Conservative Party's conference has unleashed ugly and downright scary rhetoric that I was brought up to believe was to be left in the past," Black said in her column in a Scottish daily newspaper, the National. "I am not exaggerating when I say that the policies being brought forward are reminiscent of early 1930s Nazi Germany."

Scottish Minister Yousaf defended her remarks in a Twitter post, saying "Feel the U.K. will be unbearable for Muslims in future."

The Council of Europe voiced concern earlier over a sharp rise in anti-Muslim violence in Britain in recent years, adding that campaigning for the Brexit referendum led to a further rise in "anti-foreigner sentiment." There has been a surge in hate crimes across Britain in the wake of June's referendum, which saw Britons vote to exit the European Union with immigration being one of the key issues. At its peak, there was a 58 percent increase in hate crimes and police recorded more than 14,000 such crimes in the period running from a week before the vote to mid-August.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has no democratic mandate to pursue a "hard Brexit" that would cut political and trade ties with the European Union, the Scottish National Party (SNP) said ahead of its annual conference later this week. The SNP, which has controlled Scotland's devolved government since 2007, starts a three-day conference in Glasgow on Thursday.

Most Scots voted for the United Kingdom to stay in the EU, unlike their compatriots in England and Wales, and the SNP has said June's result may re-open the case for another referendum on Scottish independence after 2014's vote to stay in the U.K.

Last week May said she would start two years of talks on leaving the EU by the end of March 2017, triggering several days of heavy falls in the sterling, which finished the week at a 31-year low, 17 percent below its pre-referendum level.

Much of the fall has been driven by concern that May's Conservative government favors a "hard Brexit" that curbs migration from the EU, rather than a "soft Brexit" that emphasizes maintaining close economic ties.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - which sets the rules for a two-year negotiating process for a nation leaving the EU - by the end of March. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC on Sunday that his government will pursue a "full Brexit," apparently implying that it will not try to remain in the EU single market.

In the face of Britain's demands on the terms for its divorce from the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with other European leaders, hardens her stance against Britain saying that Britain cannot be allowed access to the EU's single market without accepting free movement of people. French President Francois Hollande sent one of the strongest warnings yet that Britain will have to pay a heavy price for leaving the European Union, while European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc must be "unyielding" in the face of London's demands. Hollande called for "firmness" by the EU powers in Brexit negotiations to avoid the risk that other countries might seek to follow Britain's lead and leave the bloc.

Source: dailysabah.com/europe/2016/10/11/post-brexit-uk-unbearable-for-muslims-says-scottish-minister

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Is Muslim sectarian violence a new reality for Britain?

October 11, 2016

We believe in the free flow of information. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print.

Debates on Islam in the West have tended to centre on the compatibility of the values and lifestyles of Muslims and non-Muslims. But two recent murders in the UK have highlighted the need for debate on the compatability of those who hold different Islamic beliefs. As British Muslim communities become more religiously and ethnically diverse, sectarianism could also become more commonplace.

The victim of the first murder, Asad Shah, a Glasgow shopkeeper, belonged to a group of Muslims called the Ahmadiyya. They do not believe that the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was the last and final prophet – a view considered heretical by many Muslims and blasphemous by Sunni Muslims. Ahmadiyya believe that the religious leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908, was the Mujaddid (renewer of faith), a Messiah sent to guide Muslims back to the true essence of Islam. Sunni Muslims do not share this belief.

In August 2016, Tanveer Ahmed, a Muslim taxi driver from Bradford was sentenced to 27 years in prison for Shah’s murder. Ahmed was a Sunni Barelwi (a populist form of Islam), who said he’d murdered Shah because he had “disrespected” Islam. Ahmed had driven to Scotland to confront Shah about his beliefs. In a statement released by Ahmed after his conviction, he asserted that the murder was in defence of the prophet: “Asad Shah disrespected the messenger of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.”

Shah’s murder was inspired by another murder in another country some five years earlier – the assassination in Pakistan in 2011 of the governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer. The man convicted of the crime, Mumtaz Qadri, a police officer and Taseer’s former bodyguard, was sentenced to death and hanged in February 2016. Qadri had assassinated the governor for wanting to reform the Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and for supporting Asia Bibi (a Christian) who had been sentenced to death for insulting the Muhammad. Qadri believed that in murdering the governor he was defending the honour of the prophet. Qadri’s funeral was attended by thousands of mourners and today, he is revered by some Sunni Muslims as a martyr and a saint.

The web of who is and who is not a true Muslim is complicated further by these transnational connections and linkages. Tanveer Ahmed was one of those who considered Mumtaz Qadri a martyr, writing to him in prison while Qadri was awaiting execution. Despite their violent acts, both men were Sunni Barelwis, ordinarily associated with the spiritual aspects of faith. They are often the ones persecuted for not being “proper Muslims” because their populist branch of Islam includes practices such as devotional Qawwali music and the following of saints. These rituals are considered out of the bounds of Islam by some groups of Muslims, such as Wahhabis and Salafis, followers of a more literalist strand of the religion.

Sunni Barelwis have been targeted in the UK too. In a second murder in 2016, a 71-year-old Barelwi originally from Bangladesh called Jalal Uddin was targeted by two men in their early 20s and murdered as he made his way through the streets of Rochdale. The assailants were Salafis who believed Uddin’s practice of ta’widh (amulets containing passages from the Qur'an used as protection against the evil eye) took him outside the fold of Islam. One of the assailants was sentenced to prison for a minimum of 24 years, while the other suspect fled to Turkey and is believed to have crossed the border into Syria to fight for so-called Islamic State.

That the perpetrator of the first murder was of the same faith as the victim in the second highlights the complexities of sectarian divisions within Islam. Barelwis revere Muhammad and have killed to defend his honour. Salafis detest such reverence as false idolatry and link Barelwi customs to black magic. This sectarianism within Islam in the West is a recent development and can be traced to two key factors: greater diversity of those Muslims settling in Europe and the mobilisation of sectarian divisions via the internet.

Long-term immigration into Western Europe is forcing Muslims to confront different ways of practising Islam. Muslim communities in the UK, for example, have changed rapidly in the past 20 years. Changes in patterns of migration have contributed to the development of a highly diverse Muslim population. Between the 1950s and the late 1980s, migration of Muslims to the UK consisted of many primarily economic migrants from a few former colonial countries such as Pakistani and Bangladesh who settled in specific industrial urban locations.

During the past 20 years, fewer migrants from a larger number of countries have made those urban centres their home. New Muslim migrants from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia and Nigeria share mosques, halal butchers, Islamic bookshops and community centres. This “superdiversity” is not limited to Muslim migrants, but reflects a wider development of diverse types of migration patterns.

It is the pace and scale of difference in the past two decades that has had an impact here, accompanied by religious information and sectarian mobilisation on the internet. Unlike many of the pioneer generation of post-war Muslim migrants, their descendants are fully literate and able to access theological material, particularly online. And they are much more aware then their parents’ generation of the theological differences within Islam. There is a real internal debate going on within communities, often with a streak of intolerance which was not as pronounced 20 years ago.

Research on established Muslim communities has argued that the encounter with other Muslims in the diaspora is crucial in the development of the religion. Mixing with other Muslims can inspire theological debate and has the potential to bear significantly on religious identity and the process of transformation across generations. But as the two recent murders have shown, it can also lead to sectarianism and violence.

Source: theconversation.com/is-muslim-sectarian-violence-a-new-reality-for-britain-66248

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Alain Gresh: The idea of unified Muslims in the West is nonsense

Monday 10 Oct 2016

Renowned French-Egyptian journalist Alain Gresh, the former editor of the prestigious Le Monde Diplomatique, spoke in Cairo on Tuesday at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) on “Islam and its Haters in Europe,” arguing against the idea of the existence of a unified Islam or unified Muslims in the West, taking a different approach to the subject.

Islam has been a hot topic in Europe and the West since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and has been posed as “the new enemy” by the far right and its propaganda, especially after 9/11 and the rise of radical Islamist movements from Al-Qaeda to ISIS.

With the rise of Islamist movements and the migration of more Muslims to Europe, more Westerners have tried to understand Islam by rushing to get a copy of the Quran with the idea that it would give an answer to all questions about Muslims and the Muslim world.

This idea puts all Muslims in one category of “a religiously committed group” and what this entails in generalised judgments.

Gresh chooses to approach Islam from a non-religious standpoint, taking into consideration the great differences between Muslims, questioning the identity of “a Muslim,” which he says is a vague, unifying term that is used to refer to all Muslims regardless of their relation to religion, a term that has come to replace the word “Arab.”

“As an atheist, I did not have a relation with religion as an ideology until 12 years ago, but even then I didn't look at it from a religious perspective, I rather looked at the way Islam is being used politically to play a role in Arab and Western countries, and the debate sparked over it,” he explained.

For Gresh, the problem is a social and political one before it is religious, as terrorism stems from political deadlock and social unrest and unemployment. This has led Gresh to denounce the term “terrorism” as an empty word that does not help us get to grips with what we are facing.

“Look at the guy who drove a truck into the crowds in Nice, he did not have anything to do with Islam until a few days before he decided to kill 80 people. And you have a third of those who go to fight for the Islamic State, they were not even Muslims until they joined it.”

“This idea that the Quran will answer all of your questions about Muslims is wrong. Muslims are not a unified unit. Look at differences between Catholics even though there is a head of the Church, the Pope, something that Islam does not have.”

“The bible cannot give you an understanding of the Catholics on the far right or those on the far left, and neither can the Quran [do this for Muslims]. This is why I do not look at Islam from a religious point of view, but the political use of it,” Gresh explained to the crowd that came to attend his lecture at EIPR.

Full report at:english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentP/18/245306/Books/Alain-Gresh-The-idea-of-unified-Muslims-in-the-Wes.aspx

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South Asia

Key Taliban leader arrested with Pakistani currency, weapons in Logar

Tue Oct 11 2016

A key Taliban leader who was channeling funds to the group’s fighters in central Logar province was arrested during a special military operation, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Tuesday.

According to a statement by MoI, the Taliban leader Taj Mohammad, was also involved in supplying the militants with weapons and other logistics.

The statement further added Taj Mohammad was arrested during the operation conducted in the vicinity of Charkh district of Logar.

The Afghan security forces confiscated some weapons and Pakistani currency from Taj Mohammad, MoI said, adding that Taj Mohammad was playing a key role in equipping and supporting the group’s fighters in thsi province.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

The arrested of Taj Mohammad comes as the Afghan forces are busy in conducting their annual operation “Shafaq” which was launched in response to Taliban’s spring offensive “Omari Operations”.

The Afghan security officials are saying the annual Shafaq operations mainly focus on eliminating the key leaders of Taliban in a bid to repulse the annual offensive of the group.

Source: khaama.com/key-taliban-leader-arrested-with-pakistani-currency-weapons-in-logar-02054

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Bangladesh's Pujo paradox: Joyous celebrations under the shadow of the gun

October 11, 2016

Bangladesh is home to the second-largest group of Hindu Bengalis in the world. In 2015, their number was estimated to be around 1.7 crores, making up nearly 20% of all Hindu Bengalis across both Bengals. In Bengali Hindudom, Durga Pujo is the biggest festival. Bengal holds a very special place in the sacred geography of my Shakto religion. Parts of Goddess Sati’s dead body fell on sites that became Shakti-peeths – spots of divine significance. Of the 51 Shakti-peeths on earth, Bengal is blessed with 16, of which five fall in the territory of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the second-highest assemblage after the 11 in West Bengal. In Dhaka, Ma Durga as Dhakeshwari has been offering protective cover to the city for centuries.

While religious discrimination, persecution and occasional violence in East Bengal has seen the Hindu Bengali population percentage dwindle from about 25% in 1951 to around 10% at present, the scale of Durga Pujo celebration remains huge. Officially, the number of Durga Pujos this year is a staggering 29,700, an increase of around 300 from last year. The pujos vary from traditional family pujos to the ultra-high budget glitzy affair in Banani, Dhaka. Kolkata-style corporatisation of pujos has started but isn’t as widespread in Dhaka.

Dhaka’s most prestigious pujo is at the Dhakeswari National Temple, which the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited on Saptami. Other famous Dhaka pujos include those at Dhaka University’s Jagannath Hall, Ramna Kali Temple, Ramakrishna Mission, and Loknath Brahmachari Ashram. Other districts also boast huge number of pujos with 1,200 in Gopalganj, 900 in Sylhet, 628 in Jessore and 604 in Magura. The port city of Chittagong has 281 Chittagong city pujos are special as many of the immersions actually take place in the Bay of Bengal, unlike in rivers and ponds in most other places of Bengal.

Large-scale celebrations

The apparent oxymoron of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh being a secular republic with Islam as state religion is something that a ruling party sensitive to marginalisation of religious minorities has to always negotiate. The ruling Awami League is traditionally considered a few shades better, at least in rhetoric as well as minority representation, compared to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-Jamaat opposition whose leaders have often taken recourse to anti-Hindu bogeys during political campaigning. In the context of the rising threat of Islamic militancy, the Awami League’s top leadership projects itself as the only credible defender of a pluralistic society against militant forces of religion-smeared homogenisation.

Full report at:scroll.in/bulletins/25/the-inspiring-projects-that-are-changing-girls-education-in-india-today

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Taliban militants take control of Ghormach in North of Afghanistan

Tue Oct 11 2016

The Taliban militants have captured Ghormach district in northern Faryba province of Afghanistan, local officials said Tuesday.

The officials further added that the control of the district fell to Taliban after the Afghan security forces retreated from the area.

A provincial council member Syed Abdul Baqi Hashemi confirmed the Taliban militants captured the district after heavy clashes with the security forces.

The Taliban militants released a statement earlier today confirming the fall of the district and claimed that several soldiers were killed or wounded during the clashes and some weapons were seized.

The local officials however have not commented regarding the casualties of the security forces during the clashes.

This comes as the Taliban militants have intensified attacks on key northern provinces during the recent months as the group attempts to expand its insurgency activities in northern parts of the country.

The Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on the strategic Kunduz city last week and managed to infiltrate into some parts of the city, including the central Kunduz city square.

The Afghan forces managed to push the Taliban militants from the city although sporadic clashes still continue in parts of the city with the security officials saying the operations are slowly being as the group have taken positions inside the residential areas.

Source: khaama.com/taliban-militants-take-control-of-ghormach-in-north-of-afghanistan-02053

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Afghan Air Force to get a further 4 A-29 light attack aircraft from US

Tue Oct 11 2016

The Afghan Air Force is expecting to receive a further four A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft from the United States, it has been reported.

The new planes are expected to arrive in Afghanistan within 18 t 20 months after the conclusion of the contract for the manufacturing of the aircraft.

The IHS Janes newspaper reported regarding the delivery of further four aircraft to Afghanistan, citing a sources sought notification for the four additional aircraft posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC)/Development & Integration (WWB).

The A-29 is a multi-role, fixed-wing aircraft that will provide the Afghan air force with an indigenous air-to-ground capability and aerial reconnaissance capabilities to support the country’s counterinsurgency operations.

Eight Afghan Air Force pilots completed their training late last year and graduated from a program hosted by the 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in United States.

The Afghan Air Force officials are saying the A-29s can carry out precise airstrike using laser technology and can four types of weapons, 250 kgs of bombs, guided and unguided rockets, and can fly with low speed and altitude to precisely find and attack the targets.

According to the manufacturer of the aircraft, Embraer, the aircraft was made considering the dramatic changes in military aviation.

Source: khaama.com/afghan-air-force-to-get-a-further-4-a-29-light-attack-aircraft-from-us-02051

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Explosion near Jalalabad Madrasa, no casualties reported

Tue Oct 11 2016

An explosion took place near a Madrasa in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan earlier today.

Local officials confirmed an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated near the Madrasa earlier today but the incident did not incur any casualties to the civilians.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyan also confirmed the incident and said no casualties were reported.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsiblity behind the incident and it is yet not clear who the target of the blast was.

The Taliban insurgents and militants loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are actively operating in a number of the remote districts of Nangarhar province.

The Afghan security forces are busy conducting clearance operations against the Taliban and ISIS loyalists in this province besides the US forces in Afghanistan conducting regular airstrikes to eliminate the threats posed by the terror group.

Source: khaama.com/explosion-near-jalalabad-madrasa-no-casualties-reported-02049

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NDS Chief Masoom Stanikzai apologizes for partial fall of Kunduz city

Mon Oct 10 2016

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief, Masoom Stanikzai apologized from the residents of Kunduz for the shortages that led to the partial fall of the strategic Kunduz city.

Stanikzai tendered teh apologies as he was summoned by the Afghan Senate Committee in Defense Affairs along with the Minister of Interior and Minister of Defense.

He admitted that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) were supposed to take necessary actions to prevent the coordinated Taliban attack which they did not take.

“We apologize from the people of Kunduz and all of us should apologize since we have not done what we were supposed to do prevent the incident. The work was not done on time and today we are in the final stages of the fight,” Stanikzai said.

Stanikzai also admitted that the war in Afghanistan has reached to its ultimate stage now, emphasizing that the reasons for the unprecedented rise in violence would be shared with the senators once the media leaves the committee room.

In the meantime, the Minister of Defense said the militants are attempting to establish a fair environment for them in a specified part of the country.

Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi said the enemies have faced defeats for several times but they continue to their efforts, warning that this will not be their final defeat.

The Taliban militants have launched numerous attacks on Kunduz city since it was retaken by the Afghan Special Operations Forces earlier in the month of October.

The latest attack by the group was launched last week after they started their offensive on the strategic city from different directions with an aim to capture its control.

The Taliban insurgents were accused of horrific criminal activities after they seized control of the city, including target killings, rape, kidnappings, use of civilians as shields, looting of public and private properties.

The Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan said at least 50 civilians were killed and over 350 others were wounded.

Source: khaama.com/nds-chief-masoom-stanikzai-apologizes-for-partial-fall-of-kunduz-city-02048

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‘Irrational’ border closure a setback to Pak-India ties: Chinese analysts

Oct 11, 2016

KARACHI: India's decision to completely close its border with Pakistan is 'irrational' and may lead to a major setback in bilateral relations analysts say, Chinese daily Global Times reported on Tuesday.

Citing Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh's earlier statement that the border between Pakistan and India would be completely sealed by December 2018, the Global Times quoted several analysts who opposed the move due to a variety of reasons.

'Irrational decision'

"India is making a very irrational decision, since no exhaustive investigation has been conducted after the Uri incident, and no evidence proves Pakistan is behind the attack," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

Hu said that a "completely sealed" border would further hinder the already scarce border trade and talks between the two countries.

'Move complicates China-Pak-India ties'

The Times also quoted Wang Dehua, director of the Institute for Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, as saying that the sealed border would only disrupt peace efforts made by the two sides.

"The country's decision reflects its Cold War mentality, and will only cause deeper hatred among residents living in Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir," said Hu.

"Since Pakistan is China's all-weather strategic partner, India's decision would make China-Pakistan-India relations more complicated."

"A peaceful resolution on the Kashmir disputes is in the interest of China's homeland security, especially its western regions," he said.

India's new border

Rajnath's announcement came amid escalated tensions between Pakistan and India in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations and Indian claims of a 'surgical strike' in Azad Jammu and Kashmir a claim rejected by Pakistan.

The Indian home minister had said of the border: “It is a new concept. We will be framing guidelines after getting suggestions from all stakeholders."

Rajnath said that technology would be used to seal the border. "Like we have riverine and Sir Creek area in Gujarat, there we will make maximum use of technology for effective sealing of border."

Source: dawn.com/news/1289476/irrational-border-closure-a-setback-to-pak-india-ties-chinese-analysts

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China insists on consensus for India’s NSG bid, sticks to Jaish leader stand

Oct 11, 2016

NEW DELHI: China told India on Monday it was willing to explore the possibilities for New Delhi’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) but clarified that any agreement would require consensus and attention to the elite club’s rules.

Briefing the media here ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India for the BRICS summit in Goa, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong also kept to Beijing’s stand on the Masood Azhar affair, against the wishes of New Delhi.

China has cited technical grounds to stall the United Nations’ sanctions on Masood Azhar, the chief of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

Mr Li said China was ready to continue its dialogue with India to “build consensus” for its membership to the NSG. “An issue in this regard is that any NSG decision will have to be based on consensus among all members of the 48-nation club.”

In August, India and China had established an NSG-specific dialogue mechanism headed by the joint secretary of the Indian ministry of external affairs’ disarmament and international security division and his counterpart in the Chinese foreign office. The first meeting under the mechanism has been held in New Delhi.

China has convened a similar meeting with Pakistan, which is also bidding for the NSG membership, according to reports.

Asked if Beijing foresaw any progress on the NSG issue during a meeting between the Chinese president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, Mr Li said: “These rules are not to be decided by China alone. On the issue, China and India have maintained good communication and we are ready to continue consultations with India to build consensus and we also hope India can go to other members of the NSG as well.”

“In this aspect we are also ready for discussions with India to explore possibilities but things need to be in keeping up with procedures, norms and regulations of the NSG,” he said.

“On this issue, China’s position is consistent. That is why China has often said international law must be observed.”

According to The Hindu, China, in previous discussions has linked India’s entry to the NSG to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — a regime meant to stop proliferation of atomic weapons which New Delhi has not yet signed.

But highly placed sources told The Hindu that India has conveyed to the China that NSG rules do not spelt out that NPT membership is necessary for the entry into the group. On the contrary, the newspaper said, in India’s perception the NSG is not directly geared towards non-proliferation, but is a mechanism for “export control” of nuclear technology, of which New Delhi has an “impeccable record”.

About China’s decision to stall a ban on Masood Azhar by exercising a “technical hold” at the UN, Mr Li, in a veiled reference to India, warned against politicising counterterrorism, The Hindu said.

“There should be no double standards on counterterrorism. Nor should one pursue own political gains in the name of counterterrorism,” he said. “China is opposed to all forms of terrorism.”

On Oct 1, China announced that it would extend its “technical hold” on sanctioning the JeM chief by another three months.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289399/china-insists-on-consensus-for-indias-nsg-bid-sticks-to-jaish-leader-stand

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India

Punjab: Locals to burn Nawaz Sharif’s effigy with Ravan on Dusherra

October 11, 2016

Amritsar: With India-Pakistan tensions becoming more evident in the recent past especially after the surgical strike by the Indian Army, a group of locals in Amritsar have decided to express their displeasure by burning effigies of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s along with Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad on Dussehra.

The effigy was spotted wrapped up in the Pakistan flag with Sharif’s photo affixed on top.

“The reason we have affixed Nawaz Sharif’s photo because the country shelters terrorism, it promotes them and exports them to other countries. I believe that this will convey a message to Pakistan, that if it doesn’t reign in terrorists, it will meet the same end like this effigy,” Cabinet Minister Anil Joshi told ANI.

Indian Army on September 29 said that it conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in response to the terrorist attack at Uri sector.

Two Pakistani soldiers and over 30 terrorists were reportedly killed in the attack.

Director General of Military Operations Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said that the motive of the operation was to hit out at the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into the Indian Territory.

Source: siasat.com/news/punjab-locals-burn-nawaz-sharifs-effigy-ravan-dusherra-1039118/

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Entire Kashmir is ours including Gilgit-Baltistan: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

October 11, 2016

Nagpur: Asserting that Pakistan was the key element behind instigating violence in the Valley, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagawat on Tuesday sent a message to the hostile neighbour that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so is Gilgit-Baltistan.

Addressing the RSS cadres who were sporting full pants, as the Sangh officially cast away its trademark khaki shorts, Bhagwat stated that the unrest in Kashmir is being induced from across the LoC and it is a fact not hidden from anyone and the whole world knows.

“India is growing. There are some countries in the world who don’t want to see India progress. They at times get support from people within. Kashmir is a serious concern. The commitment of our government is clear that Kashmir is an integral part of India and so is Gilgit-Baltistan,” he said in his annual Vijayadashami speech at the Reshimbagh Ground here.

Emphasising that a large part of Kashmir is free of tension and violence, he called on the state government to act against those indulging in violence

Calling on ensuring that justice is delivered to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, Bhagwat further said that forces across the border are encouraging separatist forces in Kashmir.

The RSS chief also heaped praises on the Indian Army for the recent surgical strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, saying that India’s reputation in the world has gone up because of what our Army did.

“The administrative leadership has done a commendable job. We must manage our borders very well. Some separatist forces create trouble in border states. But the way our government has dealt with the whole issue post Uri is a matter of great pride,” he said.

However, he warned political parties not to cross limits while playing politics and said, “Make sure people are not pitted against each other.”

Source: siasat.com/news/entire-kashmir-including-gilgit-baltistan-rss-chief-mohan-bhagwat-1039104/

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Law Minister Backs Muslim Marriage Law Reform

Oct 11, 2016

NEW DELHI: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reiterated the government’s stand against triple talaq and polygamy, saying such practices were anti-women, violated the Constitution and that even Muslim countries had reformed their matrimonial laws to put an end to them.

“The point to be considered is, if India is a secular country, can women of a particular community be allowed to live in a practice which makes them vulnerable, which discriminates and robs them of their dignity?” Prasad said in an interview.

“Can it gel in a secular country? And, therefore, we respect the right to faith but every pernicious or unreasonable practice cannot be held integral to a faith. That must be appreciated.”

Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan were among those that had amended such laws. “My take is that more than one dozen Islamic countries changing matrimonial laws was not found to be violative of Sharia,” he told ET.

“How can the same argument be entertained in a secular country like India?” The Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday that triple talaq and polygamy needed to be abolished as they violated the Constitution, gender equality and women’s dignity.

Prasad said there was unanimity within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the matter and added that it was “politics-neutral” because India is a secular country and not a “theocracy”.

He said the government’s affidavit was in response to petitions filed by Muslim women who were victims of triple talaq. The government’s stand had been fully thought through and it will “abide” by whatever the court decides.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Muslim clerics have defended the practices. Prasad called on them to reconsider. “I can only appeal that every society, every community must evolve,” he said.

“And the basic standard of judging the success of any society is also measured by the fact as to what is the architecture of gender justice. We must remember that equality, rule of law, democracy and gender justice are all of essence of any good civilised society... They should define the agenda of a modern India.”

Last week, the Law Commission had sought public comment on the matter besides asking whether a Uniform Civil Code should be optional, saying the aim was to address social injustice rather than the plurality of laws.

Prasad said a number of international covenants have emphasised the need for equality for women. These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, among others.

The law minister said India had sought to uphold such values at the time of its establishment as an independent nation.

“Much before these international covenants could come into being, our founding fathers, while framing the Constitution, which came into being as early as 1950, held these abiding principles as sacrosanct in our Constitution,” Prasad pointed out.

“This includes equality, dignity, and non-discrimination. That being the scenario, this whole position of the government of India is based upon taking into account our constitutional values and focussing upon gender justice, equality and non-discrimination.”

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/ravi-shankar-prasad-backs-muslim-marriage-law-reform/articleshow/54787035.cms

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Muslim family keeps alive tradition of effigy making in Jammu

October 11, 2016

In Jammu, the Hindu dominated province of the only Muslim majority state of the country, the celebration of Vijay Dashmi is not complete without one Muslim family. As the effigies of demon kings Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath are consigned to flames this evening, a Muslim family from Uttar Pradesh would cherish its fruit of labour going up in flames.

For the past 35 years, a Muslim family from Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh has been preparing the effigies of the demon kings to be used on the occasion of Vijay Dashmi. “When the effigies that we make are consigned to flames,

we feel a sense of reward as we make these effigies of the demon kings for being burnt on Vijay Dashmi”, Mohammad Gayasuddin, who heads the team of 40 artists, said.

“We are the only people who love to see their product being consigned to flames”, he said. He said the festival of Vijay Dashmi, which symbolises the victory of good over evil, is also an example of communal harmony and brotherhood in the country.

“People know that I am a Muslim and they welcome me with open arms as they love my art. The festival of Dussehra is a symbol of communal harmony and brotherhood in the country”, he said.

“The effigies made by us are used at several Dussehra grounds across Jammu region. People from as far as Rajouri,

Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar order these effigies”, he said. Gayasuddin, who along with his entire family and a group

of 40 artists arrive in Jammu a month in advance to make these effigies, say he is overwhelmed with the love and affection showered on him by the people of Jammu region.

Various Dussehra committees in Jammu region wait for the arrival of Gayasuddin and his team so that they can place their orders for the effigies of demon kings. “We have been celebrating Dussehra in our locality for the past 15 years and for the effigies are made by Gayasyddin and his team, we love his work”, Vikram Mehra chairman of the

Digiana Dussehra committee said. Gayasuddin says that whenever he comes to Jammu, he brings all the raw material from his native place as the same are easily available there.

“From the bamboo sticks used for the skeletons to the cloth, paper and color we bring it from our hometown as the

same is easily available there and helps save our time of searching for these items here”, he said.

He said that several Muslim families in his hometown have taken up the craft of making the demon effigies for Dussehra. “I have taught the art to my son and he would take over from me when I am no more. Money apart it is our contribution towards the communal harmony of the country”, he said.

Source: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/dusshera-muslim-family-keeps-alive-tradition-of-effigy-making-in-jammu-3076560/

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Don’t endorse Nawazuddin ouster from Ramlila: Shiv Sena

Oct 11, 2016

NEW DELHI: Shiv Sena has disowned the action leading to the recent unceremonious ouster of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui from a Ramlila in his hometown Budhana in western Uttar Pradesh.

The party's Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray posted two tweets from his verified account on Monday evening saying: "I spoke to @Nawazuddin_S ji to convey that the Party does not endorse the reason why he was prevented from acting in Ramleela in UP. The said person, be he an office bearer or not, hasn't voiced the Party's policy and the Party will not support such uncalled for actions."

Thackeray was referring to Mukesh Sharma, Shiv Sena's Muzaffarnagar vice president. In his statement to various television channels last week, Sharma had said that the actor could not be allowed to perform since he was a Muslim.

Sharma had told TOI then: "In the 50-60 year history of the Budhana Ramleela, no Muslim artist has set foot on the stage. We couldn't allow that now. It's about tradition."

Siddiqui was to play the role of Ravan's uncle Mareech. The performance was called off minutes before Siddiqui was to go on stage last week after protests by Shiv Sena workers.

On Thursday last week, Siddiqui took to Twitter to react to the turn of events. "My childhood dream could not come true, but will definitely be a part of Ramleela next year. Check the rehearsals," he wrote and posted a video of himself rehearsing a scene with a fellow actor.

Later next day, by way of explanation, the Gangs of Wasseypur actor tweeted: "I got lot of support by the Ppl of my Village, Police & Admin but only after understanding the situation, I decided to maintain PEACE."

This would have been Siddiqui's first performance in his hometown.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/meerut/Dont-endorse-Nawazuddin-ouster-from-Ramlila-Shiv-Sena/articleshow/54787907.cms

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Mideast

Turkish gov’t to change laws for ‘efficient trials’ of coup plotters

October 11, 2016

The government is drafting a package of comprehensive changes in the criminal procedures act and the penal code in order to make the trials of July 15 coup plotters more efficient, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has told reporters.

“The trials will take place in cities where the coup attempt crimes were committed. They will be held in many cities and districts. These trials will not be merged as this will only complicate the proceedings and turn them into a mess,” Bozdağ said on Oct. 9.

The first July 15 coup attempt trial has already started in Denizli, he stated, adding that although the main trials will take place in Ankara and Istanbul, other legs of the case will take place in different cities under separate indictments.

“If we were to merge all of these trials, we would never be able to conclude the case and come to a verdict,” Bozdağ said.

A group of high-ranking military officers loyal to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, a friend turned foe of the Turkish government, attempted to seize power through a coup on the night of July 15, leaving 241 people dead and more than 2,000 wounded. The coup plotters bombed the parliament building in Ankara, the presidential palace, and the police special forces headquarters, while also attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other senior government officials. Declaring a state of emergency one week after the coup attempt, the government has introduced harsh measures against what it calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), suspending and arresting tens of thousands of civil servants suspected of having links to the coup.

“A total of 34,063 people are currently detained either on charges of attempting to stage the coup or being a member of a terrorist organization. Legal procedures have been imposed against more than 76,000 people so far,” Bozdağ said.

Key legal changes

While investigations into the coup attempt are ongoing, the government is set to make changes to a number of key articles of the Penal Code and Criminal Procedures Act, in an attempt to streamline the trial process. These changes include the following:

- Laundering of assets acquired as a result of an offense will be moved from the Penal Code to Anti-Terror Law. As a result, those who commit this crime will receive a bigger punishment.

- Military personnel charged with terror crimes, or with attempting to stage a coup, will be imprisoned in civilian jails instead of military prisons. Military personnel will be handed to the judicial police and not to the military police after being caught.

- With a change in the criminal procedures act, trials will be able to be held in different locations within the boundaries of a certain jurisdiction.

- Courts will be able to assess the release appeals of those detained on terror accusations over the course of 15 days, instead of the current three days.

- If the court demands an additional testimony from the suspect, this will be able to be carried out by the police and not necessarily by the court.

- Judges will have the right to reject the defense’s demand to hear additional witnesses if they believe that this is simply an attempt to prolong the proceedings.

- Instead of reading the entire indictment at the beginning of trail process, prosecutors will be able to read a summary of the indictment.     

Gov’t ‘waiting for opposition’s contributions’

Justice Minister Bozdağ said the government would likely submit the draft package to parliament this week.

“We are keen to have the package discussed at the sub-committees. We will welcome the opposition’s contribution to the package and we are ready to listen if they suggest changes,” he added.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-govt-to-change-laws-for-efficient-trials-of-coup-plotters-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104797&NewsCatID=338

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New talks required if migrant deal delayed to 2017: Turkish official

October 11, 2016

If a migrant deal between Turkey and the European Union is not enacted in 2016, then the current agreement between the two will need to be renegotiated, a Turkish official has told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“There were certain parts of the deal like timetables for some practices. If the deal is not put into action in 2016, it would mean the agreement was not implemented. It will be an unfulfilled agreement. If it is delayed until next year, then we have to sit and talk about the deal again,” the official said.

Turkey still aims to implement the deal in October, the previously announced deadline, the official added.

In a March deal, Ankara agreed to stop migrants from crossing into Greece in exchange for financial aid for migrants, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the EU and accelerated membership talks.

However, the reciprocal visa-free access has been delayed due to a dispute over Turkey’s strict anti-terrorism laws, which the EU said must be eased before any agreement can be made. The EU is concerned that Ankara is applying its anti-terrorism laws too broadly in order to prosecute critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and has made easing them a precondition for granting Turks visa-free travel to the bloc.

Ankara proposed a formula under which the Council of Europe would monitor Turkey’s anti-terror law.

The EU does not object to Turkey’s proposal, and talks between Ankara and Brussels are ongoing regarding the monitoring by the CoE, the official said.

If the EU agrees to an interim formula on the anti-terror law, which Turkey refused to alter due to current security challenges, the full implementation of the deal would naturally be delayed until the end of the year since Turkey has not begun using new biometric passports, which is another criteria for visa liberalization, another Turkish official said.

“The work done within the Council of Europe can serve as a valuable…baseline for a final solution” on visa liberalization, Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for enlargement, said during a visit to Ankara in September.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/new-talks-required-if-migrant-deal-delayed-to-2017-turkish-official.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104800&NewsCatID=510

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Turkey, Russia strike strategic Turkish Stream gas pipeline deal

October 11, 2016

Turkey and Russia signed the strategic Turkish Stream gas pipeline agreement late on Oct. 10 amid vows by both countries to intensify their relations following a hiatus due to Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet in November 2015.

The pipeline will carry Russian natural gas to Turkey and on to Europe under the Black Sea.

During the signing ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said ministers and experts would continue to hold bilateral talks after the deal, adding that they would also hold talks focusing on the economy, politics, defense, tourism and culture.

"Today has been a full day with President Putin of discussing Russia-Turkish relations ... I have full confidence that the normalization of Turkish-Russian ties will continue at a fast pace," Erdoğan said.

The president also said they reached consensus on the acceleration of the process for the Akkuyu nuclear plant, which will be constructed in the Mediterranean province of Mersin.

In addition, Putin also added that the two countries had reached a consensus on a discount in natural gas prices as part of the deal.

Putin added that Moscow had lifted restrictions on Turkish citrus exports to Russia.

Erdoğan said they further discussed Syria and the Euphrates Shield Operation in detail as well as strategies and cooperation regarding humanitarian aid to Aleppo. Putin said Moscow was on the same page with Ankara about delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo.

"Both Russia and Turkey support the end of the bloodshed in Syria," Putin said.

"We share the same view that every effort should be made for humanitarian aid to be delivered to Aleppo," he added.

"The only issue is the safety of the delivery of humanitarian aid," Putin said.

According to the Russian leader, Moscow and Ankara also agreed to intensify military contacts.

The signing of the deal came after a bilateral meeting between Erdoğan and Putin who was in Istanbul to attend the 23rd World Energy Congress.

Russia’s Gazprom and Turkey’s BOTAŞ in 2014 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, with a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea.

However, talks on the project were halted last year after Turkey shot down a Russian air force jet and Moscow retaliated with trade sanctions but since then the two countires have made significant progress to mend relations.

Erdoğan said in August at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart that building the gas pipeline quickly was a priority.

On Sept. 7, Gazprom said it had received first regulatory approvals from Turkey, allowing the project to move into implementation phase.

The meeting of the two leaders marked the third time after bilateral relations were put back on track in August since the jet crisis.

Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-russia-strike-strategic-turkish-stream-gas-pipeline-deal.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104822&NewsCatID=348

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Turkey calls on world to share energy for peace

October 11, 2016

Energy projects will offer a solution to disputes, the elimination of terrorism and foster global peace in the Middle East as long as the countries share these values for the better-justified partition of resources, Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said on Oct. 10.       

Speaking at the 23rd World Energy Congress (WEC) in Istanbul, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner for 2016, Albayrak stated that problems in the energy field contribute to disputes throughout the world.       

“No country can secure its energy security without the help and assistance of other countries,” he said.  

“In recent years, energy has been a number one item on the agenda of the whole world,” he said, elaborating that politically within any region, there will be energy resources at the center. He asserted that for energy security, a new collaborative approach is required for eliminating conflicts.     

Albayrak emphasized that regional stability is important for all countries for the durable, secure and efficient implementation of energy transmission.       

“Turkey has a geopolitical advantage but also plays a very important role in the transportation of energy throughout the region. The most important problem is ensuring global peace and stability while regulating our energy systems. We see energy as a restorative instrument and, therefore, this will give us [Turkey] an opportunity to improve other qualities in the region,” he stated.   

He underlined that Turkey’s interest through energy projects is based on win-win principle.       

Co-Chair, Chairman and CEO of World Energy Council, Younghoon David Kim, also express his thanks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his leadership and personal support for the World Energy Congress event.       

“The Energy sector is undergoing a transition driven by new technology and global environmental challenges. Our industry has a historic opportunity to provide leadership to the new industrial revolution. Let’s us embrace new frontiers of energy together,” he said.       

The congress is hosted by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Energy and Minister Albayrak.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-calls-on-world-to-share-energy-for-peace--.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104807&NewsCatID=348

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First indictment Turkey’s coup attempt ready against 60 suspects in Denizli

October 11, 2016

The chief public prosecutor’s office in the southwestern province of Denizli has completed the first indictment in the July 15 coup attempt case, against some 60 soldier suspects for their alleged role in attempting to assist the attempted coup.

Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper sent the 20-dossier, 143-page indictment to the Denizli 2nd Heavy Penal Court on Oct. 10, charging the 60 suspects, 42 of whom are being tried under arrest, on four counts, carrying three aggravated life sentences and 15 years in jail.

The charges listed in the indictment are “attempting to abolish the constitutional order,”  “attempting to abolish the parliament and preventing it from carrying out its duties,” “attempting to abolish the government,” and “being a member of an outlawed terror organization.”

In the document, prosecutors allege that the suspected military personnel attempted to take control of the Çardak civil airport in Denizli as part of the coup attempt.

Alper said that according to the evidence gathered through the investigation, two days before the coup attempt two battalions were dispatched to the Denizli 11th Commando Brigade Command as part of coup preparations. A training drill was planned for these troops between July 14 and 17, while the seizure of Çardak airport was planned for July 16 at 02.30. 

Although it was compulsory, the Aegean Army Commandership and police department were not informed about these activities, the indictment also states.

The indictment says the activities planned to lead to the coup were ordered to be carried out earlier than originally planned, at 23.00, according to an “express message” delivered by the “council” orchestrating the takeover activities in Ankara. In line with this instruction, pro-coup soldiers initiated their operations at the Çardak airport.

However, these activities were blocked by anti-coup personnel of the airport base command and by a group of protesting civilians, which led to the pro-coup military forces in Denizli being captured by security forces without any clashes on the morning of July 16, the indictment states.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/first-indictment-turkeys-coup-attempt-ready-against-60-suspects-in-denizli-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104813&NewsCatID=509

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PKK kills local AKP politician in Turkey’s Diyarbakır

October 11, 2016

A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) politician was killed by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the Dicle district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on Oct. 11, marking the second such homicide by the organization in two days.

PKK militants opened fire on Deryan Aktert, the party’s district chairman in Dicle, while he was at his workplace.       

An investigation was launched to apprehend the militants after the attack.      

On Oct. 9, another local politician from the party was killed by a group of PKK militants in the Özalp district of the eastern province of Van.

According to a statement by the Van Governor’s Office, Aydın Muştu, the party’s district deputy head, was shot dead after he resisted the group’s attempt to seize his minibus outside his home.

On Sept. 14 another local AKP politician, Ahmet Budak, was killed in an armed attack in the Şemdinli district of the eastern province of Hakkari.

Budak was shot as he was returning home from a visit to mark the Eid al-Adha holiday with his son when unknown assailants shot him in front of his home.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/pkk-kills-local-akp-politician-in-turkeys-diyarbakir--------------.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104824&NewsCatID=509

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Detentions sought for 125 police department personnel

October 11, 2016

Istanbul prosecutors have issued warrants for 125 Istanbul Police Department personnel as part of a probe into the Gülenist movement on suspicions that the personnel were using the ByLock program, a messaging application that is said to have been used by the group for concealed conversations.

Thirty of the suspects were reported to be deputy police chiefs.

The warrants were the latest in a series of such orders issued on charges related to use of ByLock, through which the intelligence service detected approximately 40,000 members of the organization that is believed to have been behind the failed July 15 coup in Turkey.   

More than 160 detention orders were issued on Oct. 7 for security personnel at the Istanbul Police Department over their alleged links to Gülenists, after they were also suspected of being ByLock users.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/detentions-sought-for-125-police-department-personnel.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104823&NewsCatID=341

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Israel thwarts Hamas suicide bombing plot on bus in Jerusalem

October 11,2016

Israeli security authorities announced Tuesday morning that they have arrested a Hamas operative who planned a number of terror attacks in the Jerusalem area, including a suicide bombing on a bus in the capital's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood.

Muhammad Fuaz Ibrahim Julani, of the Shuafat refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem, was arrested last month while planning the attack at the behest of his Hamas handlers in the Gaza Strip, according to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

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The investigation of Julani revealed that he had discussed a number of potential attacks with his handlers, including a shooting attack at the Hizme checkpoint, a bombing at a store in Jerusalem he had formerly worked at, and bombing attacks at high profile sites in Jerusalem that would cause mass casualties, such as the Central Bus Station and the Malha Mall.

Such high profile targets was ruled out amid heavy Israeli security presence and the Hamas terrorists settled on the Pisgat Ze'ev bus bombing, the Shin Bet said.

Julani was instructed to gather the materials necessary to construct the bomb for the attack, many of which he turned over to Israeli authorities after his arrest.

He began to construct the device, carrying out explosive experiments until he was eventually caught by his parents. However, even after this point, the Shin Bet said, he continued in his efforts to build a bomb, traveling to Hebron to purchase additional materials.

Julani and his handlers decided that the attack would be carried out after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in mid-September, in order not to disrupt Muslim worshipers from going to Temple Mount.

Julani was given some 7,000 shekels for the cost of the attack in Hebron and he filmed a "last will and testament" to be distributed after the attack.

He was arrested before he could carry out the attack, after which he turned in two of his family members who had helped him hide weapons from Israeli authorities during his arrest.

It was not the first time that Julani had planned to carry out a terror attack. He reportedly told his interrogators that he had planned a stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze'ev a year earlier, but had relented at the last minute for fear Israeli authorities would destroy his parents' home.

The Shin Bet stated that the terror plot bears witness to Hamas's unceasing efforts to initiate terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank by enlisting operatives who are residents of Israel like Julani.

Source: jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-thwarts-Hamas-plan-to-detonate-suicide-bomb-on-bus-in-Jerusalem-469919

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Turkey expresses solidarity with Pakistan on Kashmir

Oct 11, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Turkey has expressed complete support for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, who was representing Pakistan at a World Energy Council (WEC) meeting in Istanbul, met with and apprised Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim about the human rights violations by Indian forces in held Kashmir. The Turkish prime minister expressed solidarity with Pakistan.

The defence minister also held meetings with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the WEC meeting.

The prime minister's special envoys, Muhammad Pervez Malik and Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha also called on the Turkish Grand National Assembly Speaker Ismail Kahraman and briefed him on the atrocities being committed against Kashmiris in India-held Kashmir.

Additionally, the envoys apprised Kahraman about the latest security situation in the region, including escalation of tensions along the Line of Control.

Kahraman reaffirmed Turkey's consistent support for a negotiated solution of Kashmir within the framework of relevant United Nations resolutions, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

The special envoys also met with the chairman of the Pakistan-Turkey Parliamentary Friendship Group and interacted with prominent media outlets, according to the report.

The Turkish officials reiterated their grave concern over the prevailing situation in India-held Kashmir and affirmed their solidarity with the Kashmiri people, reiterating their commitment to the cause of the Kashmiri people.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289472/turkey-expresses-solidarity-with-pakistan-on-kashmir

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Southeast Asia

Ahok Apologized, Police to Investigate Alleged Religious Defamation

11 Oct 2016

Jakarta, GIVnews.com – Despite his public apology to, Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama will still see the police investigating the religious defamation case allegedly involving him. This is according to Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar, the public relations chief at the National Police.

That the Jakarta governor had apologized to Muslims will not automatically stop the police from processing the complaints filed by groups of Muslims who accused the governor of defaming Islam, Boy Rafli told reporters at his office on Monday (10/10), shortly after Governor Ahok expressed his apology at the City Hall as reported by Kompas.com.

For police investigation, Boy Rafli said, they will invite religious and language experts to help them determine whether Governor Ahok’s remarks could be categorized as insulting Muslims and accordingly, a criminal act.

The police general said, “the investigation will be conducted by the police in a proportional way as stipulated by existing law provisions that concern evidence production.”

He went further to appreciate Governor Ahok’s apology, saying that it could help reduce the ongoing public uproar.

Governor Ahok, after claiming in the past days that he had done nothing wrong, which was supported by some groups and individuals, on Monday (10/10) apologized to Muslims for quoting a verse from the Holy Quran to support his speech during his visit to Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) off northern Jakarta.

He said on Monday at the City Hall, “I want to apologize to Muslims or other people who feel offended. I never intended to insult Islam or the Quran.” This is according to The Jakarta Post.

Stating that he was not anti-Islam, the governor mentioned some of his policies that supported the welfare of Muslims like the granting of permits to Islamic schools, the provision of Jakarta Smart Cards (KJP) to Muslim students, the provision of funding for Islamic boarding schools, and the building of a mosque at the City Hall complex.

The defamation case dated back to September 27 when Governor Ahok, who is a Christian, visited the Thousand Islands and delivered a speech to local villagers. He mentioned Surah Al-Maidah, verse 51, saying that certain people might use it to cite them to not vote for him in the February 2017 gubernatorial election on the grounds that he is a non-Muslim.

Later, the governor’s remarks went viral and sparked widespread protests from Muslim groups, clerics and Muslim leaders including the powerful Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) as well as politicians. Some demanded that the governor immediately apologize while others reported him to the Jakarta City Police.

Source: globalindonesianvoices.com/28107/ahok-apologized-police-to-investigate-alleged-religious-defamation/

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Indonesia police probe mosque vandalism amid ethnic tension

Oct 11, 2016

JAKARTA — Indonesian police on Monday urged Muslims to stay calm and not be “provoked” by the vandalism of a mosque in the capital, aiming to dispel fears of growing ethnic tension in the run-up to next year’s election for the governor of Jakarta.

Over the weekend, white Christian crosses were found spray-painted at several locations, including on the green gates of the Al Falah Mosque in Jakarta, the largest city in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

The incident risks fueling already simmering tension ahead of February’s election, which pits the Christian and ethnic Chinese incumbent, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, against Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, a son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and the previous education minister, Anies Baswedan.

Yudhoyono and Baswedan are both Muslim in a nation where about 90 percent of the 250-million population follows Islam.

Indonesia also has a sizeable ethnic Chinese minority, many of whom are Buddhist. The country has a history of anti-Chinese violence, most sharply in the late 1990s amid the political and economic crisis that brought down authoritarian ruler Suharto.

Police were still looking for the vandal, Jakarta police spokesman Awi Setiyono said, adding that it was uncertain whether the act was linked to the election. “We urge the public not to be influenced and to control themselves.”

Purnama, better known by his nickname “Ahok,” became Jakarta’s first ethnic Chinese governor in 2014, after then-governor Joko Widodo stepped down to successfully run for president.

Hard-line Muslim groups had opposed his rise to power.

Purnama has a reputation as a tough reformer, but he has recently come under attack from several Muslim groups for allegedly insulting their religion.

Muhammadiyah, one of the country’s biggest Muslim organizations, had asked the police to investigate Purnama for alleged religious defamation.

Purnama’s words were taken out of context and incorrectly linked to religious defamation, said Mohamad Guntur Romli, an official of his election campaign. Political opponents had been fanning tension ahead of the election, he added.

While most Indonesians are rational and will choose a leader based on merit, some camps would still vote along racial or religious lines, said Irine Gayatri, a political analyst at government body the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

“Race and religion are a convenient tool that can easily be exploited by political opponents,” she added.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa/world/asia/indonesia-police-probe-mosque-vandalism-amid-ethnic-tension/

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Myanmar sends troops into Muslim-majority region after deadly attacks

Tue, 11 Oct 2016

Unverified reports posted online by advocates for the Muslim Rohingya suggests that a violent crackdown may be underway.

Myanmar has stepped up security in a Muslim-majority region near its border with Bangladesh, officials said on Monday, as authorities hunt for attackers who killed at least nine police officers.

Officials believe that members of the Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority launched three separate attacks in the early hours of Sunday, in which dozens of weapons and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition were seized from border police. Nine policemen were killed, one was missing and five were wounded. Eight attackers were killed and two captured, police said.

The Rohingya, who are mostly stateless and are subject to severe restrictions on their movements, make up the majority of the population in the northern part of Rakhine State. Authorities in the township of Maungdaw on Sunday announced the extension of an existing order banning gatherings of five or more people and imposing a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

State media said the military - known as the Tatmadaw - had moved troops into the area by helicopter. Photographs on social media showed trucks full of infantry purportedly being deployed in the area. No detailed information has been released about the operation in the area near a border guard office at Kyiganbyin village, where as many as 90 assailants seized weapons and fled into the hills.

"The Tatmadaw, the police force and the Ministry of Border Affairs are working together to ensure security and restore law and order," said Min Aung, a minister in the Rakhine State government, who declined to disclose the size of the force sent to the area.

Human rights advocates raised concerns that civilians may be caught up in the sweep. Unverified reports posted online by advocates for the Rohingya suggested that a violent crackdown may be underway.

Ye Htut, administrator for Maungdaw, said he was not aware of the situation around Kyiganbyin village, which is under the control of security forces. Muslim residents of Maungdaw town closed their shops amid the heightened security presence, he said. "All of the security forces are deployed in Maungdaw, so we are not worried about security. Everything is fine," Ye Htut said.

BANGLADESH DEPLOYS BORDER GUARDS

Matthew Smith, founder of campaign group Fortify Rights, said restrictions on the Muslim population already in place made northern Rakhine State "a police state, an apartheid state".

"Human rights violations in the context of counterinsurgency in northern Rakhine State are not new," Smith said. "The authorities routinely accuse average Rohingya of involvement with armed extremists."

Authorities routinely dismiss accusations of rights abuses. Sunday was the bloodiest day in the state since 2012, when more than 100 people were killed in clashes between Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists. Some 125,000 people, the majority Rohingya, remain displaced.

Myanmar's state counsellor and foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi - who in August appointed former UN chief Kofi Annan to head an advisory commission into the situation in Rakhine State - discussed the attacks with security officials in an emergency meeting on Sunday, said foreign ministry official Kyaw Tin. "The state counsellor instructed us to handle this issue cautiously in accordance with the law," Kyaw Tin told reporters.

Officials in Bangladesh said Myanmar had closed the border after the attacks. Bangladesh deployed additional border guards, said Mohammad Tanvir Alam Khan, a Border Guard Bangladesh commander.

Myanmar police chief Zaw Win has said his force was investigating possible links between the attackers and rebel groups. Zaw Win also mentioned big drugs busts by police in the area - some 6 million methamphetamine pills were seized in September - as a possible trigger for the attacks.

Source: dnaindia.com/world/report-myanmar-sends-troops-into-muslim-majority-region-after-deadly-attacks-2263178

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Malaysia Arrests 16 Over Alleged Ties to Terrorism

Tue, 11 Oct 2016

Malaysian police officers escort one of 16 suspects arrested over alleged links to terror groups and whose face was blurred out in a photo released by police.

Malaysian authorities say they have arrested 16 men on suspicion of links to terrorism, including 14 whom officials named as members of a terror cell led by a citizen who allegedly has been fighting for Islamic State (IS) in Syria since last year.

The suspects, 15 Malaysians and one foreigner, were captured during a series of raids conducted by the Malaysian police’s counter-terrorist branch from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6 in the states of Selangor, Kelantan, Perak, Kedah, Penang and Sabah, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Fourteen of the suspects are members of a new group, Gagak Hitam (Black Crows), which is headed by Muhammad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi (also known as Abu Hamzah al-Fateh), according to Khalid.

Police allege that Wanndy ordered a grenade attack at a nightclub in Puching, on the outskirts on Kuala Lumpur, that injured eight people on June 28 in the first attack claimed by IS on Malaysian soil.

The 14 are suspected of “channeling funds to him,” Khalid said, referring to Wanndy.

Among the other two suspects, a 20-year-old student at a public university in Johor was arrested at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Sept. 22, Khalid said. The student had traveled to Istanbul on Sept. 7 and was detained by Turkish authorities the next day after he allegedly planned to travel to Syria to join a terrorist group in that country.

Another suspect, a 32-year-old man from North Africa, was arrested in Selangor on Sept. 25 and identified as a member of Jahbat Al Nusra, an Islamic terror group in Syria, Khalid said. The North African had traveled to Malaysia several times since May this year and is suspected of having a role in a syndicate forging travel documents.

Malaysian officials identified those arrested as five businessmen, four technicians, a public school counseling teacher, a bank employee, an executive manager, an antique collector and a student. Two others are unemployed. All 16 suspects are being investigated under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act of 2012 (SOSMA), Khalid said.

Reacting to news of the arrests, Malaysia’s Ministry of Education (MOE) on Monday issued a stern warning to any teacher, support staff under the ministry or student involved in militant activities.

“An action without compromise will be taken if proven [that] any teacher or staff support under the MOE is involved with these activities, including activities such as spreading slander through various social media, and activities that patterned against the ruling government,” Director General of Education Khair Mohamad Yusof said in a statement.

Cooperation necessary: Expert

Rohan Gunaratna, director of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told BenarNews that cooperation between police and different social groups is necessary to neutralize an emerging threat from IS in Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

“To counter the current threats that are emerging in Malaysia, the government should bring religious authorities, law enforcement and educators together. While education authorities should encourage modesty, religious authorities must fend off extremist propaganda,” said Gunaratna, a columnist for BenarNews.

For many months, Malaysian officials have warned that their country faces a threat from IS recruiting local youths to its ranks via social media, and from Malaysian IS veterans returning from combat tours in the Middle East plotting terror attacks on home soil

Since 2013, as many as 90 Malaysians have joined the extremist group abroad, of which 24 are believed to have been killed in battle and eight were arrested and charged with terror-related offenses after returning home from the Middle East, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, the head of the of the Malaysian police’s counter-terrorist branch, told BenarNews last month.

Those who are still with IS in that region consist of 32 men, 10 women and 16 are children.

Since 2013, authorities have arrested at least 230 suspected IS members and have charged at least 75 suspects linked to the group in court.

Source: benarnews.org/english/news/malaysian/suspect-roundup-10102016173916.html

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Pakistan

Journalist who reported rift between govt and army barred from leaving Pak

October 11, 2016

Islamabad: A prominent journalist has been barred from leaving Pakistan after he reported on a suspected rift between civilian and military leaderships during a crucial meeting in which the ISI was told its support for terrorist groups was leaving the country globally isolated.

Cyril Almeida, a columnist and reporter for the Dawn, tweeted that he has been told he has been put on ‘Exit Control List’ – a system of border control maintained by Pakistan government under an ordinance which allows it to bar people whose names appear on the list from leaving the country.

“Puzzled, saddened. Had no intention of going anywhere; this is my home. Pakistan,” Almeida tweeted. The development came less than a week after he wrote a front-page story in the daily about a rift between Pakistan’s civilian and military leaderships over militant groups that operate from Pakistan but engage in war against India and Afghanistan.

On October 6, Almeida, citing sources, reported in the widely-read daily that the civilian government has told the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan due to alleged support for militancy.

Pakistan government has thrice denied the story since. The Foreign Office vehemently rejected the report and termed it “speculative”. Yesterday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities to take “stern action” against those responsible for publishing the “fabricated” story.

“Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action,” according to an official statement.

Almeida’s scoop came amidst a backdrop of heightened tension between India and Pakistan following the attack on an Indian army base in Uri on September 18 in which 19 soldiers were killed by Pakistan-backed terrorists from the Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit.

On September 29, India carried out “surgical strikes” on seven terror launch pads across the LoC, and the Army said it had inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan has denied the surgical strike by India but has claimed two of its soldiers were killed in alleged ceasefire violations along the LoC by Indian troops.

Source: siasat.com/news/journalist-reported-rift-govt-army-barred-leaving-pak-1039095/

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Minister asks militants to surrender, join mainstream

Oct 11, 2016

QUETTA: Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti has said that negotiations with Brahamdagh Bugti and other self-exiled leaders can be held only after they accept the Constitution of Pakistan

“As politicians, our doors are open for everyone to hold talks,” he said at a ceremony held in Panjgur on Monday to disburse financial assistance among 27 militants who have surrendered themselves to the authorities.

He said that the government was ready to pay attention to their legitimate complaints if militants surrendered and joined mainstream politics to serve people.

In Balochistan, he said, there was no “angry person”, a euphemism used for Baloch militants. “Those people who are living abroad and receiving funds from the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) are terrorists and not angry persons.”

He said that Brahamdagh Bugti’s act of seeking Indian citizenship proved that he had no sympathy with Baloch people and, instead, was promoting Indian interests.

“People of Balochistan are patriotic and abhor the agents of the enemy state,” Sarfaraz Bugti said.

Referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said that the game-changer project would usher in an era of prosperity in Balochistan and the region. But, he added, conspiracies were being hatched to stall the project by creating a law and order situation in the province.

No one would be allowed to destroy peaceful atmosphere in Balochistan, he resolved and said that the political leadership and law enforcement agencies had rendered sacrifices to restore peace in the province.

He urged people to support government efforts to improve law and order and continue development activities in the province.

The ceremony was attended by Provincial Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch, Haji Mohammad Islam, a member of the Balochistan Assembly, Frontier Corps Commandant Col Numan, Deputy Commissioner of Panjgur district Habibur Rehman Kakar and District Police Officer Ayaz Baloch.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289407/minister-asks-militants-to-surrender-join-mainstream

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PPP seeks world’s help for Kashmiris

Oct 11, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Monday urged the international community to stop the atrocities perpetrated by the Indian authorities on the people of held Kashmir for demanding right to self-determination.

In a statement, he said Kashmir was an unfinished agenda of partition, and the international community had pledged to give the people the right to choose their destiny — a right that cannot be washed away by intimidation and repression.

“A measure of repression in Kashmir is the most inhumane treatment meted out to political prisoners,” the former president said.

Mr Zardari said that the chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik, had been languishing in prison since Burhan Wani’s death, adding that his health was in a critical condition. “The doctors have described his condition to be critical and urged the authorities to shift him to intensive care — a plea that has fallen on deaf ears,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of the international community to step in and stop repression of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Malik’s wife, Mishal Malik, was invited by Senator Rehman Malik to his residence on Monday. She was accompanied by her daughter, Raziya Sultana, and her mother. They discussed human rights violations taking place in India-held Kashmir and the arrest of Malik by the Indian forces.

“Yasin Malik and his family are fighting peacefully for their right to self-determination as per the United Nations Security Council resolutions, yet he has been kept in illegal custody,” said the senator. The family has been suffering for two years due to his unlawful detention and have also been denied the right to meet him in jail, he added.

Both leaders held a joint press conference and condemned the Indian forces for their brutalities against innocent Kashmiris and urged the United Nations to stop India from committing further brutalities in the region.

Senator Rehman Malik has written to the United Nations Human Rights Commission that “Mohammad Yasin Malik, who is a political activist and heads the political JKLF(Y) group, was taken into custody by Indian military on July 9, 2016, and has remained under interrogation ever since.”

He wrote that Yasin Malik had been shifted to the Humhuma joint interrogation centre in held Kashmir, where he was being tortured in solitary confinement, without access to basic medical care.

Malik is a chronic patient of kidney disease and has a metallic valve in his heart. The rigours of interrogation have led to an alarming loss of 15kg weight and deterioration of his health to dangerous levels, he added.

Senator Malik said that according to information received from held Kashmir, they took him to a hospital, where the army was informed about the serious health condition of Yasin Malik. The doctors recommended his admission to the intensive care unit, but the the Indian army turned down the request and sent him to the interrogation centre.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289413/ppp-seeks-worlds-help-for-kashmiris

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PTI asks SC for early hearing of petition against PM

Oct 11, 2016

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to increase pressure on the government, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday asked the Supreme Court to hold an early hearing of its petition seeking to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his son-in-law retired Capt Mohammad Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for their alleged involvement in the Panamagate scandal.

In a two-page application filed before the apex court on behalf of party chairman Imran Khan, the PTI has asked the court to hear the case on any date next week.

The application was moved weeks ahead of the party’s planned Oct 30 siege of Islamabad, another attempt to exert pressure on the prime minister to either resign from office or clear his name from the scandal by presenting himself for accountability.

In addition to the court case and planned street agitation, the party is also fighting a case before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that seeks to disqualify Mr Sharif and his relatives for making investments using offshore companies.

“We are already late. This case has international implications, and because of strong evidence, should have been taken up by the court by now,” said senior PTI leader Ishaq Khakwani.

He said a month was wasted after the registrar office returned the petition, leaving them with no choice but to challenge the move before the chief justice.

The PTI’s main petition was originally returned by the SC registrar with the observation that the petition was frivolous. That decision was challenged before the SC on the grounds that deeming the petition frivolous was insulting, degrading and defamatory, and reflected a lack of experience and a complete absence of application of mind, let alone acting judiciously, fairly or reasonably in the discharge of functions delegated to the registrar office.

Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, during an in-chamber hearing on Sept 27, accepted the appeal, set aside the objections raised by the registrar office and held that the office’s objections to the maintainability of the petitions were ill-founded.

The PTI’s petition was cleared for hearing, and similar petitions filed by the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Advocate Tariq Asad and Zafarullah Khan of the Watan Party were also accepted for hearing. They will now be taken up jointly by a three-judge bench.

A panel of lawyers — Hamid Khan, Naeem Bokhari and Ahmed Awais — will present the PTI’s case before the SC whenever it is heard.

In Monday’s application, the PTI contended that all Pakistani citizens were interested in the SC’s decision in the case and looking forward to its early disposal.

“There are questions in respect of leaders of national importance belonging to different political parties of Pakistan and the prime minister is also from one of those persons against whom there are allegations,” the application stated.

“From this point of view, the constitution petition needs very early hearing,” the application said, adding that the earlier the case was decided, the better it would be for the country and for Pakistani citizens, as well as for the interest of justice.

If the hearing is not fixed during the week commencing on Oct 17, the JI also plans to move a similar application next Monday, Advocate Asad Manzoor Butt told Dawn.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289417/pti-asks-sc-for-early-hearing-of-petition-against-pm

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Nawaz Sharif orders action over news story on national security

October 11, 2016

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered authorities on Monday to take “stern action” against those responsible for publishing a “fabricated” story about the military and ISI in a leading daily after army chief called on him to discuss national and regional security issues.

Dawn in a front page article on October 6 reported citing sources that the civilian government has informed the military leadership of a growing international isolation of Pakistan due to alleged support for militancy.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House on Monday in the presence of finance minister Ishaq Dar, interior minister Nisar Ali Khan, CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and DG ISI Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar.

According to an official statement, matters pertaining to national and regional security and the publication of news story last week in Dawn newspaper was also discussed during the meeting.

“The participants of the meeting expressed concern over the publication of a fabricated news story in Daily Dawn pertaining to security issues purportedly discussed in a meeting of National Security Committee in the last week.”

“The participants were unanimous that the published story was clearly violative of universally acknowledged principles of reporting on national security issues and has risked the vital state interests through inclusion of inaccurate and misleading contents which had no relevance to actual discussion and facts.”

The participants felt that it was imperative that Print and Electronic media refrained itself from speculative reporting and issues of national security and interests of the state.

“Prime Minister took serious notice of the violation and directed that those responsible should be identified for stern action,” according to the statement.

The Pakistan Foreign Office had vehemently rejected the report and termed its as “speculative”.

“The story you are referring to is purely speculative and as the author himself acknowledged that ‘none of the attributed statements were confirmed by the individuals mentioned,” it had said.

Today’s meeting reaffirmed that army and intelligence agencies shall continue to play a lead role in our fight against terrorism which is proceeding smoothly and without any discrimination whatsoever with complete consensus of all stakeholders.

Source: siasat.com/news/nawaz-sharif-orders-action-news-story-national-security-1039099/

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Africa

Police secure Assakio Central Mosque to maintain peace

October 11, 2016

The appearance of crucifix around a mosque in Nasarawa attracts crowd – The police was deployed to maintain peace and urged people to live in harmony – People were urged not to allow the presence of the crucifix cause controversy Police have been deployed to secure the Assakio Central Mosque in Nasarawa state following the discovery the image of cross in the religious premise. The appearance of the crucifix in the vicinity of the mosque left the people in awe as hundreds of people from the area and neighboring places trooped to the place for deliverance. The cross which is the considered the symbol of Christianity was illuminated on the ground close to the mosque. Hajara Hussaini confirmed that she was the first to see the light in the shape of a cross on Wednesday, September 28 when her mother sent her on errand. Her mother, Matan Liman also confirmed the strange appearance and said her daughter was gripped in fear when she returned. Today reports that Mr. Abubakar Bello who is the state commissioner of police visited the scene of the strange sighting and revealed the deployment of security officials. Bello also visited the house of HRM Osula Inarigu who is the paramount ruler in the town. He advised the people to try to live in peace with each other as that would bring development. The police chief said the appearance of the cross should not lead to controversy in the area which was why security had been beefed-up. Inarigu also advised the people to live in harmony irrespective of their religious differences. Some Nigerians have interpreted the reports of the mysterious sighting to mean the supremacy of one religion above the other. However, others have doubted the credibility of the appearance of the strange cross, describing it as a fraud. Similarly, hundreds of people trooped to Saint Augustine’s Catholic Church which is located in the Nenger area of Makurdi in Benue following the “appearance” of an ‘image’ of Jesus. The church which is situated behind Government Model College became a hub for Catholic and non-Catholic worshipers after bright image fell on the crucifix of Jesus.

Source: naij.com/1002187-just-police-take-nasarawa-mosque-crucifix-sighted.html?utm_source=mailfire&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hundred5_pusher

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Outlawed Shiite group reports arrests of members in Nigeria

October 11, 2016

LAGOS, Nigeria — A newly outlawed Shiite Muslim group in northern Nigeria on Monday accused officials of using tear gas, clubs and sticks to round up members including women and children, as pressure grew on a minority group that the military has accused of trying to assassinate its army chief.

The Iranian-inspired Islamic Movement in Nigeria said eight members of one family were among those held in "illegal custody," but it did not specify how many people had been detained in all.

Authorities in Kaduna state could not immediately be reached to comment. Africa's most populous nation is almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims, most of them Sunni.

Monday's statement was signed by Ibrahim Musa, the group's spokesman, whose own arrest was ordered by Kaduna officials on Sunday. That order came two days after the state declared the group to be unlawful.

A Kaduna state commission of inquiry recently said the Islamic Movement in Nigeria was responsible for provoking an attack in December 2015 on its headquarters, during which the army gunned down more than 300 Shiites. The report said the violence began with a blockade that halted the convoy of Nigeria's army chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Nigeria's military has accused the Shiites of attempting to assassinate Buratai, a claim that human rights groups have called unbelievable.

Human Rights Watch has quoted witness accounts that soldiers started shooting at schoolchildren leaving a mosque an hour before Buratai's convoy approached the roadblock, indicating the raid had been planned.

Ibraheem Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, was shot seven times during the attack. He has been in custody since December.

Nigeria's military is often accused of massive human rights violations, including the deaths of thousands of people detained in connection with Boko Haram's Islamic uprising in the northeast.

Source: stripes.com/news/middle-east/2.1198/outlawed-shiite-group-reports-arrests-of-members-in-nigeria-1.433495

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The identity issue paralyzes Sudan and African continent: Museveni

October 10, 2016

(KHARTOUM) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said that the identity issue represents the major challenges facing the African continent and Sudan; and obstructing prosperity and development.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (L) smiles with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni as he arrives at Khartoum Airport for talks during an official visit to Sudan September 15, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

The African leader who participated in the opening of the closing session of the National Dialogue Conference was speaking in a symposium in Khartoum on Monday evening attended by many Sudanese politicians and officials from the different forces.

The pan-African leader called on Sudanese peoples not to focus on race (Africans, Arabs), and religion (Muslim, Christian and non- religious). He further urged to coexist in total respect of each other and to join hands to develop their country.

“The problems and crises that have been facing Sudan since sixty years ago are the same ones faced by Uganda and other African countries which embodied in the identity mainly and others issues, Museveni said in debate at Sudanese capital Khartoum on the sidelines of the final session of the national dialogue conference on Monday evening.

Ugandan leader stressed that the development should be the only thing to be proud of and represents African identity, pointing out that the Sudanese opposition has exploited the identity issue.

Following the secession of South Sudan in November 2011, the Ugandan leader held similar statements when he received the President of the newly independent South Sudan, Salva Kiir.

“The word Sudan means ‘land of black people’. Sudan is an Afro-Arab country. The mistake of the Khartoum government was to manage it as an Arab county,” Museveni said on Friday 15 November 2011.

He also repeated the same statements in Addis Ababa in April 2012, when he said that the attempt by a ruling class in Khartoum to declare the whole of what was Africa’s largest country an Arab and Islamic state was illustration of how not to foster peace.

This time, the Ugandan leader who reconciled with President Bashir avoided to criticize the ruling National Congress Party. He just called on the Sudanese to promote peaceful coexistence and to be proud of their African identity, pointing out that the opposition has exploited the identity issue.

He confirmed that his country, Uganda, has resolved misunderstanding with Sudan, noting that "some Sudanese" have contributed to fill the gap of views between the two countries.

The Ugandan president was alluding to Najwa Gadah Aldam, a Sudanese female who worked for the United Nations office in Kampala. She spent years to reconcile the two leaders and improve bilateral relations between the two countries.

"In Uganda, we missed a lot of opportunities because of the war in Sudan, because our country is not locked, but linked by Lake Victoria, which could not be exploited because of the war," he added.

The Ugandan leader stated that re-opening of the dialogue for the holdout opposition groups is not the right approach, but encouraged them to join the process as suggested by Sudanese President, al-Bashir. He calling the political forces achieve consensus and unity.

Sudanese armed and political groups refuse to join the dialogue process in Khartoum and call to consider it as first phase of another process to be prepared by the African Union mediation team and after creating the confidence building measures.

In the past, Kampala and Khartoum traded accusations of support to the rebel groups.

The improvement of bilateral relations between the two countries, may contribute to achieve peace in South Sudan, and prevent their involvement in the inter South Sudanese conflict, observers say.

A dissident figure of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) Mubarak al-Fadil, called on President Museveni to put pressure on the armed movements to join the dialogue process, stressing that al-Bashir’s commitment to implement these recommendations is the only way to succeed the process.

Source: sudantribune.com/spip.php?article60496

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isis-reduces-prayer-frequency-from-five-to-three-in-nineveh,-issues-fatwa/d/108827

 

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