New Age Islam
Sat Nov 28 2020, 08:35 PM

Islamic World News ( 12 Oct 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

ISIS Savages STONE Two 'Adulterers' To Death in Medieval-Style Execution in Syria












Beytullah Colak, imam of the San Antonio chapter of The Islamic Institute, embraces Temple Chai Rabbi David Komerofsky after saying a prayer during dinner to break the Yom Kippur fast.

 

US, Saudis to Grant 9,000 ISIS Fighters Free Passage From Iraqi Mosul to Syria – Source

Why Pak Can’t Take Action against Azhar, Saeed, Asks Pakistani Daily

US Slams Pakistan for Linking Peace in Afghanistan to Kashmir Peace

Kashmiri Muslims Come Together To Celebrate Pandit Bride's Wedding

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Arab World

ISIS Savages STONE Two 'Adulterers' To Death in Medieval-Style Execution in Syria

US, Saudis to Grant 9,000 ISIS Fighters Free Passage From Iraqi Mosul to Syria – Source

US And Russia 'Will Go to War' Unless Proxy Syria Conflict Resolved, Turkey Warns

Army in Fierce Clashes with Terrorists in Aleppo

Army Kills Terrorists, Blows up Military Equipment in Dara'a

Syrian Warplanes Pound Terrorists' Positions in Different Parts of Aleppo

Shia militias can be a greater threat to Iraq’s stability than Islamic State

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Pakistan

Why Pak Can’t Take Action against Azhar, Saeed, Asks Pakistani Daily

Baloch activists seeking freedom from Pak divided over govt-in-exile in India

Pak family in US returns home after 7-year-old attacked, allegedly for being Muslim

Pakistan gives UNGA president dossier on human rights violations in held Kashmir

Pak High Commissioner Abdul Basit rubbishes Indian surgical strike claims

Pakistan delays blasphemy appeal after judge steps down

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North America

US Slams Pakistan for Linking Peace in Afghanistan to Kashmir Peace

New Warning for US Forces in Iraq: Beware Of Islamic State Drones

No, American Muslims Are Not Security Agents

US supports Iraqi territorial integrity

Surrender? US schools to REQUIRE Muslim indoctrination

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India

Kashmiri Muslims Come Together To Celebrate Pandit Bride's Wedding

Uniform Civil Code 'not good for nation', says Muslim Law Board

Hindus Proudly Embrace Islamic Tradition In This Village Where Not A Single Muslim Live

Hand over terrorists: Muslim NGO to Sharif

Andhra Waqf board receives flak from Muslim community

Indian Bishops close to Muslim brethren on the day Ashura

Militants shoot dead political party worker in Kashmir

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South Asia

Dostum Vows Revenge for Every Drop of Blood Spilled In Kunduz

Terror Attacks Kill 30 As Afghans Observe Ashura amid Tight Security

Taliban facing financial pressure since Mullah Mansoor’s death

Deadly Afghan Battle Overshadows Billions in Aid from Brussels

Iran Slams Terrorist Attacks on Afghan Shiites

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Africa

Muslim Militia Hacks 13 People to Death in Central African Republic

How Burkina Faso's Different Religions Live In Peace

US intensifies air campaign against Islamic State in Libya

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Europe

Muslims, Jews Breakfast After Yom Kippur

West responsible for Middle East instability and terrorism in Europe

Russian Forces Raid Homes of Muslim Community in Crimea

Lawsuit Launched to Stop Bucharest Mega-Mosque

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Southeast Asia

Reject ‘Hadi’s Islamic Law’ Without Hesitation, Says Zaid

Indonesian Netizens Fall in Love With Viral Photo of Muslim Men Helping Two Stranded Nuns

Religious clashes in Myanmar test Suu Kyi's mettle

Malaysia's troubled Muslim-Hindu ties

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Australia

IS-Inspired’ Teens Charged In Australia, Face Life Sentences

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Mideast

Turkey Fires NATO Military Envoys after Failed Coup: Report

Clinton speaks like a political apprentice: Erdoğan

Turkish military stages military buildup in Iraqi border

Soldier killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

Five countries operating at İncirlik Air Base, says Turkish FM

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isis-savages-stone-two--adulterers--to-death-in-medieval-style-execution-in-syria/d/108847

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ISIS Savages STONE Two 'Adulterers' To Death in Medieval-Style Execution in Syria

13 October 2016

Kneeling blindfolded in front of a baying crowd of men and children, ISIS prisoners are brutally stoned to death - after being accused of adultery.

Sickening photos show victims being pelted with heavy rocks near the city of Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, close to the border with Iraq.

Hundreds of people, including young children, watch in the town square as fanatics carry out the medieval-style executions.

The terror group had reportedly accused the men of adultery and sentenced them to death.

Pictures show extremists reading out the charges over a loud speaker before the men are led to their fate.

One, wearing dark trousers and a white top, is handcuffed and blindfolded before being forced to kneel on a carpet.

Moments later, executioners inflict gruesome injuries on his head and body by hurling rocks at him.

The other, dressed all in white, does not appear to be blindfolded or have his hands tied. Pictures show his dead body after being stoned.

It is not the first time ISIS have used the brutal execution technique.

In June, pictures emerged showing four married men being stoned to death over the same adultery charge.

The images showed blindfolded prisoners praying on the floor next to a pile of rocks before they were killed under the terror group's warped interpretation of sharia law.

They too were surrounded by a huge crowd including children who have gathered for the chilling spectacle, believed to be somewhere near the Tigris river in Iraq.

Source: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3835819/ISIS-savages-STONE-two-adulterers-death-medieval-style-execution-baying-crowd-men-children-watch-Syria.html

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US, Saudis to grant 9,000 ISIS fighters free passage from Iraqi Mosul to Syria – source

12 Oct, 2016

The US and Saudi Arabia have agreed to grant free passage to thousands of Islamic State militants before the Iraqi city of Mosul is stormed. The jihadists will be redeployed to fight against the government in Syria, a military-diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

"More than 9,000 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) militants will be redeployed from Mosul to the eastern regions of Syria to carry out a major offensive operation, which involves capturing Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra,” the source said.

According to the anonymous diplomatic source, US President Barack Obama has already sanctioned an operation to liberate Mosul, due to take place in October.

During the storm of the city in northern Iraq the US-led coalition’s planes would only strike detached, vacated or uninhabited buildings, while keeping terrorists as targets, he said.

In September, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed that Washington would send an additional 600 troops to Iraq to help liberate Mosul at the request of the local authorities.

The source suggested that redeployment of IS militants is necessary because “Washington must somehow counter Russia’s achievements in Syria, try to diminish their importance.”

"Apart from the purely political dividends, the other purpose of this operation, obviously, will be to discredit the success of Russian Airspace forces. And, of course, it’s an attempt to undermine Syrian President (Bashar) Assad,” he said.

The leadership of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate will be the mediators and guarantors of the agreement on safe passage for the jihadists from Mosul, he claimed.

The source added that a similar scheme had been used by the US and its allies during the liberation of the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Damascus has accused Washington for coordinating with IS after an airstrike against the Syrian government troops near the city of Deir ez-Zor on September 17. Washington said that the bombing, in which 83 soldiers were killed and over 100 injured, was a mistake.

Source: rt.com/news/362559-syria-iraq-mosul-isis/

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Why can’t Pak take action against Azhar, Saeed, asks Pakistani daily

October 13, 2016

Islamabad: A leading Pakistani daily today asked the civilian and military establishment why action against JeM chief Masood Azhar and JuD’s Hafiz Saeed was “danger” to the country’s national security.

The strong editorial in The Nation, considered close to the government and military establishment, came as a prominent journalist, Cyril Almeida, of Dawn was banned from leaving Pakistan because of his front-page report on a rift between the military and the civilian government over the military’s covert support to militant groups like the Haqqani network, Taliban and the LeT.

The editorial titled ‘How to Lose Friends And Alienate People’ said the government and the military instead of taking actions against Azhar and Saeed was lecturing the press.

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, roam freely in Pakistan and are belived to have the protection of the military.

The daily said in its editorial that it was a “disturbing day when civilian and military top leadership meet to lecture the media on how to do their job.”

“Apparently a barrage of online abuse, and three official denials were not enough to assuage tempers riled after Mr Almeida’s exclusive story in Dawn, detailing an unusual exchange between the very same civilian and military top brass that yesterday issued forth a statement on the violation of ‘universally acknowledged principles of reporting on national security issues’, the editorial said.

“The report by Mr Almeida has been called ‘fabricated’, and ‘speculative reporting’. But the government and military top brass in yesterday’s meeting delivered no explanation for why government MNA’s are protesting the visible presence of banned outfits in Pakistan. Or why possible action against Masood Azhar, or Hafiz Saeed is a danger to ‘national security’. Or why Pakistan faces increasing isolation? We’re all earsm.

“Instead, how dare the government and military top brass lecture the press on how to do their job. How dare they treat a feted reporter like a criminal. And how dare they imply that they have either the right or the ability or the monopoly to declare what Pakistan’s ‘national interest’ is,” it said.

“And for Mr Almeida, nothing but solidarity. More power to you, and to your pen. The press stands with you,” it added.

In an editorial, Dawn said it continues to stand-by Almeida’s story and has rejected allegations of “vested interest and false reporting”.

The Karachi Press Club has also demanded that the travel ban on Almeida be lifted.

Source: siasat.com/news/cant-pak-take-action-azhar-saeed-asks-pakistani-daily-1039825/

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US slams Pakistan for linking peace in Afghanistan to Kashmir peace

Thu Oct 13 2016

The United States has slammed Pakistan for linking the Afghan peace and stability to the resolution of Kashmir issue, it has been reported.

Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, made the remarks during a rare appearance before a Washington audience.

“We certainly do not believe that the situation in Afghanistan is linked with Kashmir,” Lavoy was quoted as saying in a report by The Times of India.

The top White House official also supported India’s ‘right to self-defense’ in the aftermath of the Uri attack and dubbed it a ‘clear case of cross-border terrorism’.

“It (Uri) was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemned this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack. Every country has a right to self-defense. But in a heavily militarised relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint,” he said responding to a question on the Uri attack.

Lavoy further added “We share with India, the concern for preventing any future attack. We empathise with the Indian position that it needs to respond militarily to cross-border threat of terrorism. But we also advise caution.”

The remarks by the top White House official came as a Pakistani envoy linked peace in Afghanistan to the resolution of Kashmir issue as the Afghan officials are pessimistic regarding Islamabad’s honesty to bring the Taliban group to negotiations table.

Pakistan Prime Minister’s special envoy on Kashmir Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said “Road to peace in Kabul lies in Kashmir in the sense that when you talk of peace, you cannot compartmentalise peace, you can’t segregate a section… ok you can have peace in Kabul and let Kashmir burn. That is not going to happen.”

The Afghan officials earlier said that they will not expect Pakistan to help revive the Afghan peace talks with the Taliban group.

Efforts in the framework of Quadrilateral Coordination Group consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, US and China failed after the Taliban group rejected to participate in peace talks and announced their spring offensive.

The Afghan officials criticized Pakistan for remaining reluctant to act against the leadership councils of Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network based in Peshawar and Quetta cities of Pakistan.

Source: khaama.com/us-slams-pakistan-for-linking-peace-in-afghanistan-to-kashmir-peace-02069

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KASHMIRI MUSLIMS COME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE PANDIT BRIDE'S WEDDING

Oct 12, 2016

Srinagar: Pulwama, currently the hot-bed of ongoing protests and militancy, witnessed true Kashmiriyat when the Muslim community came together to celebrate the wedding of a Kashmiri Pandit.

Wednesday was a big day for Zadroo resident Ashok Kumar Raina and his daughter Nisha, as it was the latter's wedding. Due to the unrest, only a few of the Rainas' relatives from Jammu and Delhi were able to attend the function. However, his Muslim neighbours more than made up for any lack on the big day. They skipped protest rallies to attend her wedding. They lined up outside the Rainas' home to welcome the groom, with Muslim women singing Kashmiri songs in celebration. They also served food to the guests in a traditional manner.

“I am thankful to my Muslim neighbours and to Anupam Kherji,” Raina told Mirror.

Kher had adopted the Raina family a while ago. They were the few Kashmiri Pandits who chose to stay on in the Valley after the others fled after militancy started in 1989.

Muhammad Altaf Bhat, a local resident and chairman of Civil Society Pulwama told Mirror that this display of brotherhood was true Kashmiriyat.

Source: mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/Kashmiri-Muslims-come-together-to-celebrate-Pandit-brides-wedding/articleshow/54816601.cms

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Arab World

ISIS Savages STONE Two 'Adulterers' To Death in Medieval-Style Execution in Syria

13 October 2016

Kneeling blindfolded in front of a baying crowd of men and children, ISIS prisoners are brutally stoned to death - after being accused of adultery.

Sickening photos show victims being pelted with heavy rocks near the city of Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, close to the border with Iraq.

Hundreds of people, including young children, watch in the town square as fanatics carry out the medieval-style executions.

The terror group had reportedly accused the men of adultery and sentenced them to death.

Pictures show extremists reading out the charges over a loud speaker before the men are led to their fate.

One, wearing dark trousers and a white top, is handcuffed and blindfolded before being forced to kneel on a carpet.

Moments later, executioners inflict gruesome injuries on his head and body by hurling rocks at him.

The other, dressed all in white, does not appear to be blindfolded or have his hands tied. Pictures show his dead body after being stoned.

It is not the first time ISIS have used the brutal execution technique.

In June, pictures emerged showing four married men being stoned to death over the same adultery charge.

The images showed blindfolded prisoners praying on the floor next to a pile of rocks before they were killed under the terror group's warped interpretation of sharia law.

They too were surrounded by a huge crowd including children who have gathered for the chilling spectacle, believed to be somewhere near the Tigris river in Iraq.

Source: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3835819/ISIS-savages-STONE-two-adulterers-death-medieval-style-execution-baying-crowd-men-children-watch-Syria.html

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US, Saudis to grant 9,000 ISIS fighters free passage from Iraqi Mosul to Syria – source

12 Oct, 2016

The US and Saudi Arabia have agreed to grant free passage to thousands of Islamic State militants before the Iraqi city of Mosul is stormed. The jihadists will be redeployed to fight against the government in Syria, a military-diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

"More than 9,000 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) militants will be redeployed from Mosul to the eastern regions of Syria to carry out a major offensive operation, which involves capturing Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra,” the source said.

According to the anonymous diplomatic source, US President Barack Obama has already sanctioned an operation to liberate Mosul, due to take place in October.

During the storm of the city in northern Iraq the US-led coalition’s planes would only strike detached, vacated or uninhabited buildings, while keeping terrorists as targets, he said.

In September, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed that Washington would send an additional 600 troops to Iraq to help liberate Mosul at the request of the local authorities.

The source suggested that redeployment of IS militants is necessary because “Washington must somehow counter Russia’s achievements in Syria, try to diminish their importance.”

"Apart from the purely political dividends, the other purpose of this operation, obviously, will be to discredit the success of Russian Airspace forces. And, of course, it’s an attempt to undermine Syrian President (Bashar) Assad,” he said.

The leadership of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate will be the mediators and guarantors of the agreement on safe passage for the jihadists from Mosul, he claimed.

The source added that a similar scheme had been used by the US and its allies during the liberation of the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Damascus has accused Washington for coordinating with IS after an airstrike against the Syrian government troops near the city of Deir ez-Zor on September 17. Washington said that the bombing, in which 83 soldiers were killed and over 100 injured, was a mistake.

Source: rt.com/news/362559-syria-iraq-mosul-isis/

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US and Russia 'will go to war' unless proxy Syria conflict resolved, Turkey warns

13 October 2016

The Cold War superpowers broke off biltateral talks on Syria following the bombing of a UN aid convoy near Aleppo last month which the US said amounted to a 'war crime'

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has warned that the “proxy wars” in the Middle East between the US and Russia could signal the reemergence of world-wide conflict between the two Cold War superpowers. 

The complex five-and-a-half-year long Syrian civil war is on the brink of becoming a “wider regional war,” he said in an interview with state-run Anadolou News Agency on Wednesday.

“If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war,” Mr Kurtulmuş said.

Talks between the two nations broke down following the bombing of a UN and Red Crescent convoy during a ceasefire on September 19. Relations between Russia and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council have also deteriorated over Russia's role in backing renewed Syrian government air strikes which are decimating rebel-held neighbourhoods in Aleppo and elsewhere across the country.

Mr Kurtulmuş called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “pawn” in the wider context of the conflict and said his removal from power is necessary for lasting peace.

Turkey has become increasingly drawn into the conflict in neighbouring Syria since launching a military operation to remove both Isis and Kurdish militias from border territory in August.

The Turkish and Iraqi governments are also currently at loggerheads over the role Turkish troops should play in the upcoming US-backed offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, back from the terror group’s hands. Ankara, which has been training Sunni militias ahead of the battle, is worried about Baghdad’s reliance on Shiite militias in the push to liberate the Sunni-majority city.

The Iraqi government in turn has demanded its troops play a central role and that Turkish forces should remain on base during the operation.  

On Tuesday Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan warned of “blood and fire” along sectarian lines if the complex military operation is not executed correctly. The US has issued pleas for the two governments to resolve the spat, fearing the assault to liberate Mosul could be negatively affected by the infighting.

How the battle is handled has significant implications for Iraq’s future, but recapturing the city would be a significant blow for Isis.

In the Syrian crisis, international delegations are meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland this weekend - without representatives from either the Syrian government or opposition - to try and resurrect a path to peace in the multi-sided conflict.

More than 400,000 people have died and four million displaced from their homes in over five years of fighting, the UN says.

Source: independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-warns-of-global-war-between-us-and-russia-unless-syria-conflict-resolved-a7358691.html

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Army in Fierce Clashes with Terrorists in Aleppo

October 13, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces continued their military operations against the terrorist groups in Aleppo and other provinces, and inflicted heavy damage and losses on them in the last 24 hours.

Syrian Army troops repelled ISIL's attacks on their positions near Kuweires airbase in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo city, leaving several militants dead and several more wounded, military sources said Wednesday.

"ISIL once again launched large-scale assault in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo and attacked the positions of government troops from the Northern side of the military airport," the sources said.

"The Syrian government forces fended off the attacks after a long night of fighting against the ISIL terrorists," the source said, adding that "the army soldiers killed at least 15 militants while the remaining pockets of them retreated from the battlefield."

Also military sources said on Wednesday that the Syrian Army is dividing militant-held districts in the Eastern part of Aleppo into smaller battlefields to capture them one by one, adding that the new tactic has already proved successful.

"The Syrian army is trying to diconnect militants' positions to divide them into smaller battlefields in a move to make them too weak to stand the government forces' attacks," the sources said.

"Rapid advances of the Syrian army troops and their popular allies against Jeish al-Fatah in Aleppo city testify that the new tactic has proved as a major success, and that military developments in the Northern city and its countryside are moving in the direction desired by the government forces," they added.

The sources said that the army now is to chain its positions in al-Oweijeh to Bostan al-Pasha in order to end clashes in a large part of the Eastern districts.

"The strategic plan of the Syrian armed forces concentrates on the liberation of the districts of al-Nazarat, Ein al-Tal, Halak, al-Sakhour and Masaken al-Hananou in Eastern Aleppo. They simultaneously are to advance against Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in Bostan al-Pasha and al-Meidan," they pointed out.

" Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950722000143

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Army Kills Terrorists, Blows Up Military Equipment in Dara'a

October 13, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces continued purging operations in the Eastern parts of Dara'a province, killing militants and destroying their military equipment and vehicles.

"An army unit killed tens of terrorists and destroyed their vehicles to the East of al-Hrak town in the Eastern parts of the Southern province of Dara'a," a field source said.

Also, the Syrian forces smashed terrorists' artillery and mortar positions and machine guns near al-Arba'een Park in Dara'a al-Balad and to the Northwest of a bridge near al-Gharyia al-Gharbyieh village in the Eastern parts of Dara'a, the source added.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian military forces repelled attacks of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) on their positions near a key town in Northern Dara'a, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

Syrian army soldiers fended off Fatah al-Sham's assaults in Katiby al-Mahjoureh in an area towards the Eastern side of Ibta'a, leaving scores of the terrorists dead or wounded.

Fatah al-Sham's military hardware also sustained major damage in the failed attacks.

Syrian fighter jets, for their part, bombed the vehicles and positions of Fatah al-Sham in Ibta'a and Dael, destroying most on their cars and military trucks.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950722000205

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Syrian Warplanes Pound Terrorists' Positions in Different Parts of Aleppo

October 13, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes on the militants' gathering centers in different regions of Aleppo, killing and wounding tens of terrorists.

The Syrian air force destroyed several vehicles, armored vehicles and positions of the terrorist organizations, and killed a large number of their members in Khan Touman, al-Zirbeh, al-Barqoum, Abu Shalim, Maarata, Kafr Naha and al-Rashideen in Aleppo province, according to a military source.

The source added that the army units also smashed fortified positions, gatherings and vehicles of the terrorists affiliated to Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the neighborhoods of al-Rashideen 4 and al-Rashideen 5 in the Western parts of Aleppo city.

Reports said on Wednesday that the Syrian army troops and air force launched fresh rounds of joint assaults on Jeish al-Fatah's gatherings in the Western districts of Aleppo city from three flanks, inflicting dozens of casualties on the militants.

Syrian soldiers and their popular allies struck Jeish al-Fatah's positions in Jam'iyat al-Zahra district and engaged in heavy fighting with militants near Rasoul A'azam Jam'e mosque, al-Maliyeh square and Air Force building.

The militants have reportedly sustained dozens of casualties in the clashes.

Syrian fighter jets played a crucial role in army's advances against militants in Jam'iyat al-Zahra district.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950722000170

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Shia militias can be a greater threat to Iraq’s stability than Islamic State

12 October 2016

The current security situation in Iraq is likely to worsen if the abuses of civilians by Shia militias within the PMF are not officially recognised and appropriately responded to.

The PMF is made up primarily of Shia Muslim groups, the strongest and most powerful of which are backed and controlled by Iran. In April 2015, the PMF was formally put under the command of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Toward the end of 2015 and throughout the spring of 2016, I was on the ground in Erbil, Iraq, speaking to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from different parts of the country. One group came from a city that had been freed by the Iraqi army one year earlier. These IDPs told me their stories; stories of harassment, kidnapping and killing of Sunni men and boys by Shia militias. Their reports stated that the reason these men and boys were targeted for abuse was due to their Sunni surnames and that the atrocities primarily occurred when IDPs were leaving from or returning to their home cities.

In the war against the so called “Islamic State” (IS), the first reports of harassment, killings, and houses blown up and burned down by Shia militias appeared in early 2015 and then again when the city of Tikrit was regained from IS in March and April of 2015.

Since retaking Tikrit, reports of crimes committed by Shia militias have steadily increased in various parts of Iraq and have not only included cases during or directly after an area’s takeover. Also in districts such as Muqdadiya in the Diyala Governorate, which has been under government control since January of 2015, reports of abuses by Shia militias have continued throughout 2015 and into 2016.

Due to these and many other such documented abuses, Shia militias were side-lined in the operations to retake Ramadi in December 2015 and included only in combat operations outside the city during the Fallujah operation in May and June of this year.

Nevertheless, accounts of enforced disappearances, mutilation of corpses, as well as executions attributed to the Shia militias appeared during and after the operation of retaking Fallujah. Moreover, crimes by these militias are no longer only committed on civilians following takeover or upon return to cities. Acts committed by Shia militias are taking new shapes; as Iraqi news websites reported on 10 July, Shia militias had burned Sunni citizens in retaliation for the deadliest explosions that hit Baghdad since 2003, which were claimed by IS and had killed more than 300 civilians.

It is unlikely that coalition forces are not aware of these acts by the Iran-backed Shia militias. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have identified the atrocities committed by Shia militias as war crimes. But when asked whether Iran is more helpful or harmful in this conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that “Iran in Iraq has been in certain ways helpful”, thereby ignoring the harmful effects of Iranian involvement in Iraq, much of it through the Shia militias.

Through my work on the ground in Iraq, I have identified two immediate consequences for civilians of Iraq that should not be ignored: firstly, as one person I spoke to said: “residents in Daesh [synonym for IS] held cities would prefer to stay in these cities rather than leaving, fearing for their lives when walking into the hands of Shia militias”.

Full report at:opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/lara-sievers/shia-militias-can-be-greater-threat-to-iraq-s-stability-than-islamic-sta

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Pakistan

Why can’t Pak take action against Azhar, Saeed, asks Pakistani daily

October 13, 2016

Islamabad: A leading Pakistani daily today asked the civilian and military establishment why action against JeM chief Masood Azhar and JuD’s Hafiz Saeed was “danger” to the country’s national security.

The strong editorial in The Nation, considered close to the government and military establishment, came as a prominent journalist, Cyril Almeida, of Dawn was banned from leaving Pakistan because of his front-page report on a rift between the military and the civilian government over the military’s covert support to militant groups like the Haqqani network, Taliban and the LeT.

The editorial titled ‘How to Lose Friends And Alienate People’ said the government and the military instead of taking actions against Azhar and Saeed was lecturing the press.

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) chief Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, roam freely in Pakistan and are belived to have the protection of the military.

The daily said in its editorial that it was a “disturbing day when civilian and military top leadership meet to lecture the media on how to do their job.”

“Apparently a barrage of online abuse, and three official denials were not enough to assuage tempers riled after Mr Almeida’s exclusive story in Dawn, detailing an unusual exchange between the very same civilian and military top brass that yesterday issued forth a statement on the violation of ‘universally acknowledged principles of reporting on national security issues’, the editorial said.

“The report by Mr Almeida has been called ‘fabricated’, and ‘speculative reporting’. But the government and military top brass in yesterday’s meeting delivered no explanation for why government MNA’s are protesting the visible presence of banned outfits in Pakistan. Or why possible action against Masood Azhar, or Hafiz Saeed is a danger to ‘national security’. Or why Pakistan faces increasing isolation? We’re all earsm.

“Instead, how dare the government and military top brass lecture the press on how to do their job. How dare they treat a feted reporter like a criminal. And how dare they imply that they have either the right or the ability or the monopoly to declare what Pakistan’s ‘national interest’ is,” it said.

“And for Mr Almeida, nothing but solidarity. More power to you, and to your pen. The press stands with you,” it added.

In an editorial, Dawn said it continues to stand-by Almeida’s story and has rejected allegations of “vested interest and false reporting”.

The Karachi Press Club has also demanded that the travel ban on Almeida be lifted.

Source: siasat.com/news/cant-pak-take-action-azhar-saeed-asks-pakistani-daily-1039825/

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Baloch acitivists seeking freedom from Pak divided over govt-in-exile in India

Oct 13, 2016

Mazdak Dilshad Baloch (centre), son of prominent author-activist Naela Qadri Baloch and filmmaker Mir Ghulam Mustafa Raisaini, takes part in a protest against Pakistan, in New Delhi . (AFP Photo)

Activists seeking liberation of the Balochistan province in Pakistan are divided over the issue of forming a government-in-exile.

Even as the president of the World Baloch Women’s Forum Naela Quadri is in New Delhi, seeking political support for establishing a government-in-exile, Baloch Republican Party’s Brahamdagh Bugti questioned her mandate to do so.

Bugti who has sought political asylum in India said Quadri does not represent the entire Baloch community, therefore, could not take a decision on behalf of the people of the troubled Pakistani province.

Soon after Quadri told HT that the proposed authority will be “independent and autonomous” and not “under any umbrella”, Bugti took to social media criticising her move.

“Naela Qadri is not representing Baloch people. Rather than supporting they are damaging the Baloch cause by their insane actions. Government-in-exile is a national issue and national issues cannot be announced without national consensus,” he tweeted.

Quadri, for her part said suggestions will be taken from the Baloch people spread across Iran, Afghanistan and Europe. “…there are about 40 million Baloch people, more than the population of several nations; they should all be part of the decision,” she said.

Quadri, who is New Delhi to garner support for a government-in-exile, said India will not have a say in the formation of the government, but should recognise Baloch people as separate from the Pakistanis.

She said it is a matter of humiliation for the Baloch, struggling to break away from Pakistan, to be identified as Pakistani nationals.

“Indian government should tell all its embassies and high commissions to issue travel documents to the Baloch based on their separate identity. “We do not want the green passport (Pakistani passport), we will have our own passport (when we have own government),” she told HT on Wednesday.

Quadri who fled Pakistan is a well-known activist now based in Canada and has been tapping governments for support in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. “… We need support from Afghanistan, but India is our first priority,” she said adding, “We want a friendship based on barabari (equality). We have never been ghulams (slaves) and we don’t want to move from Pakistani subjugation to Indian control.”

Quadri, who asserts that people’s legitimate struggle for freedom cannot be denied, however distinguishes the separatist movement in Kashmir from the Baloch quest for freedom.

“The identity of Kashmir has changed to a Muslim identity. Muslim is not a nation. It (Islam) is a religion. Are you asking for a religious or a national identity? Kashmiris should decide that. If you want Muslim identify, how can you divide a land on religion? Do you want a Pakistan again?” Quadri said.

She also blames Pakistan for violating the UN resolution by refusing to keep the army out of PoK and said violence is being used to “crush the people” of the region.

Source: hindustantimes.com/world-news/baloch-activists-seeking-liberation-divided-over-forming-govt-in-exile/story-3HSvI4bH2cT1kcUQ4KYw0H.html

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Pak family in US returns home after 7-year-old attacked, allegedly for being Muslim

Oct 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: The family of a 7-year old Pakistani-American boy living in North Carolina moved back to Pakistan after he was beaten up by fellow students, allegedly because he is Muslim, reports said.

They will decide on whether to return only after November 8, US election day. Why? One word: Trump.

"Welcome to the United States of America of Donald Trump. Meet my son Abdul Aziz. He is in grade one, bullied and beaten by his own classmates in school bus for being a Muslim," wrote the boy's father, Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, in a Facebook post last week.

Usmani was referring to US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose divisive and racist campaign includes calling for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

"These are six and seven year old kids calling him (Abdul) names, with one kid punching him in the face, while two other kids attacked him, kicked him, and held his arms back...They keep beating him all the way from school to home on the bus," Usmani told Buzzfeed News two days ago.

Below Usmani's Facebook post is a photograph of the first-grader with his arm in a sling.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pak-family-in-US-returns-home-after-7-year-old-attacked-allegedly-for-being-Muslim/articleshow/54825964.cms

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Pakistan gives UNGA president dossier on human rights violations in held Kashmir

Oct 13, 2016

NEW YORK: Pakistan on Wednesday handed over a dossier on human rights violations in India-held Kashmir (IHK) to the United Nations General Assembly, Radio Pakistan reported.

The prime minister's special envoys on Kashmir, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali, handed over the dossier to UNGA President Peter Thomson in New York.

The envoys briefed the UNGA president about the threat to peace and security posed by the deteriorating situation in held Kashmir.

Senator Mushahid Hussain said India has closed all doors to bilateral dialogue, scuttled a regional summit and refused to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions at the international level.

Dr. Shezra Ali detailed the killings of protesters in Kashmir, and briefed the UNGA president about injuries caused by the use of brute force by Indian forces.

The UNGA president expressed concern at the situation and assured the visiting envoys of every possible effort to foster peace.

He said an update on the current situation from the UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations will also be sought.

Officials of the Department for Peacekeeping Operations briefed the special envoys on the continued non-cooperation by the Indian side which was hampering the mandated work of the UN mission.

Pakistan's permanent representative to the United Nations, Dr Maleeha Lodhi, was also present on the occasion.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289716/pakistan-gives-unga-president-dossier-on-human-rights-violations-in-held-kashmir

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Pak High Commissioner Abdul Basit rubbishes Indian surgical strike claims

Oct 13, 2016

Pakistan's High Commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit in an interview with India Today rejected Indian claims of a 'surgical strike' across the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday.

"As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned, there was no surgical strike whatsoever, otherwise they would have responded immediately," he said.

When 'video evidence' of the strike was brought up during the interview, Basit rubbished the claim. "There can't be any video... Because the surgical strike did not take place."

"No surgical strike across the LoC was conducted in the dark hours of Sept 29," he reiterated.

'Closing all doors for cooperation'

Responding to a question about investigation into the Uri attack, Basit said, "We would like to get out of this blame game, so why not get an international investigation into this incident?"

"You did not leave any room for cooperation. When you start blaming Pakistan and terming us as a terrorist state, you are closing all the doors for cooperation," the high commissioner said.

"If India believes Pakistan has done it then the best way forward would be to have an international probe."

The high commissioner added that when both sides commence a dialogue process, resolution of issues can be taken forward.

"When we're not talking to each other, then this cooperation is not possible," Basit said, adding that Pakistan's investigation into the Pathankot air base attack was ongoing.

'Some forces trying to undermine Pakistan'

When questioned about Balochistan, the Basit said, "The people of Balochistan are as patriotic as people in other parts of Pakistan but we do have worries because there is a larger question of a foreign agenda of destabilising Pakistan," he said.

"You would recall that earlier this year we arrested a man called Kulbhushan Jadhav, and that corroborated what Pakistan has been saying all along. So to that extent, we are worried... Some forces are trying to undermine Pakistan," he added.

'Saarc a collective loss'

The high commissioner termed postponement of the Saarc summit a "collective loss" for all countries involved. "We are confident that Pakistan will host the 19th summit if not this year, then sometime next year," Basit said.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289710/pak-high-commissioner-abdul-basit-rubbishes-indian-surgical-strike-claims

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Pakistan delays blasphemy appeal after judge steps down

Oct 13, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court delayed an appeal into a notorious blasphemy case against a Christian mother on death row Thursday as one of the judges stepped down, with thousands of security forces deployed after threats from Muslim clerics.

Police and troops had been stationed across Islamabad as the court readied to hear a final appeal in the case of Asia Bibi, who has been on death row since 2010. Observers had warned of "tremendous" repercussions for minorities in deeply conservative Pakistan.

But one of the three-judge bench, Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman, told the court he had to recuse himself, claiming a conflict of interest.

"I was a part of the bench that was hearing the case of Salmaan Taseer, and this case is related to that," he told the court.

Taseer, a liberal provincial governor, was gunned down in Islamabad in 2011 after speaking out for Bibi.

His assassin, Mumtaz Qadri, was hanged earlier in 2016 in a step liberals hailed as progressive, but which brought hardliners into the streets calling for Bibi's death.

Rehman was chief justice on the Islamabad High Court which heard Qadri's appeal in 2011, according to local media.

The Supreme Court did not immediately set a new date for Bibi's appeal.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan. Anyone even accused of insulting Islam risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes.

Rights groups complain the controversial legislation is often abused to carry out personal vendettas, mainly against Christians.

Observers had warned of possible violence if Bibi's conviction was overturned, with some calling the case a battle for Pakistan's soul as the state walks a line between upholding human rights and appeasing hardliners.

Clerics at the influential Red Mosque in Islamabad warned late Wednesday they would launch a nationwide protest if Bibi is released.

"Any one who will defend or will protect the blasphemer of the Prophet will equally be considered as blasphemer," spokesman Hafiz Ihtesham Ahmed said.

He warned against foreign diplomats lobbying for Bibi's release, saying clerics would mobilise the public if she was freed and "everyone will become Qadri".

Bibi's lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook called the Red Mosque threat "big".

"I hope the government takes it very seriously and takes care of our security," he told media outside the court Thursday.

Zohra Yusuf, chair of the independent Human Rights Commission in Pakistan, told AFP the appeal delay was "regrettable", noting that Bibi was already being held in solitary confinement due to security concerns.

The judges may be "apprehensive", she said, adding that after the Supreme Court announced its decision to uphold Qadri's death sentence, justices had to sneak out the back door to the court.

"It's a sensitive case. I think they (the judges) have realised that if Asia Bibi (is) acquitted, they may be putting their own lives on the line," Yusuf said.

A senior police official told AFP that up to 3,000 security personnel had been deployed in the capital earlier Thursday.

Bibi was convicted and sentenced to hang in 2010 after an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water. Her supporters maintain her innocence and insist it was a personal dispute, and the Vatican has called for her release.

But successive appeals have been rejected, and if the Supreme Court bench eventually upholds Bibi's conviction, her only recourse will be a direct appeal to the president for clemency

If that fails, she could become the first person in Pakistan to be executed for blasphemy.

The repercussions for minorities, human rights and the blasphemy laws would be "tremendous", says Shahzad Akbar, a human rights lawyer.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-delays-blasphemy-appeal-after-judge-steps-down/articleshow/54827833.cms

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North America

US slams Pakistan for linking peace in Afghanistan to Kashmir peace

Thu Oct 13 2016

The United States has slammed Pakistan for linking the Afghan peace and stability to the resolution of Kashmir issue, it has been reported.

Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, made the remarks during a rare appearance before a Washington audience.

“We certainly do not believe that the situation in Afghanistan is linked with Kashmir,” Lavoy was quoted as saying in a report by The Times of India.

The top White House official also supported India’s ‘right to self-defense’ in the aftermath of the Uri attack and dubbed it a ‘clear case of cross-border terrorism’.

“It (Uri) was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemned this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack. Every country has a right to self-defense. But in a heavily militarised relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint,” he said responding to a question on the Uri attack.

Lavoy further added “We share with India, the concern for preventing any future attack. We empathise with the Indian position that it needs to respond militarily to cross-border threat of terrorism. But we also advise caution.”

The remarks by the top White House official came as a Pakistani envoy linked peace in Afghanistan to the resolution of Kashmir issue as the Afghan officials are pessimistic regarding Islamabad’s honesty to bring the Taliban group to negotiations table.

Pakistan Prime Minister’s special envoy on Kashmir Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said “Road to peace in Kabul lies in Kashmir in the sense that when you talk of peace, you cannot compartmentalise peace, you can’t segregate a section… ok you can have peace in Kabul and let Kashmir burn. That is not going to happen.”

The Afghan officials earlier said that they will not expect Pakistan to help revive the Afghan peace talks with the Taliban group.

Efforts in the framework of Quadrilateral Coordination Group consisting of Afghanistan, Pakistan, US and China failed after the Taliban group rejected to participate in peace talks and announced their spring offensive.

The Afghan officials criticized Pakistan for remaining reluctant to act against the leadership councils of Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network based in Peshawar and Quetta cities of Pakistan.

Source: khaama.com/us-slams-pakistan-for-linking-peace-in-afghanistan-to-kashmir-peace-02069

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New warning for US forces in Iraq: Beware of Islamic State drones

October 12, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. troops in Iraq have been issued a new warning this month: don’t touch any model aircraft or drone devices found on the battlefield.

U.S. forces preparing for the upcoming battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State were alerted about drones, after a device believed to be operated by the terrorist group killed two Kurdish fighters.

In the Oct. 2 incident, Kurdish forces in northern Iraq discovered a Styrofoam airplane on the ground that had been modified, and took it back to their base to examine it, said a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“It was a hobby plane,” the official said, adding the Pentagon has seen images of the device that were taken before the drone exploded. “[It is] unclear whether it was shot down with small arms or it just landed on its own. But essentially a couple of [Peshmerga] fighters had picked it up and taken it back to their camp. They were opening it up and were looking at it when it exploded.”

The official said U.S. officials believe the device was intended to go off after it had been picked up, and the explosion was set to a timer, hidden inside the plane’s battery. The official said it was not clear whether the explosion was triggered when the soldiers opened the device or the timer set off the bomb.

Now U.S. troops must follow procedures, the official said.

“This biggest outcome of this … was guidance that was sent out,” the official said. “Don’t pick these things up. Treat them as [unexploded ordinance.] You see a drone sitting on the ground, don’t pick it up. Call in EOD,” the official said, referring to the explosive ordinance teams that specialize in safely destroying unexploded munitions.

A second U.S. official said this is not the first time that explosive drones or surveillance drones operated by the Islamic State group have been spotted or shot down by U.S., Iraq or coalition forces.

Col. John Dorrian, the Baghdad-based spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said the United States has additional defenses to counter the armed or surveillance drones, but he would not go into detail about them.

“We have seen them [Islamic State-operated drones] over coalition bases, we have seen them over Iraqi bases. It’s a threat we’ve seen developing for some time,” Dorrian said. “Most of these are just surveillance and not dropping of ordinance or this latest sort of ‘Trojan Horse’-style of attack.”

“We have engaged some of them with some of the capabilities that we have. Both we and our partners have shot some of them down,” he said.

Source: stripes.com/news/new-warning-for-us-forces-in-iraq-beware-of-islamic-state-drones-1.433749

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No, American Muslims Are Not Security Agents

October 13, 2016

At the playground of a local Chick-fil-A in California, my 6-year-old daughter made friends with a cute blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl about the same age. After running up and down the indoor play space for 10 minutes, my daughter came back to finish eating her chicken burger.

The blond-haired girl followed and sat down at our table, too. As she sat down, she stared at me, probably looking at my headscarf tightly wrapped around my head. Without missing a beat, she asked, “Are you Muslim?”

I was almost surprised that a young girl could be this self aware. My daughter turned to me, covering her mouth with her hand, and whispered, “Mom, can I tell her that I’m Muslim?”

The moment was surreal in so many ways. As mothers, we do all we can to protect our young, but also wish for them to be confident in who they are. And yet in that moment, all I could think was why a young girl, my own daughter, has to question her identity and ask permission to reveal who she is.

She made me realize just how much American Muslims have internalized the minority, and perhaps even inferiority status that has been projected on to us by politicians and the right-wing media.

Perhaps one thing that the second presidential debate underscored was the fact that the issue of Muslims continues to be one of the most contentious of this presidential campaign. Donald Trump and the alt-right’s bullying rhetoric toward Muslims have had a devastating effect on Muslims, especially children, in this country, including my own.

Just last week, a 7-year-old boy in North Carolina was beaten on a school bus by five other boys shouting anti-Muslim slurs. The bullying of children has gotten so bad that the state of California, where I live, passed a Safe Place to Learn Act, which helps monitor and protect Muslim, Sikh and other South Asian students from harassment and bullying.

According to a 2015 Council on American Islamic Relations report, 55% of Muslim students have reported being subjected to bullying based on their religious identity. That’s 55% too many.

The Islamophobic tropes that this election cycle has produced have helped to incite hate crimes toward Muslims and Islamic institutions nationwide. According to a report by California State University, hate crimes have gone up 78% in 2015. We have witnessed more incidents in 2016 with targeted killings and the vandalizing of mosques. Women like me, who are easily identified as Muslim by our headscarves, becoming walking targets.

For example, in New York, two Muslim women were recently attacked by another woman, who allegedly yelled, “Get the f— out of America, you don’t belong here.” She tried to rip off their headscarves.

It doesn’t help that both candidates in Sunday’s debate continued to frame us as a security force, whose only function is to fight terror and extremism. Trump stated that he can’t be politically correct when speaking about Muslims, and that “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.”

This initiated a firestorm of tweets by Muslims reporting on what they saw during the debates using the hashtag, #MuslimsReportStuff, including one of the most retweeted tweets by professor Moustafa Bayoumi:

But Muslims are not our nation’s security agents. We are citizens, and good ones with much more to offer than being the nation’s so-called eyes and ears. If you insist on judging Muslims on their efficacy in fighting extremism, according to the FBI, Muslims are performing our civic duties of reporting suspicious activity and people.

Last summer, FBI Director James Comey stated, “They (Muslims) do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim.”

Nearly a decade ago, at my own local mosque, worshippers reported a suspicious man who was inciting violence. He turned out to an FBI informant trying to entrap worshippers into terrorist plots. This is just one of many examples.

The fact that we already police against FBI plants and extremists is quite beside the point, yet speaks to an uneasiness we feel among ourselves as well as our distrust of law enforcement agencies. Trump at some point has suggested that Muslims be, profiled, registered, banned or deported. His morphing of a complete ban on Muslim immigrants into extreme vetting does little to allay anyone’s fears about a potential Trump presidency.

Hillary Clinton has, for many years, met with American Muslims, employs them and actually listens to their concerns. When she was first lady, I was working as a staffer on Capitol Hill. I always felt welcomed by her when she hosted Eid celebrations at the White House and then later at the State Department as secretary of state.

At the debate Sunday, she highlighted that this is a nation of immigrants and genuinely recognized our contributions. “We’ve had Muslims in America since George Washington. And we’ve had many successful Muslims. We just lost a particularly well-known one with Muhammad Ali. My vision of America is an America where everyone has a place, if you are willing to work hard, do your part and you contribute to the community,” she said. She reminded the audience that our nation was built on immigration and religious freedoms.

But Clinton, too, has her flaws when it comes to civil liberties. As senator, she voted for the USA Patriot Act, which grossly erodes civil liberties and has been used particularly against Muslims. I have spoken to many American Muslims throughout this election cycle. It is clear that for some, both candidates are not ideal when it comes to the important issues that concern them.

For the past year and a half, Donald Trump has normalized and mainstreamed overt xenophobia, Islamophobia and fear mongering of immigrants. Democrats have expressed more inclusiveness toward all minorities. This truth will hopefully be felt at the voting boxes, when some 3 million Muslims cast their votes, especially in the important swing states where large Muslim populations reside — Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Regardless of who is elected president, the next generation of American Muslims will very likely continue to be viewed as hostile security threats. And if this past year is any indicator of what’s to come, then harassment and attacks will certainly follow.

So, when my daughter turned to ask me whether she could share her religious identity with another child, I reluctantly said, “Yes.” I wondered whether she and her mother, who was sitting nearby, viewed my daughter and me as friend or foe.

“Oh really?” the girl exclaimed with a smile. “Me too! My parents are from Iran.”

This is what makes America, a nation of immigrants, great.

Source: theislamicmonthly.com/muslims-are-not-security-agents/

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US supports Iraqi territorial integrity

October 12, 2016

Washington has reiterated its support for Iraq’s territorial sovereignty amid a spat between Turkey and Iraq before an operation on Mosul to liberate it from jihadists. “As we have repeatedly made clear, the United States supports Iraqi unity and sovereignty,” the U.S. State Department said Oct. 11.

“To that end, we believe all international forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of and in coordination with the government of Iraq, under the umbrella of the coalition,” it said.

“It is imperative for all parties to coordinate closely over the coming days and weeks to ensure unity of effort in defeating Daesh and to provide for the lasting security of the Iraqi people,” it added, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The presence of Turkish troops in Iraq has resulted in diplomatic tension between Iraq and Turkey, with the Iraqi parliament sending a diplomatic note to Turkey’s ambassador on Oct. 4 that declared the troops’ presence there to be illegal, after which Turkey summoned Iraq’s ambassador in Ankara the following day.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi called on Turkey to withdraw troops deployed near the northern city of Mosul and said they would not play a role in the operation to retake it from ISIL.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a daily press briefing on Oct. 11 that the operation would be led by Iraq and that it was a matter for Baghdad which forces should be deployed on its sovereign territory.

“The Turkish forces that are deployed in Iraq are not there as part of the international coalition and the situation in Bashiqa is a matter for the governments of Iraq and Turkey to resolve,” he said.

Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Davis said he urged the Turkish and Iraqi governments to solve the issue among each other.

“Certainly, we are aware of the Turkish presence in northern Iraq, in Bashiqa. This is a bilateral matter between government of Iraq and government of Turkey to determine what role they [Turkey] may have. And we would just encourage all parties to focus on the common enemy of them which is ISIL,” Davis said.

Iraqi PM hits back in war of words with Turkish president

Al-Abadi hit back at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 11 following the latter’s harsh criticism, needling the Turkish leader for resorting to FaceTime during the failed July 15 coup attempt. 

“To @RT_Erdogan: we are not your enemy and we will liberate our land through the determination of our men and not by video calls,” al-Abadi’s official Twitter account said Oct. 11 in response to Erdoğan’s words. 

Erdoğan, during a speech in Istanbul, addressed al-Abadi earlier in the day, saying the Iraqi leader should “know his place” and adding that he was “not on my level.”

Erdoğan made an appeal via the video call application FaceTime to private broadcaster CNN Türk on the night of July 15, calling on citizens to resist an attempted coup to overthrow the government. The call was successful, as many rallied to take to the streets, resist against military vehicles and thwart the coup.

Al-Abadi’s spokesman, Saad al-Hadithi, told AFP that Erdoğan, with his latest remarks, was “pouring oil on the fire,” adding that Turkey’s responses had made an issue of law and security into a “problem of a personal nature.”

“It seems that Turkey is not serious about solving the problem with Iraq,” al-Hadithi said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/us-supports-iraqi-territorial-integrity.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104873&NewsCatID=352

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Surrender? US schools to REQUIRE Muslim indoctrination

October 13, 2016

I'm not an alarmist but I will present hypocrisy when I see it. There are many who've labeled a recent action in Kansas City as some sort of submission to Islamic supremacy. I don't see it in such an alarmist fashion, but I am rather perplexed by the liberal progressive socialist hypocrisy.

As reported by WND.com, "One of the nation's largest school districts has adopted a resolution banning "hateful speech" against Muslim students while accusing America of having "a long history of racism and xenophobia."

The controversial resolution, unanimously approved by the Kansas City Board of Education on Sept. 28, states that there are 30,000 Muslims living in the greater Kansas City area, "making invaluable contributions to our economy, our social and political life, and our culture."

It goes on to state that discrimination on the basis of religion, "and against Muslims in particular, is deeply embedded within our country's long history of racism and xenophobia."

The Sept. 28 meeting was reportedly packed with local Muslims seeking to show their support for the resolution. Shaheen Ahmed of the Crescent Peace Society, a Kansas City interfaith organization, requested the board adopt the resolution and the Muslims were hoping that other school districts would follow the lead of Kansas City and adopt similar resolutions, according to a post on social media by Mahnaz Shabbir, an adviser to the Crescent Peace Society who also attended the meeting. More from the "anti-hate" resolution is quoted below:

WHEREAS there has been an unprecedented backlash since the September 11th attacks in the form of hate crimes and employment discrimination toward Arab and Muslim Americans and those perceived as Muslims; and WHEREAS Muslims, Muslim Americans, and those perceived as Muslims, are frequently the targets of abusive and discriminatory police practices sanctioned by the state including surveillance in their neighborhoods and places of worship."

Read the full resolution adopted by Kansas City Board of Education here.

The document further resolves that Kansas City school "condemns all hateful speech and violent action directed at Muslims, those perceived as Muslims, immigrants and people of color." The board promises to provide special training for teachers and staff to make sure they have right attitudes toward Muslims, and it also commits to "instituting school policies and setting an educational curriculum that reflects the values expressed in this resolution via training of staff and teachers, the inclusion of diverse resources to supplement in-class curricula, and the creation of safe spaces for students to address in-school bullying."

The resolution was passed with an 8-0 vote and one board member absent. It is signed at the bottom by Superintendent Mark Bedell and Board Chair Melissa Robinson."

Now, if this is something the Kansas City School Board wants to do, fine. However, what's rather hypocritical to me is that we have this concerted effort by secular humanist groups to eradicate Christianity from our schools and our public spaces.

As well, Christians are persecuted for their faith...no safe spaces for them. Why is it that Christians are deemed hateful when they wish not to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies? Yes, consider the Christian bakers in Oregon who have lost their business. They were savagely assailed and fined by the state - as was the Christian photographer who declined to do portraits of a same-sex marriage because of her Christian faith.

Full report at:familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/surrender-us-schools-to-require-muslim-indoctrination

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India

KASHMIRI MUSLIMS COME TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE PANDIT BRIDE'S WEDDING

Oct 12, 2016

Srinagar: Pulwama, currently the hot-bed of ongoing protests and militancy, witnessed true Kashmiriyat when the Muslim community came together to celebrate the wedding of a Kashmiri Pandit.

Wednesday was a big day for Zadroo resident Ashok Kumar Raina and his daughter Nisha, as it was the latter's wedding. Due to the unrest, only a few of the Rainas' relatives from Jammu and Delhi were able to attend the function. However, his Muslim neighbours more than made up for any lack on the big day. They skipped protest rallies to attend her wedding. They lined up outside the Rainas' home to welcome the groom, with Muslim women singing Kashmiri songs in celebration. They also served food to the guests in a traditional manner.

“I am thankful to my Muslim neighbours and to Anupam Kherji,” Raina told Mirror.

Kher had adopted the Raina family a while ago. They were the few Kashmiri Pandits who chose to stay on in the Valley after the others fled after militancy started in 1989.

Muhammad Altaf Bhat, a local resident and chairman of Civil Society Pulwama told Mirror that this display of brotherhood was true Kashmiriyat.

Source: mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/Kashmiri-Muslims-come-together-to-celebrate-Pandit-brides-wedding/articleshow/54816601.cms

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Uniform Civil Code 'not good for nation', says Muslim Law Board

Oct 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Muslim Personal Law Board said on Thursday that a Law Commission questionnaire+ , to gauge public opinion on triple talaq and other anti-women practices across religions, is a "fraud", that it will boycott it and that a uniform civil code+ is not good for India.

The Muslim Law Board also said that the law commission isn't acting independently and is instead acting at the behest of the Centre, which last week opposed the practice of triple talaq+ in the Supreme Court and said it can't be regarded as an essential part of religion.

"A uniform civil code is not good for this nation. There're so many cultures in this nation, (they) have to be respected. India can't impose a single ideology," said the Board's Hazrat Maulana Wali Rahmani at a press briefing today.

The Commission in its questionnaire asks whether triple talaq - which according to Islamic law based on the Koran permits a husband to pronounce talaq three times to instantly divorce his wife - should be abolished altogether, retained only in customs without legal sanctity, or retained with suitable amendments.

The Muslim Law Board has consistently said that triple talaq+ is a 'personal law' and hence cannot be modified by the Centre.

"We are living in this country with an agreement held by the constitution. The constitution has made us live and practice our religion. In America everyone follows their personal laws and identity, how come our nation doesn't want to follow their steps in this matter?" Rahmani said.

The Centre has countered the claim of the Muslim Law Board and said, "practices of triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala cannot be regarded as essential part of religion and hence get no protection under fundamental right to religion."

Rahmani and other Board officials today also indicated that they feel Muslims are discriminated against.

"Muslims equally participated in India's freedom struggle, but their participation is always underestimated," a Board official said.

The Commission, though, said its questionnaire asks for opinion on practices across religions - not just Islam - that many call anti-women, Justice BS Chauhan, chairman of the Law Commission, told TOI earlier.

For example, while one question on the list of 16 is about triple talaq, another is asking the public what steps are needed to "ensure that Hindu women are better able to exercise their right to property, which is often bequeathed to sons under customary practices".

Justice B S Chauhan, chairman of the Law Commission, told TOI that formulating the questions was an elaborate affair involving several meetings of the Commission, in addition to consultations with numerous experts in the field.

"It took us two months to frame the questions keeping in mind prevailing customs and practices in different religions to elicit meaningful responses from the public," he said.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Triple-talaq-debate-Uniform-Civil-Code-not-good-for-nation-says-Muslim-Law-Board/articleshow/54828399.cms

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Hindus proudly embrace Islamic tradition in this village where not a single Muslim live

October 12, 2016

Srikakulam: Narasannapeta mandal, a village which is 25 km away from the district headquarters is organizing traditional celebration Peerla Utsavam what they believed to be a Muslim festival.

According to the Indian Express, A century ago, a custom that 17 Muslim families from the village started the celebrations for 12 days every year, after the amavasya it begins from the third day.

Appayya, an octogenarian from the village says, “It’s not that we do not celebrate Dasara. But Peerla Utsavam gets more priority. Our forebearers have been celebrating it for almost a century.”

Constantly the Muslims immigrated to other parts in the region, though Hindus carry the legacy, “There is no Muslim family in the village now. But, we celebrate the festival with pomp and gaiety. It’s a tradition for us than a festival. We strongly believe that Allah will ward off our problems,” he says.

Nevertheless, this year Dasara is simultaneously with Muharram, for Peerla Utsavams the villagers are more engaged in the arrangements. Residents contribute for the festival at a one-room dargah. A Muslim priest from the nearby village is called up to perform the rituals.

Holy sticks wrapped in decorative fabrics and peacock feathers are used for worship. The rituals are a perfect combination of Hindu and Islamic traditions. On the seventh day of Muharram, huge processions are taken out and the devout carrying pots filled with holy turmeric water walk on fire.

The present dargah, built 40 years ago, is in a dilapidated condition and the villagers are trying to renovate it with the donations from the residents.

Chittibabu, a member the village dargah committee says, “We have brought back the Muslim priest who had shifted to the nearby town a few years ago so that the daily rituals at the dargah are performed.”

“Around, 20,000 people take part in the festival every year,” adds Chittibabu, during the celebrations, all the relatives of the villagers are invited and served delicious food.

Source: siasat.com/news/hindus-proudly-embrace-islamic-tradition-village-not-single-muslim-live-1039710/

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Hand over terrorists: Muslim NGO to Sharif

Oct 13, 2016

MUMBAI: More than a year after city NGO Islamic Defense Cyber Cell's president Abdur Rahman Anjaria gathered the "biggest fatwa", signed by more than 1,000 Indian imams and clerics, against ISIS, he has written to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asking him to handover terror masterminds like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Zaki-Ur-Rahman Lakhvi to India.

Anjaria has said that if the Pakistan government does not stop exporting terrorists to India he would mobilise a massive demonstration of Indian clerics outside the Pakistan high commission in Delhi.

The 12-page, strong-worded letter seems like a dossier on various terror outfits Pakistan has either banned, put under watch list or still backing."India has more Muslims than Pakistan," it says. "What pains us Indian Muslims more is that terror outfits like Jamaat-Ud-Dawa and Lashkar-e-Toiba carry out their nefarious activities in the name of Islam and Pakistan, which calls itself an Islamic state, has provided sanctuary to the terror groups' masterminds. Now Pakistan will have to stop sponsoring terrorism and punish the guilty of various attacks in India," said Anjaria. The letter also says: "Stop all interferences directly or indirectly in J&K. Jammu and Kashmir is part of India,"

Anjaria told TOI: "Indian ulema and clerics have unequivocally denounced all acts of terrorism especially those directed at India. If I could seek fatwa against ISIS from over 1,000 Indian Muslim religious scholars and imams, I can also convince many of them to march to the Pakistan High Comission's office."

He has not decided any date for the protest yet. "It will be sudden and spectacular," he claimed.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Hand-over-terrorists-Muslim-NGO-to-Sharif/articleshow/54820352.cms

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Andhra wakf board receives flak from Muslim community

Oct 13, 2016

The State Wakf Board has received flak from the community for a wide range of reasons. Few of the many allegations leveled against the board for several years include corruption, lethargy in staff, contractual appointments and, in some cases, an inability to follow up, on cases in various courts of law, especially the High Court.

Two cases in the recent past have brought to the fore the glaring issue of "followup" in courts of law. While one pertains to an important wakf property in the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP), the other is in Telangana.

The first is that of Dargah Hazrat Ameer Shah Wali (DHASW) in Naidupet in Nellore, AP. It was around a week ago that the High Court ruled in favour of the DHASW Association which contended that the land parcel is not wakf which the then board in the undivided state of AP had declared the property as wakf. The present AP State Wakf Board argued that the order of a Sullurupet civil court was not in force after the Wakf Act of 1995 came into effect. But, the court said that the act does not nullify the orders of a civil court. The decision of the then board was set aside. The AP State Wakf Board (APSWB) is preparing to file a counter once the court reopen. In a similar case, the Te langana State Wakf Board (TSWB) was delivered a blow when the High Court ruled in favour of a company after setting aside a notification which declared a land parcel in Narsapur and Siddipet in Medak district as wakf. The notification for the over 500 acre land parcel -a part of which is claimed by the company -was issued in the united state of Andhra Pradesh in 2001by means of an AP Gazette number 46 - A. The company, Solithro Pvt Ltd, contended that neither did the board take up a survey, nor were the occupants served a notice. It further contended that it has been in possession of lands which were bought in an open auction from a bank. Much like the APSWB, the TSWB is preparing a counter and is also engaging another special standing counsel to deal with the case.

While both notifications were published much before the bifurcation of the state, the fact remains that the board has always been understaffed. Previous governments as well as the Telangana government have not increased its cadre strength. At a time when young talent is required, the board has a history of appointing retired employees. For several years, only one surveyor was posted in each district, a number which is grossly inadequate considering the hundreds or thousands of acres of wakf land parcels in each district.

The survey of wakf land was also brought into the contentions of a party in the court. A Minorities Welfare Department related agency - the survey commissioner of wakfs is yet to complete the second wakf survey which has been in progress for more than a decade! The then survey commissioner of wakfs - Hasan Ali Baig, who continued for many months post retirement, was made to function with inadequate infrastructure.

The two cases should serve as a reminder to the government to take stock of the situation. It should take steps to fill posts which have been lying vacant for several years and seriously consider suggestions which aim to give teeth or more powers to board officials.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Andhra-wakf-board-receives-flak-from-Muslim-community/articleshow/54822954.cms?

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Indian Bishops close to Muslim brethren on the day Ashura

Oct 13, 2016

NEW DELHI: Wednesday was Ashura, a day of Remembrance in the holy month of Muharram. Mgr Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), greeted “our Muslim brethren” with whom “we also have many issues that are common to us, especially since both the communities are minorities in India”.“Though we cannot share their perspective on many issues,” the prelate noted, “both communities live in peace and harmony and cooperate with each other in many areas. "“Muslims throughout the world on October 12 observe Muharram that commemorates the martyrdom of al-Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Prophet Mohammad,” the CBCI secretary said in his greetings.Ashura falls on the 10th day of the first month in the Islamic lunar calendar, one of the most important events for Shias who remember the martyrdom of their Imam.In several Muslim countries, the day has often been marked by acts of violence and attacks. Thus, in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Iraq, the authorities are on high alert. However, the bishop noted that in India Muslims have good relations with other communities, including Christians.According to the 2011 Census, "Islam is the second largest religion in India, with 14.2% of the country's population or roughly 172 million people,” Mgr Mascarenhas said.Between Christians and Muslims, “There are possible flash points in some areas but we have not had very serious conflagrations.”In his message on behalf of the bishops, Mgr Mascarenhas expressed hope that such observations and celebrations surrounding the event will “continue to encourage them and all in society to be willing to make sacrifices and to endure suffering, when necessary, for the sake of the common good.”“The best way to go ahead is in the spirit of the Holy Father's speech in Assisi,” the CBCI secretary explained.As Pope Francis said at the recent meeting, “Our religious traditions are diverse. But our differences are not the cause of conflict and dispute, or a cold distance between us. [. . .] From that historic event (the first Assisi meeting with Pope John Paul II in 1986), a long pilgrimage was begun which has touched many cities of the world, involving many believers in dialogue and in praying for peace."This "has brought people together without denying their differences, giving life to real interreligious friendships and contributing to the resolution of more than a few conflicts. This is the spirit that animates us: to bring about encounters through dialogue, and to oppose every form of violence and abuse of religion which seeks to justify war and terrorism.”

Source: heraldmalaysia.com/news/indian-bishops-close-to-muslim-brethren-on-the-day-ashura/32452/2

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Militants shoot dead political party worker in Kashmir | Reuters

Oct 12, 2016

SRINAGAR Militants shot dead a political party worker from Indian-controlled Kashmir's ruling coalition on Wednesday, police said, hours after two suspected militants were killed by armed forces in the region.Local police said Ghulam Nabi, a party worker of the People's Conference in Kashmir was shot by at least two armed militants in the Kupwara district.Kupwara is near the Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, which both claim the Muslim-majority region.Tensions in the state have been running especially high in recent weeks after an attack by militants last month on an army base in the Indian-controlled part of the disputed region claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.

New Delhi blamed the attack on militants, who crossed over from the Pakistan-controlled part of the region. Pakistan has denied any involvement. In retaliation, India said its troops had crossed into Pakistan's side of Kashmir and killed suspected militants in a "surgical strike", an operation Pakistan says never took place.Nabi was rushed to hospital but died of his wounds, Police Superintendent Ghulam Jeelani said. The People's Conference that he worked for, headed by Sajad Lone, is a part of the coalition in power in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier on Wednesday, the army in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed two suspected militants, holed-up in a large government building, ending a three-day stand-off.Last week, Indian soldiers shot dead seven suspected militants who tried to attack two army bases in Kashmir. Three of them were shot in the Kupwara district where Nabi was killed on Wednesday.

The latest round of tensions over Kashmir initially erupted in July when protests erupted after Indian forces killed a separatist leader.India accuses Muslim Pakistan of backing the separatists and helping them infiltrate Indian-ruled Kashmir. Pakistan denies this, saying it only offers moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their campaign for self-determination.

Source: firstpost.com/fwire/militants-shoot-dead-political-party-worker-in-kashmir-reuters-3048538.html

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South Asia

Dostum vows revenge for every drop of blood spilled in Kunduz

Thu Oct 13 2016

dostum-vows-revengeThe First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum vowed revenge for every drop of blood of the Afghan forces and the innocent civilians spilled during the Kunduz clashes.

Speaking to internally displaced people in northern Balkh province, Gen. Dostum said the stooges of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence will pay for the atrocities they committed inthe attack on Kunduz city.

He promised the internally displaced people that they will return to their homes before the start of winter season and vowed that he will visit Kunduz to capture or kill those involved in the attack on Kunduz.

Gen. Dostum left for the northern Faryab province on Tuesday afternoon, hours after the control of Ghormach district fell to Taliban following hours of heavy clashes.

The district fell to Taliban control as the Afghan forces were busy conducting clearance operations in northern Kunduz city where the Taliban insurgents launched a coordinated attack to seize its control.

In the meantime, Gen. Dostum announced on Monday to launch a major military operation in Kunduz as he expressed concerns regarding security gaps in this strategic northern province.

The First Vice President has supervised numerous military operations in some northern provinces including Jawzjan and Faryab provinces.

He escaped numerous attacks and assassination plot as he was accompanying the Afghan security forces during the operations in northern parts of the country.

Gen. Dostum assumed charge of the security operations in Kunduz nearly two weeks ago through the Ministry of Defense Command and Control Center, shortly after the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on Kunduz city.

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 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/dostum-vows-revenge-for-every-drop-of-blood-spilled-in-kunduz-02073

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Terror attacks kill 30 as Afghans observe Ashura amid tight security

Thu Oct 13 2016

Afghans marked Ashura or the 10th day of Muslim's month of Maharram on lunar calendar which is a remembrance day for Muslims particularly the Shiite sect to observe the martyrdom of prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussain and his 72 companions who were killed in Karbala of Iraq in 680 AD.

Although the government has taken all security measures to facilitate the mourners to observe Ashura in a peaceful environment, terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of at least 30 worshipers and injured 82 others, according to officials.

In the first fatal offensive which happened in Kabul on the eve of Ashura, at least 16 worshipers were killed and 54 others injured, the Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the statement, a group of suicide attackers targeted a shrine in Kabul on Tuesday night and attacked congregation of worshipers, killing 16 innocent civilians including three women and two children and injuring 54 others, including 26 women. 

A similar attack on worshipers in another mosque in Kabul on Tuesday night, according to the Interior Ministry, had been foiled after the security forces gunned down two terrorists inside the mosque.

Meanwhile, terrorists launched a deadly attack on the procession of Ashura mourners in Balkh district of the northern Balkh province Wednesday afternoon, killing 14 worshipers and injuring 28 other, according to Farhad Munir, the spokesman for Balkh provincial government.

However, some officials and eyewitnesses on the condition of anonymity put the number of casualties of both the attacks higher than reported by officials.

Meantime, the attacks on Ashura mourners have drawn wide condemnations.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday termed the fatal attack as an "atrocity" and denounced it in its strongest term.

"This attack deliberately targeting a large group of civilians exercising their right to freely manifest their religion in worship, observance and practice is an atrocity," UNAMA said in a statement.

Earlier President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani called the attack on worshipers as a "coward terrorist act" aimed at damaging unity among Muslim sects and strongly condemned it.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai in a statement released by his office also blamed the enemies of Afghanistan for attacking worshipers.

Joining the condemnations, Afghans from all walks of life, besides slamming attacks on worshipers in Ashura, called upon the government to protect the lives of its citizens.

Source: globaltimes.cn/content/1011107.shtml

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Taliban facing financial pressure since Mullah Mansoor’s death

Thu Oct 13 2016

The Taliban group in Afghanistan is facing financial pressure since the death of the Mullah Mohammad’s successor Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, it has been reported.

A spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, has said the group’s fighters has increased collection fo taxes from the locals.

US slams Pakistan, Afghan peace and Kashmir peace, Pakistan links Afghan peace to Kashmir, Afghan peace process,” Gen. Charles was quoted as saying in a report by Voice of America.

He said “We believe that the death of Mullah Mansour certainly contributed to that as well.”

Mullah Mansoor was a notorious Taliban leader who was appointed as Taliban’s supreme leader after the confirmation of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death.

Mullah Mansoor was killed in an airstrike on 21st May as he was travelling in a vehicle with a Pakistani passport.

He was believed to be more adept at managing money and was on his way back from a visit to Iran when he was targeted by the US forces in Afghanistan with an aerial strike.

According to reports, Mullah Mansoor had visited Iran to discuss with the country’s authorities regarding the growing issue of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Afghanistan.

Source: khaama.com/taliban-facing-financial-pressure-since-mullah-mansoors-death-02070

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Deadly Afghan Battle Overshadows Billions in Aid From Brussels

October 13, 2016

As donors pledge billions of dollars of development aid to Afghanistan, a ferocious urban battle in the nation’s north highlights the country’s fragile state 15 years after the U.S.-led invasion.

The northern city of Kunduz has become a recurring test of the Taliban’s strength. It briefly captured it last year before it was retaken by U.S. and Afghan troops. In the latest nearly two week-long conflict, markets have shut down, thousands have fled and bodies lie in the streets as government forces battle militants in house-to-house fighting in the capital of the country’s fifth-most populated province.

The Taliban’s push underscores the challenges facing Afghanistan, along with internal political strife and endemic corruption. Leaders from more than 70 nations on Oct. 5 promised $15 billion over four years for development support, an acknowledgment the country remains far from paying its own way. Much of the money sent to Afghanistan is lost to corruption and in some cases makes its way to the Taliban, according to a U.S. watchdog report last month.

“Weak management in the macro levels of security and weak coordination among security agencies in Afghanistan have added to the Taliban’s strength,” said Ahmad Saeedi, a former Afghan diplomat and political analyst in Kabul. “Afghanistan and the international community must ensure that all financial pledges are going to the right places to strengthen the government rather than going to the insurgents via corruption.”

For an explainer on Afghanistan’s unending war, click here

Hundreds of Taliban fighters have been killed, while civilian casualties have risen above 300 in the latest Kunduz unrest, according to Mohammad Yousuf Ayubi, head of the provincial council which monitors the affairs of local government. He also said Afghan forces have suffered heavy losses. Almost 850 civilians were killed or maimed in last year’s battle for the city, according to the United Nations.

“After being defeated from the center of the city, the Taliban terrorists have spread out in the streets and are holed up in the houses of locals,” provincial police chief Qasim Jangal Bagh said by phone. “Their tactics of using houses has complicated and slowed our operation.”

More than 63,000 people have fled the city, many to neighboring provinces, according to the UN and are facing food shortages.

The capital Kabul has also seen a resurgence in violence with an attack on a shrine, claimed by Islamic State, killing 19 people and wounding more than 50 others late on Tuesday, according to the UN. Meanwhile, an explosion Wednesday at the entrance to a mosque in the northern Balkh province killed at least 14 and wounded more than 30 others as worshipers gathered to mark Shiite Muslim day of remembrance, Ashura, said Munir Farhad, a spokesman for the province.

Taliban Territory

The deteriorating security situation led U.S. President Barack Obama in July to walk back his pledge to withdraw all combat forces, announcing that 8,400 troops will remain through 2017. U.S. officials estimate the Taliban controls territory occupied by about 10 percent of the population, with another 20 percent of the country’s 30.5 million people in contested areas.

Afghanistan’s leaders, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, sought to highlight the country’s progress at the Brussels summit, including increased tax collection and inclusion to the World Trade Organization. They say graft is declining and have asked donors to drop restrictions on aid so they can spend the money as they see fit.

However, the duo have also become embroiled in a bitter feud that threatens a U.S.-brokered power-sharing accord reached after disputed 2014 elections. That risks sending the nation into further chaos.

‘More Active’

“We’re confident that they know the challenges before them and that they can work through those,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington on Oct. 10. “That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, and it’s certainly not made any easier by the fact that the Taliban has been more active from a military perspective in just the last few weeks.”

Battles with the Taliban are also raging in other areas like western Farah and southern Helmand, the capital of the latter being under siege for months. That’s prompted Afghan Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and NATO’s commander in the country, John W. Nicholson, to visit the region on Oct. 9 to prepare a comprehensive defense strategy.

“The battles will test how well the U.S. trained and equipped Afghan forces in the past 15 years,” said Saleh Mohammad Saleh, a member of parliament. “The Taliban don’t have a stronger unified army across the country that we should be worried of,” he said. “They may hold a city, but not for long enough.”

While the U.S. says Afghan forces continue to improve their battlefield competency, about 16,000 of the country’s soldiers and police were killed or wounded in 2015, a 28 percent rise from 2014 and the deadliest on record, according to Afghanistan’s defense ministry.

“It’s obviously very tough for our weak Afghan army,” said Fatima Aziz, a lawmaker representing Kunduz. The Taliban “fight by carrying out suicide and shadowy attacks and taking people hostages during battles -- that has been successful for them.”

Source: bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-12/deadly-afghan-city-battle-overshadows-brussels-summit-billions

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Iran Slams Terrorist Attacks on Afghan Shiites

October, 13, 2016

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned terrorist attacks in Afghanistan that killed dozens of Shiite Muslims in the province of Balkh and in capital Kabul over the past days.

Bahram Qassemi offered condolences to the Afghan government and nation and families of the victims of the terrorist attacks that killed more than 30 Shiite Muslims in Kabul and Balkh.

Targeting innocent civilians is a sign of the deep hatred that terrorists and their supporters feel toward Muslim unity, he deplored.

The Iranian spokesman then reminded regional and international players of the responsivity to fight against terrorism seriously and genuinely.

At least 14 Afghan civilians were killed in the bomb blast outside a mosque in northern Balkh province on Wednesday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

But the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group claimed responsibility for a similar attack on the Shiite community in Kabul on Tuesday.

At least 18 people were killed, according to a United Nations tally, by a gunman who entered the Karte Shakhi shrine and opened fire on a crowd of worshippers gathered for Ashura, marking the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).

In Afghanistan, Shiite Muslims make up an estimated 15 percent of the population of about 30 million and most are ethnic Hazaras.

A Daesh attack on the ethnic minority on July 23 in Kabul killed 84 people and wounded 130 others.

Source: tasnimnews.com/en/news/2016/10/13/1210976/iran-slams-terrorist-attacks-on-afghan-shiites

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Africa

Muslim militia hacks 13 people to death in Central African Republic

Thursday 13 October 2016

JOHANNESBURG - Thirteen displaced refugees have been hacked to death by a mostly Muslim militia in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Seleka militia managed to stab or hack 13 displaced people to death on Wednesday before United Nations peacekeepers fought them off, killing at least 10 of the attackers in the process, according to media reports.

“Several people were also wounded in the attack on Kaga-Bandoro, a town of dirt roads and thatched mud huts. A witness saw militiamen stab two displaced people to death as people were fleeing. When some tried to fight back with clubs, the militiamen began firing guns,” The New York Times (NYT) reported.

Hundreds of surviving villagers from earlier violence then fled towards the UN peacekeeping base.

The CAR has been in chaos since early 2013, when a militia known as the Seleka, which draws mostly from the country’s minority Muslim population, toppled President François Bozizé, reported the NYT.

READ: Touadera confirmed as CAR president

Militias alligned with the Christian majority responded by attacking Muslims, and a fifth of the population fled their homes to escape the violence, leaving the nation deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines.

CAR’s United Nations peacekeeping mission, which has sought to try to keep the rival factions apart, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CAR is rich in uranium, gold and diamonds but has one of the world’s most isolated economies due to exports and imports having to travel 850 miles by road between the capital, Bangui to the Cameroonian port of Doula, reported the NYT.

Eleven people were killed in Bangui last week.

Source: enca.com/africa/muslim-militia-hacks-13-people-to-death-in-central-african-republic

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How Burkina Faso's different religions live in peace

3 hours ago

 From the section Africa

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Archbishop of Ouagadougou Philippe Ouedrago (L) wishes a good Eid to Burkinabe chief the Mogho Naba Baongo in Burkina Faso, 2012Image copyrightAFP

Image caption

The Archbishop of Ouagadougou wishes a traditional chief a happy Eid

The Pope has invited Burkina Faso's president to the Vatican later this month to see what can be learnt from the West African nation's example of religious tolerance. BBC Africa's Lamine Konkobo is from Burkina Faso and assesses if this can continue in a region under assault from Islamist militant groups.

Religious tolerance has long been wired into the social fabric of my country, with many people drawing their faith from more than a single creed.

The Islam practised by many Burkinabe Muslims - who account for about 60% of the population - would be considered blasphemous by Salafists, as they include many animist practices.

My own father was not born a Muslim. He converted to Islam in the 1970s as a result of his business dealings with El Haj Omar Kanazoe, a rich trader from the Yarse sub-ethnic group known for their affiliation to Islam.

While my father chose to become a Muslim, setting his children up to follow in his footsteps, the rest of his family remained animist and my father could not disown them for that.

In the neighbourhood where he chose to set up his household, he was under the tutorship of his maternal uncle, a patriarch named Yandga who was the custodian of the village's fetishes.

Anywhere my father looked, even if his new co-religionists urged him to hate, he could not have done so without losing his soul.

Like many others across the country, he had to adapt to the dynamics of society around him by accepting that Islam was not the only way.

As children, we grew up with people with differing religious beliefs - playing together, being told off by each other's parents, celebrating each other's festivals, mourning each other's deaths, with humanity as the overriding connector common to all.

Survival mechanism

And what is true for my family is also true for millions of others across Burkina Faso. Indeed, religious tolerance has prevailed with sun-rising certainty that we hardly ever pause to consider it.

It is not something that was ever taught. It is an instinctive survival mechanism that occurs naturally among a people so socially interconnected as to leave no chance for religion to play a divisive role.

About a quarter of the population is Christian - again with many using animist rites alongside Christian forms of worship.

In terms of identity, most people feel stronger ties to their extended family and ethnic group, than their religion.

However, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report released last month that it was concerned that this long tradition of tolerance is now being dangerously tested - in two different ways:

Would the peaceful co-existence survive if the country were to experience another attack by Islamist militants such as the one carried out in January by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb?

Could the growing frustration of the Muslim community over their under-representation within sectors of the public administration lead to a dangerous radicalisation?

Clearly, these two questions do raise serious cause for concern.

On the danger of external influences such as in the case of random massacres by foreign jihadists, the example of neighbouring Mali serves as a worrying precedent.

Apart from the Tuareg issue in the north, which is more ethnic than religious, Mali had long been known for its religious harmony in much the same way as Burkina Faso.

But religious tolerance fell by the wayside when Islamist militants took advantage of the latest Tuareg uprising to seize control of half of the country in 2012.

Across the ancient cities of the north, they enforced Sharia: They banned music; they staged public beatings of those accused of sins such theft and extra-marital sex.

Meanwhile, in the south, which remained free from Islamist insurgents' control, friends and neighbours in the capital, Bamako, who had never thought twice about each other's religious affiliation became suspicious of one another.

Light-skinned Arabs and Tuaregs came to be in danger of being attacked because they were assumed to sympathise with the radicals.

Relations are now slowly improving after the Islamist militant groups were driven out by French-led forces.

So far, the January attack on a luxury hotel in the Burkina capital, Ouagadougou, which killed 30 people, has not fundamentally changed relations between Burkina Faso's Muslims and other communities.

But it has heightened security across the country and started a debate about the danger of religious fundamentalism.

There is a risk that a further attack in the name of Islam might cause fundamental damage to the tradition of religious tolerance in the country.

The ICG report also points to the underrepresentation of Muslims in the civil service as a possible source of future tension.

However, this is not the same nature of threat to religious harmony because it is not the result of deliberate discrimination against the Muslim majority.

It is both the product of the colonial legacy and of the beliefs of an overwhelming number of Muslims who prefer to send their children to Islamic schools, rather than the state system, which could lead to a job with the civil service.

That is an own goal which is unlikely to be blamed on a third party to the effect of fuelling radicalism; unless it were exploited by political or other groups. In which case, the ICG's warning would not be ungrounded.

However, religious tolerance is so deeply engrained in Burkina Faso, that it would take a social big-bang for such a dreaded shift to occur.

A Christmas pig

The closest to religious intolerance I ever witnessed from my converted father was one Christmas, when my brother and I ran to see Uncle Samuel, a Christian, slaughter pigs he had bought for the festive feast.

It is renowned for its film festival Fespaco, held every two years in Ouagadougou

A former French colony, it gained independence as Upper Volta in 1960 and its main export is cotton

Capt Thomas Sankara adopted radical left-wing policies during his time in power in the 1980s and is often referred to as "Africa's Che Guevara"

The anti-imperialist revolutionary renamed the country Burkina Faso, which translates as "land of honest men"

People in Burkina Faso, known as Burkinabes, love riding motor scooters.

Find out more about Burkina Faso

We were childishly enjoying the spectacle when my father got someone to call us back home.

When we arrived, he looked at us with such severity on the face and scolded:

"Do you have any brains? You went there to see the pigs being killed - for what? So you would one day know how to properly slaughter your own swine? You know you disappoint me children?"

However, when Uncle Samuel shared out the lamb he had bought specially for his Muslim neighbours whom he knew would not touch pork, my father enthusiastically accepted his share.

Source: bbc.com/news/world-africa-37634702

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US intensifies air campaign against Islamic State in Libya

13 October 2016

The United States stepped up its air campaign against Islamic State militants in the Libyan city of Sirte during a four-day period up to 10 October, according to the US military's Africa Command (AFRICOM).

An update on the bombing campaign released by AFRICOM's headquarters on 11 October revealed that 163 targets were hit in 51 airstrikes carried out between 7 and 10 October. This brought the total number of airstrikes up to 261 since the US started its air offensive on 1 August.

AFRICOM described all the targets apart from two on a command post and resupply points as "fighting positions". As many as 10 fighting positions were hit in each airstrike, according to the AFRICOM figures, and the operational tempo peaked on 9 October, when 51 targets were hit in 21 airstrikes.

The strikes are being carried out by US Marine Corps Boeing AV-8B Harriers jets and Bell AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp , which is on station in the central Mediterranean.

Source: janes.com/article/64585/us-intensifies-air-campaign-against-islamic-state-in-libya

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Europe

Muslims, Jews break fast after Yom Kippur

October 12, 2016

Even before Mustafa Safak arrived at Temple Chai on Wednesday for closing Yom Kippur services, the San Antonio Muslim read up on the traditions associated with the Jewish holiday.

The holiest of High Holy Days for Jews, when they atone to those they’ve hurt, ends with the breaking of a daylong fast, Safak learned, a mournfulness culminating in festivity.

He made note of a traditional dish served at such feasts and scanned the buffet for his goal — noodle kugel, a small portion of which he served onto his plate as members of the two faith groups gathered to break bread.

Simple exchanges were on the menu for Temple Chai’s Yom Kippur “break fast,” to which Muslims from the Dialogue Institute of San Antonio and the Rainbow Turkish House were invited.

Both Turkish-American educational centers, inspired by Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen, promote understanding between people of diverse faiths.

It may be uncommon for Jews and Muslims in other places of the world to gather on a special day in Judaism, but the local faith communities have been practicing what they preach for about two years, leaders said.

Members of Temple Chai, a Reformed Judaism congregation, attended events this summer marking Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, celebrated June 5 to July 5 this year.

“Now they’re reciprocating,” Safak said.

Iman Beytullah Colak, who’s originally from Argentina and knew Pope Francis when he was a cardinal, said interchanges such as what occurred Wednesday are part of the Gülen movement.

During Ramadan, he said, the Rainbow Turkish House hosted 26 local community groups. The two Muslim groups are active in San Antonio’s interfaith community, attending events such as the annual Martin Luther King Jr. March.

“It’s natural for us,” he said of Gülen identity. “Dialogue is the first step.”

“You force yourself to learn,” Colak added. “We learn from each other. They have fasting. We have fasting. They do charity. We do charity.”

Marion Rogers was impressed. For the resident of Ontario, British Columbia, half the year and Nayarit, Mexico, the other half, San Antonio was the logical stop to make for Yom Kippur.

“I think it’s fabulous,” she said of the bridge-building efforts. “ We’re descendants of Isaac and descendants of Ishmael, so we should be together.”

Rabbi David Komerofsky said networking “breaks down barriers and people’s assumptions of one another. They don’t rely on hearsay and see that we have much more in common.”

Several participants said such exchanges are important, given ongoing Mideast tensions and anti-Muslim hostility in Europe, where so many Syrian refugees have ended up.

Bridge-building is also important at home, where instances of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have plagued communities, as have anti-Muslim proposals put forth by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

After Sunday’s presidential debate, Muslims responded to Trump’s call for Muslims to report potential terrorism with a Twitter campaign — #MuslimsReportStuff — that mocked him.

Safak, outreach coordinator for the Rainbow Turkish House, noted Muslims have responded.

“We’re part of this community, and we live in this community and we owe a lot to this country,” he said. “We do our best.”

But Safak said labels such as “radical Islamic terrorist” have been harmful and have alienated Muslims.

“Muslims are fearful of saying they’re Muslim,” he said.

“We are teachers,” Safak said of the Rainbow Turkish House, which offers music, cooking and Turkish-language classes. “How could people accuse us of being terrorists?”

“Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia should be a thing of the past,” he said. “Islamophobia is wrong. Anti-Semitism is wrong.”

“On a global scale, things like this are important,” Safak said of the Muslim presence at Yom Kippur. “It’s a small drop in the ocean, but the ripple effects are important.”

Source: expressnews.com/news/local/article/Muslims-Jews-break-fast-after-Yom-Kippur-9967945.php

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West responsible for Middle East instability and terrorism in Europe

12 Oct, 2016

“This is political rhetoric that does not have great significance and does not take into account the real situation in Syria,” Putin told French TV channel TF1 during an interview in the central Russian city of Kovrov, when asked about the accusations that have been leveled by Francois Hollande, UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and the Obama administration.

Putin then accused the West of destabilizing the region – citing the Arab Spring in 2011 as a key flashpoint for tensions that still dominate the Muslim world.

“I believe deeply that some of the responsibility for what is happening in the region in general and in Syria in particular lies especially with our western partners, above all the USA and its allies, including the main European countries,” said Putin. “Remember how everyone rushed to support the Arab Spring? Where is that optimism now? How did it all end? Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our western partners’ forces?”

Putin linked the volatility in the region to the recent spate of large-scale terrorist attacks in the West, which have either been planned or inspired by jihadist groups such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which have thrived in the chaos.

“But whatever the case, these states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d’Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria.”

Putin also detailed his version of the breakdown of the long-negotiated joint operation between Washington and Moscow in Syria, claiming the key turning point was the September 16 US-led coalition strike on a Syrian army unit, which the Pentagon maintains was accident.

“Our American colleagues told us that this airstrike was made in error. This error cost the lives of 80 people and, also just coincidence, perhaps, ISIS took the offensive immediately afterwards. At the same time, lower down the ranks, at the operations level, one of the American military service personnel said quite frankly that they spent several days preparing this strike. How could they make an error if they were several days in preparation?” said Putin. “This is how our ceasefire agreement ended up broken. Who broke the agreement? Was it us? No.”

Several western powers have since blamed Russia for what they claim was a retaliatory strike on a UN convoy on September 20. Washington has now broken off any bilateral talks with Moscow over Syria.

But Putin says that Russia is still open to helping resolve what the UN has termed the worst humanitarian crisis since the war – which has likely killed over 400,000 people – began five years ago.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. © Kevin LamarqueRussia, US to discuss possible steps for Syria crisis settlement in Lausanne on Saturday – Moscow

“It has been proposed that our armed units, Russian military personnel, be deployed on the road to ensure transit safety [for aid convoys to Aleppo]. The Russian military, who are courageous and decisive people, have said they would do it,” said Putin, who said that the initiative, which had not previously been made public, was an “exotic proposal.”

“But I told them that this could only be done jointly with the US, and ordered them to make the proposal. We have proposed this, and they [the Americans] promptly refused. They do not want to deploy their troops there, but they also do not want to pull back opposition groups – who are, in fact, terrorists. What can we do in this situation?”

Despite the downbeat tone of the interview, Putin insisted he was still “optimistic” about a diplomatic solution in Syria, and claimed that the offer to “reschedule” next week’s visit to France, which was canceled following a diplomatic snub by Francois Hollande, was genuine.

Source: rt.com/news/362554-putin-west-syria-war/

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Russian Forces Raid Homes of Muslim Community In Crimea

Thursday 13 October 2016

Russian authorities raided a series of households in Crimea’s Muslim Tatar community in what locals are fearing is the beginning of a crackdown against them.

Crimean Tatars have been among the most vocal critics of the Russian annexation of Crimea and have faced closures of their media outlets and their traditional, local assembly known as the Majlis. Russian authorities have also previously raided Tatar homes, searching for evidence of Islamist extremism.

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According to locals in the Strohonivka suburb of Simferopol, Crimea’s largest city, heavily armed Russian security agents arrived in the area early in the morning and started searching Tatar houses.

Tatars posted video clips on social media of the forces moving through Strohonivka and of a nearby raid at Kamenka.

At least three different men were reported to have been taken into custody according to their neighbors, though more houses were searched. One local posted videos on Facebook of the masked operatives moving from house to house in Kamenka and showing one door had been broken down with force.

Rustem Ismayilov, Emil Djemadenov and Aider Saledinov were all reportedly detained, as Ismaylov’s wife described the arrest in a Facebook video post.

“Today at six in the morning people in masks with guns came broke into the room where we and the children sleep, but it was in a matter of seconds so we could not even get dressed,” she said. “They hit him and put him in handcuffs. They did not even say anything. Who they were, they didn’t show us documents.”

Tatar lawyer Emil Kubertinov, posted a video on YouTube during the raid of another house, belonging to his client Teymur Abdullayev, saying he had been denied access to Abdullayev.

He then posted another clip, explaining that although the raids were officially targeted at those suspected of belonging to an Islamist organization, they were really “another attempt to frighten the Crimean Tatar.”

He claimed nothing but Islamic literature had been found in the house and that he intended to take the matter to court.

One of the raid squads left town with locals marching behind them chanting “Disgrace.”

Russia’s Federal Security Service or Interior Ministry were not immediately available to confirm the arrests or comment on the charges against the suspects.

Source: europe.newsweek.com/russian-forces-raid-homes-muslim-community-crimea-509160

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Lawsuit Launched to Stop Bucharest Mega-Mosque

October 13, 2016

The original deal called for a "mutual exchange" in which Romania would build a new Orthodox Church in Istanbul, while Turkey would build the mosque in Bucharest. In July 2015, however, Prime Minister Victor Ponta revealed that the Romanian government had abandoned the Istanbul church project because it is "not allowed under Turkish law." Ponta approved the Bucharest mosque project anyway, saying it was a multicultural symbol of Romania's acceptance of the Muslim community.

Ponta's decision to approve the mosque, which will mimic Ottoman-era architecture, was greeted with outrage in a country that was under Ottoman Turkish domination for nearly five centuries until 1877.

"This plan is not about worship, it is about marking the territory of their authority through a monument." – Ozgur Kazim Kivanc, a Turkish activist opposed to Erdoğan's destruction of public commons to build mosques.

"Once Islam enters a land, that land becomes Islamic and Muslims have the duty to liberate it someday. Spain, for example, is Islamic land, and so is Eastern Europe: Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia..." – Omar Bakri Muhammad, a prominent Sunni Islamist cleric.

"We consider the disposal of free land which, ironically, belonged to the family of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, who was beheaded by the Turks on August 15, 1714, to be a betrayal of the Romanian people." – Pending lawsuit calling on the court to annul the government's grant of free city land for the mosque project.

Full report at:gatestoneinstitute.org/9122/romania-mega-mosque

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Southeast Asia

Reject ‘Hadi’s Islamic law’ without hesitation, says Zaid

October 13, 2016

Parliament starts its new session this Monday and the motion on PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Shariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 — or Act 355 – may be debated as early as Tuesday.

This motion will be moved by a minister from the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, as is required under the Standing Orders. What will that minister say?

From media reports, it would appear that Hadi’s Private Bill is about allowing the Shariah Courts to impose heavier punishments, which in turn means repealing certain provisions under the Act.

Hadi wants to remove the present limitations on the courts’ sentencing powers. He thinks that if the Shariah Courts can impose longer jail sentences, stoning, amputation and whipping, then they will essentially be upgraded and respect for Islam will be maintained.

Members of Parliament, regardless of their faith, must not get too emotional like the Mufti of Perak Harussani Zakaria. They must maintain the integrity of Parliament and they must follow the law of the land strictly.

They are lawmakers first and last. That means they have to ask the right questions and see if the Minister can provide satisfactory answers.

Shariah Courts are set up and regulated by state laws, and their powers and the offences they punish are defined by the Federal Constitution.

Parliament is not supreme in our Country, the Constitution is. MPs must see if the powers that Hadi is asking for is permitted by the Constitution, and whether justice will be served by amending Act 355.

Federal lawmakers must also ask Hadi if the Malay Rulers, who are the custodians of Islam in the states, have agreed to his proposals.

MPs must not let Hadi and his friends in PAS usurp the powers of the Malay Rulers and the state legislatures. He cannot simply change part of a federal law and, in one stroke, automatically change the core principles and fundamental structure of our criminal laws.

Lawmakers must remember that there is a requirement under the Constitution that all Malaysians are entitled to equal treatment under the law. If I steal a bicycle, then the Constitution says that the law applicable to me must be the same law that applies to Murthi or Ah Chong.

Hadi is trying to change that, but he does not dare to try and change the Constitution itself, in case he loses seats in Selangor and Perak.

Let’s say Hadi succeeds and the Shariah Courts sentence someone to stoning. How will the stoning be done, and under what regulation? What if the accused person dies as a result of this punishment?

The police would not be able to get involved because they can only act in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code and the powers under the Police Act. Hadi’s Bill does not address how these Federal laws will operate with his new law.

Now let’s say that the Shariah Courts start amputating legs and hands. Who will carry out these punishments? Are doctors permitted to do so, and if so, under what law?

Will the amputation be carried out in prison, and if so, has the Prisons Act been amended to allow for it?

As for whipping, Hadi had said that Islamic whipping is different. That is not good enough — he must explain how it’s different, and under what law it will be carried out because the Criminal Procedure Code has totally different rules regarding whipping.

Lawmakers must not treat Hadi’s attempt to alter our country’s justice system lightly. They should view it with concern, even alarm.

For the Muslims who are MPs, your first duty is to see that justice will be done. You cannot simply jump onto Hadi’s bandwagon because he has pasted an Islamic label all over it.

Ask him how the whole process will be carried out, to the minutest detail.

Ask him how justice can be served if the Shariah Court only has one layer of appeal. It has no Federal Court of Appeal, no Court of Appeal equivalent. It has no law reports, no standard law of evidence that is applicable to all states. It does not even follow precedents.

Hadi and his supporters will say that Islam does not need all these legal processes. To them, as long as someone is punished, then justice is served.

MPs must know that the heavier the punishment, the more safeguards are needed in the system so that we do not convict the wrong person, or punish people who have committed minor offences with excessive jail sentences. The whole system must be looked at carefully.

Some politicians will talk about Islamic law as a campaign issue, but I urge MPs to go beyond that. They must be responsible for the welfare of the entire population, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The minister moving the motion is from the BN, which has ruled the country and preserved the present system since independence. Is she willing to abandon this entire system of justice just because it’s convenient to be Hadi’s allies in the next General Election?

Don’t kid the people that Hadi’s Bill is just about upgrading the Shariah Courts. If the minister sincerely wants to upgrade the Shariah Courts and wants Islamic justice to prevail, start by codifying all the state laws into a uniform, national Islamic law.

Build lockups for the Shariah Courts and not just get help from the police by using their lockups.

Get a proper appeal system in place so that the decisions of the lower courts can be revisited by those who have more knowledge and experience. Have a Federal Shariah Court established, where laws are argued and articulated so that shariah lawyers can get adequate guidance.

There are 100 other things we can do to improve and upgrade the shariah system.

There is a time and place for cheap politics and posturing, but Hadi’s Bill is not such an occasion. This is a serious matter.

Lawmakers must reject the motion to introduce the Bill without the slightest doubt or hesitation. We should all be watching to see what happens next.

Full report at:freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2016/10/13/reject-hadis-islamic-law-without-hesitation-says-zaid/

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Indonesian Netizens Fall in Love With Viral Photo of Muslim Men Helping Two Stranded Nuns

Thu, October 13 2016

The people of Indonesia pride themselves on being united despite the country’s highly diversified population. While there are a handful of headlines recently displaying some people’s intolerance of others, simple acts of compassion would also occasionally reveal themselves in unexpected ways.

Such is the case of one act of random kindness perfectly displayed in one photo that recently went viral on local social media, according to Coconuts Jakarta.

An image featuring Muslim men who stopped and took the time to assist two Catholic nuns was posted and shared across multiple social media platforms in the country. The unidentified nuns apparently had some trouble with their motorcycle and the men stopped to lend a hand.  

While there is no other information provided regarding the exact place and date of the incident, many still chose to share the photo for the message of tolerance that resonated with many social media users.

“A motorcycle driven by two nuns broke down. 2 clerics who happened to be passing stopped to fix the broken motorcycle.”

Many commented how rare such occurrence are highlighted in daily news, while some are just glad that the moment was captured and exposed the good side of Indonesian people.

Nobody has yet identified anyone from the photo yet, but knowing that the difference in faith and religion did not stop the men to help out is enough for many. In Indonesia, where certain groups use religion and influence to create tension for political gain, the display of natural human kindness is something many believe that should always be magnified.

Source: nextshark.com/indonesian-netizens-fall-love-viral-photo-muslim-men-helping-two-stranded-nuns/

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Religious clashes in Myanmar test Suu Kyi's mettle

October, 13, 2016

YANGON -- More than 20 people have died this month in clashes between Myanmar authorities and the Muslim Rohingya minority as State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi grapples with the flaring religious tensions in the country's western Rakhine State.

An armed group claiming to be Rohingya attacked a police office in Maungdaw township Sunday, Myanmar's government said. A total of 17 people died by Monday in the military strike that followed. Another five were killed when a group of roughly 300 attacked a military troop Tuesday. This marks the biggest armed confrontation since the civilian government led by Suu Kyi took over at the end of March.

Suu Kyi has ordered comprehensive support for families of the fallen police officers and soldiers, and she warned of the need to stay alert for potential terrorist attacks, presidential spokesman Zaw Htay told The Nikkei. Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has decided to increase the military presence in Maungdaw.

Over 200 people died in a 2012 clash in Rakhine State between the Rohingya and Myanmar's Buddhist majority. Then-President Thein Sein responded by driving more than 100,000 Rohingya into refugee camps, citing safety concerns. Many have fled to Malaysia, Thailand and other neighboring countries by boat to escape dire conditions at the camps, causing an international uproar.

The recent incidents likely were triggered by frustration over Myanmar's new government, which continues to deny citizenship to the Rohingya and to isolate the group from the rest of the country.

The government faces growing criticism by the international community. The United Nations published a report in June addressing the increasing violence against the Rohingya. The U.S. ranked Myanmar as one of the world's worst human-trafficking offenders in its own report that month.

Suu Kyi set up a commission in August to address the conflict in Rakhine State, placing former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan at its helm. But she remained silent on the topic of granting citizenship when she addressed the U.N. General Assembly last month, speaking only of the challenges surrounding the Rohingya issue.

Some 90% of Myanmar's population is Buddhist. The recent influx of Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh and elsewhere has left many uneasy, even leading to the rise of a conservative anti-Islamic Buddhist group. A soft stance on the Rohingya could cost the government broader support. But suppressing the group by force inevitably will trigger an international backlash. Suu Kyi, long considered a symbol of democracy, faces a tough decision.

Source: asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Religious-clashes-in-Myanmar-test-Suu-Kyi-s-mettle

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Malaysia's troubled Muslim-Hindu ties

OCT 13, 2016

Although Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, the understanding of many Malaysians since independence in 1957 was that the minority religions and races ought not to be made to feel threatened that they would not be able to maintain their respective identities and promote their cultures. This understanding was based on the belief that there was sufficient political and cultural space for all religions and cultures to thrive while Islam continued to be the state religion.

The belief in the possibility of harmonious co-existence between the different communities in the country has recently been shaken due to the assertion of a more exclusivist Muslim identity among the religious and political elite. This has affected Malaysians' perceptions of the state of ethnic and religious harmony in the country. A case in point is the relations between Hindus and Muslims in the country. Recent incidents involving Hindus and Muslims serve to heighten fears that Malaysian harmony is gradually being eroded.

The decades of peaceful co-existence between Hindus and Muslims are slowly giving way to a more intolerant stance taken by some Malays in which a Malay-Muslim identity is stressed at the expense of non-Muslims, sometimes resulting in the denigration of their ethnicity and religions. For example, in June this year, Malaysians were shocked to learn that in the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's (UTM) Islamic and Asian Civilisations module, derogatory remarks were made about both Hinduism and the Sikh faith.

What was so insulting about the content of the module was that the lecturer claimed that Islam had introduced civility to the lives of Hindus in India. It was also said that Hindus preferred to be "dirty", and that it was only Islam that had taught Hindu converts to Islam the importance of cleanliness. Although UTM conducted a probe and subsequently terminated the service of the offending lecturer, it was astonishing to many that such content could be taught at a university. The UTM fiasco was not the only example of bigotry against Hindus. There were five cases of Hindu temples being vandalised in recent months in Perak and Penang. While these are all isolated incidents, they have led many to wonder if this is the beginning of the onset of mistrust and intolerance between Malaysia's different racial and religious communities.

Muslims in Malaysia should think more about who their Hindu countrymen are. One way to do so is to acquaint themselves with the writings of Abu al-Rayhan Al-Biruni, a Muslim scholar who was an authority on the religions of India. Born in 973 in Khwarazm in what is present-day Uzbekistan, Al-Biruni was in the court of Mahmud Ghaznavi (979-1030), the ruler of an empire that included parts of what is now known as Afghanistan, Iran and northern India. Al-Biruni travelled to India with the troops of Mahmud and lived there for years, during which time he mastered Sanskrit, translated a number of Indian religious texts to Arabic, studied Indian religious doctrines and wrote several books and treatises, including the Kitab Fi Tahqiq Ma li-l-Hind (The Book of What Constitutes India).

He refrained from making value judgments about other religions from an Islamic perspective. He was very conscious of the need to present India as understood by Indians themselves. In order to do so, he quoted extensively from Sanskrit texts. His objective was to study the religions of India in order to bring the two communities closer together. He states that the reason for embarking on his research on India was to provide Muslims the essential facts they would need when they encountered Indians and wished to discuss with them aspects of Indian religion and culture.

Al-Biruni considered such dialogue with Indians as crucial as it would create more understanding on issues about which Muslims remained very vague, as far as their understanding of Indian religions was concerned.

It was also his view that the Indians believed in a single god, by which he meant the same god that is worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims.He was the first scholar, in the Muslim world as well as the West, who approached the study of Indian religions objectively and avoided treating the Indians as mere heretics.

Malaysia is generally speaking a harmonious society. But, the political developments of recent years, which have seen an unhealthy development of identity politics in the form of, among other things, reckless statements made by politicians, religious leaders and educators, threaten to upset the current harmony that informs our society. This will potentially affect Hindu-Muslim relations.

The worrying trend in Hindu-Muslim relations suggests that there is clearly a need for dialogue between the Hindu and Muslim communities of Malaysia. The purpose of this dialogue would be to examine the commonalities in values, beliefs and culture that exist between Hinduism and Islam and to reaffirm the commitment that the two communities have to peaceful co-existence.

It is vital, for the sake of maintaining mutual respect and tranquillity in this country, that the political and religious leaders continuously speak out against bigotry and violence in the name of religion. Muslim leaders have a particularly greater responsibility in view of the fact that Islam is the religion of state in Malaysia. This means that the Muslim political and religious elite should not merely tolerate the presence of non-Muslim minorities but actively protect their rights and property.

Source: straitstimes.com/opinion/malaysias-troubled-muslim-hindu-ties

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Australia

IS-inspired’ teens charged in Australia, face life sentences

October 13, 2016   

SYDNEY, Australia — Two 16-year-old boys were charged Thursday with planning an imminent terror attack after being arrested with “bayonet-type” knives in Sydney, with police saying the pair were inspired by the Islamic State terror group.

The boys, who were not named, were seized in the city’s southwest after buying the weapons in a shop, renewing fears about youth radicalization.

They face life imprisonment if convicted on charges of “acts done in preparation, or planning, terrorist acts,” and membership in a terror organization.

“We don’t have any specific information of a particular target where we will allege that there was going to be an imminent attack,” said New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn.

“What we do know, though, is that the actions, we will allege, were enough to say they were preparing to do an attack although we don’t know specifically where that attack was going to take place.”

She added that police were alleging “the attack was inspired by Islamic State.”

“The charge that relates to membership of an organisation, we will allude to their association or allegiance with Islamic State,” she said.

They were refused bail by a children’s court and are due to reappear in December.

Australian officials say they have now prevented 11 terror attacks on home soil in the past two years. But several have taken place, including the murder of a Sydney police employee last year.

Counter-terror police have made a series of arrests since late 2014, with the young age and radicalization of many of those detained a growing concern for authorities.

“Anybody who says they’ve got the silver bullet to youth radicalization, please tell me all about it,” said Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan.

He said some youngsters were going from “zero to full radicalization within 48 hours or 72 hours to an event that we’ve had to stop.”

“It is a very difficult subject because one size does not fit all. People are radicalized in all different ways,” he added.

“That’s the problem for us — trying to identify that early and trying to put people into programmes, try and work with them and try and stop them on the path to radicalization.”

The latest arrests come just weeks after a 22-year-old man, who police said was also inspired by Islamic State, stabbed a 59-year-old grandfather out walking in Sydney, leaving him with serious injuries.

Two days before the stabbing, a teenage boy was charged with making threats at the Sydney Opera House, with both incidents following an IS call to target high-profile Australian sites.

The Australian government has become increasingly concerned about homegrown extremism and the terror threat level was raised in September 2014.

Canberra is also worried about its citizens fighting with jihadist organizations such as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and helping radicalize others.

Source: timesofisrael.com/is-inspired-teens-charged-in-australia-face-life-sentences/

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Mideast

Turkey fires NATO military envoys after failed coup: Report

October 12, 2016

Turkey has fired hundreds of senior military staff serving at NATO in Europe and the United States following the failed July 15 coup, documents seen by Reuters show.

In a classified military dispatch, 149 military envoys posted to NATO centers in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain were ordered on Sept. 27 to return to Turkey within three days.

Most were dismissed from service on their arrival, arrested and jailed, according to a Turkish military official at NATO and two farewell letters sent by departing Turkish officials emailed to colleagues at NATO and seen by Reuters.

One of those letters wrote of a “witch hunt” of senior air force commanders serving overseas.

In total, about 400 military envoys have been fired so far, the Turkish military official said. Two non-Turkish NATO staff familiar with the situation confirmed that Turkish personnel are being recalled but did not have more details.

Turkish officials say the scale of the crackdown is justified by the gravity of events on July 15, when rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, fighter jets and helicopters, bombing parliament and government buildings in their attempt to seize power. More than 240 people, many of them civilians, were killed.

Turkey is a vital ally to the West in the war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants and in tackling Europe’s migrant crisis. It is also one of the main troop contributors to NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan.

Of the 50 military staff posted to the Turkish delegation at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, only nine remain, according to the Turkish official who spoke to Reuters.

A NATO official said Turkey had notified the alliance about military personnel changes at NATO commands in Europe and in the United States, adding that the issue has been discussed at a senior level between NATO and Turkish officials.

“We are confident that Turkey will keep its commitment to the rule of law when bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice,” the NATO official said.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Defense Ministry has confirmed that it had dismissed over 230 military personnel for suspected links to the Gülenists on Oct. 11.

According to a ministry statement, from a total of 233 people fired, 201 were from Turkey’s air force and 32 from the navy.       

Among this total, 158 commissioned officers, 67 sergeants and eight specialized sergeants were relieved of their duty.       

Seven military judges and colonels were also removed, bringing the total number of dismissed officials to 3,939. 

Arrest warrants for police

Ankara prosecutors issued warrants for 215 Ankara Police Department personnel, including senior officials, on Oct. 12 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, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Ankara police detained 30 of 215 police department personnel in the investigation that has been conducted in 13 provinces.

In addition, 215 personnel were also dismissed amid investigations over their suspected links to the Gülen movement following the coup attempt on July 15. Some 147 of them had been working in the department as police commanders.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-fires-nato-military-envoys-after-failed-coup-report.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104891&NewsCatID=351

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Clinton speaks like a political apprentice: Erdoğan

October 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton must be a political novice for suggesting that she would arm Syrian Kurdish groups in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) if she is elected president next month, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

“This is a very unfortunate statement,” Erdoğan said. “I regard this as political inexperience.”

Democrat nominee Clinton suggested that she would arm Kurds in Syria and Iraq if she beats Donald Trump for the White House on Nov. 8.

Emphasizing that this region had different sensitivities and that providing weapons to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) would be a very wrong move, he said: “Aren’t you aware that you caused the death of 600,000 people through the weapons you provided? Where is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Where is law? Where is the importance of human life?” 

At the same time, Erdoğan also said Turkey would not immediately hand over suspects demanded by the United States but would instead proceed to dispatch them to the Turkish judiciary until Washington extradites the Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

“When they ask for terrorists from us, we hand them over. But look, they do not hand over such terrorists to us. Why not? They talk about the judiciary and say they cannot hand him back without a court decision. OK. Let’s see what happens. The same thing could happen here,” Erdoğan said in a speech to judges and prosecutors in Ankara.

“When [the U.S.] wants someone from us, we will hand them to [Turkish judges]. We will not decide until [Turkish judges] decide. That’s how it will be from now on,” he added.

Erdoğan’s statement constituted yet another salvo from Ankara at Washington on Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt that killed 241 people and wounded more than 2,000. Turkey officially requested Gülen’s extradition from the U.S. after designating the Gülenist group as a terror network.

“Look, it’s been 17 years and this person still lives there. We have sent [the U.S.] 85 boxes of documents and we are still sending them,” Erdoğan said, recalling that Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ would go to Washington to meet his counterpart at the end of the month. 

‘The UK extradites people, why don’t you?’

Every country needs to take into consideration the fact that Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) has designated the Gülen network as a terrorist organization, Erdoğan said.

“The U.K. does this, so why don’t you? You should do it, too. There were some persons we have demanded from the U.K. and they gave them to us. Likewise, some other countries did the same. We have an agreement with the U.S. on extradition. It should move accordingly but it has not, so far. This is a serious political problem,” he said. 

The Gülenist movement has become a tool for foreign powers, Erdoğan said. “There is a very sneaky game. We have to be careful. If this process [of extradition] is delayed, there will be some very sensitive things that we would speak about.”

The president also recalled that the U.S. handed over Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in 1999, the same year Gülen fled to the U.S. “What did they do? They handed over the separatist terror leader, and instead of him they took the leader of another terror gang,” he said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/clinton-speaks-like-a-political-apprentice-erdogan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104877&NewsCatID=510

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Turkish military stages military buildup in Iraqi border

October 13, 2016

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has intensified its military deployment close to the Iraqi border in an ostensible move to both support ongoing operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and increase border security, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Military vehicles coming from Mardin entered military commands near the Habur Border Gate while others were dispatched to commands in the mountainside across from the Turkish-Iraqi border, the agency said.

The latest dispatch aimed to oversee the effects of a migration wave at the border that could emerge after a possible military operation on Mosul, as well as providing support to anti-PKK operations in the region.

The security for the military vehicles was provided by a number of armed vehicles in addition to Jammer-carrying military vehicles against the potential threat of remote explosives.

Meanwhile, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, accompanied by force commanders, paid a two-day visit to three southeastern provinces to make inspections on deployments at military commands in the region where operations against PKK militants are continuing.

Akar and force commanders first visited Şırnak and met with Şırnak Gov. Ali İhsan Su at the governor’s office, while also visiting troops in the region to make inspections.

Akar and commanders later departed for the Yüksekova and Şemdinli districts of the eastern province of Hakkari and met with Yüksekova District Gov. İbrahim Çenet.

They later headed to the eastern province of Van to make inspections of military troops in the Başkale district.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the Oct. 9 PKK suicide attack targeting a military checkpoint in the Şemdinli district of the eastern province of Hakkari rose to 16 with the death of another civilian.

Yaşar Sönmez, 34, succumbed to his injures in the Gülhane Military Hospital in Ankara on Oct. 12, bringing the number of civilian casualties in the attack to six. Ten soldiers were also killed in the suicide attack, which was carried out with a bomb-laden pickup.

In addition, the Turkish military said in a statement that a PKK militant, who had a 1 million Turkish Lira prize on his head, was killed while another PKK militant was wounded.

The military said the militant identified as M.N.Ö. and codenamed Rojhat Vartinus, who was the alleged commander responsible for the Güroymak district of the eastern province of Bitlis, was killed in an operation on Oct. 11.

It also added that another PKK militant identified as N.B. and codenamed Aras was also captured wounded in the operation.

One Infanty rifle and one Kalashnikov were also seized along with the militants, the military said.

In addition, one soldier was killed and two others were wounded on Oct. 12 during clashes with PKK militants in the Besta region of Şırnak. The wounded were taken to Şırnak State Hospital as an air-supported operation in the region continued.

The Bitlis Governor’s Office also announced a curfew in five villages of the Tatvan district until further notice as of midnight on Oct. 12.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-military-stages-military-buildup-in-iraqi-border-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104900&NewsCatID=341

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Soldier killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

October 13, 2016

One soldier was killed and five security personnel were wounded on Oct. 13 when outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants detonated an explosive in a rural area of the Beytüşşebap district of the southeastern province of Şırnak, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Militants detonated the explosive during the passage of security personnel who were conducting a search, the agency stated.

One soldier was killed and five security personnel, including four soldiers and one village guard, were wounded in the attack. The wounded were taken to the Şırnak State Hospital.

Security forces engaged in armed clashes with PKK militants after the attack, and operations in the area are ongoing.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/soldier-killed-in-pkk-attack-in-turkeys-southeast.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104912&NewsCatID=341

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Five countries operating at İncirlik Air Base, says Turkish FM

October 13, 2016

Troops and aircraft from five countries are deployed in southern Turkey’s İncirlik Air Base, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

“The aerial elements of the United States, Germany, Denmark, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are deployed at the İncirlik base as part of the fight against Daesh,” Çavuşoğlu said answering a parliamentary question on the foreign use of the air base located close the border with Turkey.

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Issued by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the parliamentary question asked about who was using the İncirlik base and what Germany’s demands were regarding İncirlik.

“It is out of the question for Germany to establish a base in our country. Germany does not have such a demand. Just like our country, Germany is part of the global coalitions fighting Daesh and they contribute to the military campaign of the coalition. Within this scope, their aircraft and personnel are deployed in İncirlik,” said Çavuşoğlu.

On Oct. 12, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved the deployment of additional German troops to Turkey to help operate NATO surveillance aircraft as part of the U.S.-led fight against ISIL.

The Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft will be based at an air base in the Central Anatolian province of Konya. They will be used for reconnaissance in support of air strikes against ISIL targets.

This decision comes a week after a group of German parliamentarians visited German troops at the İncirlik base.

A row had erupted between Turkey and Germany after the German Bundestag recognized the killings of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Empire in 1915 as genocide in early June.

As part of the row, Turkey blocked Germany’s request for a visit to İncirlik, while Germany threatened to pull back its troops from İncirlik.

The row was overcome after the German government said the Bundestag’s decisions did not legally bind the government. Thereafter, Turkey gave permission for the German MPs’ visit.

The German military, or Bundeswehr, provides about one third of the crew used to operate and maintain NATO’s AWACS planes, but German law requires that individual missions must be approved by parliament. No details were provided on exactly how many troops would be part of the deployment.

Germany already has about 500 military personnel involved in the fight against ISIL, including over 240 who are based at İncirlik to operate six Tornado surveillance aircraft and a refueling plane. Others are on board a German frigate that is operating in the eastern Mediterranean with the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

The total number of German troops participating in the fight against ISIL is capped at 1,200 and will not be increased, the sources said.

German involvement in combating ISIL is “a core part of our security policy in the region, which is aimed at countering the direct and immediate danger to Germany, our allies and the international community,” the draft legislation said.

NATO approved the new AWACS mission in July and could start flying the planes this month, although initially without German crews, since the German parliament is not expected to approve the expanded German role later in the year.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/five-countries-operating-at-incirlik-air-base-says-turkish-fm-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104909&NewsCatID=510

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