New Age Islam
Sun Oct 25 2020, 12:59 PM

Islamic World News ( 17 Jul 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islamist Groups Hope to Form Pakistan’s Next Government
















Protest against triple talaq  File photo of a protest against triple talaq

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Islamist Groups Hope to Form Pakistan’s Next Government

'Earthquakes Are an Attempt to Destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque'

New SOP Soon For Shariah Judges before Allowing Underage Marriage

Cryptocurrency Firm Stellar Gets Islamic Finance Certification

BJP Got Wrong What Rahul Gandhi Told Muslims, Says Irfan Habib

 

Pakistan

Islamist Groups Hope to Form Pakistan’s Next Government

PTI Joins Hands with Cleric on US Terror List

Pakistan backs UN response to Indian allegations against Kashmir report

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan files counter-memorial in ICJ

PTI Joins Hands with Cleric on US Terror List

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Mideast

'Earthquakes Are an Attempt to Destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque'

Xinjiang Surveillance Expands to Non-Uyghur Muslims

Dozens of Settlers Break Into Al-Aqsa Mosque Courtyards

Critics say Turkish government using US mosques to play politics, spy on foes

Hajj main factor of unity in World of Islam: Iran official

Iran Welcomes Muslim Figures’ Call for Cessation of War in Yemen

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Southeast Asia

New SOP Soon For Shariah Judges before Allowing Underage Marriage

Bahrun's Death Has Affected Recruitment Of IS Militants In Malaysia

Malaysian king calls for unity amid racial tensions

What PAS’ ‘Muslims-only’ call shows?

Two MPs back proposed review on child marriage laws

PAS veep: Don’t be influenced by LGBT culture

Kelantan local authority to ding food outlets for exposed ‘aurat’

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Arab World

Cryptocurrency Firm Stellar Gets Islamic Finance Certification

Iraqi Security Denies Reports on Burning Mosque, West Of Nineveh

Muslim World League Joins Moroccan League in Fight against Extremism

Tribes in Northern Syria to Hand over Manbij to Syrian Army

Bodies of Over 1,200 US Airstrikes' Victims Unearthed from Mass Graves in Raqqa

DM: Iranian Armed Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to Aggressors

Envoy: China to Continue Cooperation with Iran despite US Sanctions

ICJ Confirms Iran's Filing Lawsuit against US for Renewing Sanctions

AEOI Spokesman: Iran to Increase Enrichment If JCPOA Collapses

Spokesman: Iran Welcomes Proposal to stop war in Yemen

Kurdish Sources: Damascus to Regain Control over Afrin Soon

Top Intel Official Leaving National Security Council

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India

BJP Got Wrong What Rahul Gandhi Told Muslims, Says Irfan Habib

Nida Khan Remains Defiant After Fatwa Ousts Her from Islam, Says It's Illegal

Congress Attacks BJP, Spares Urdu Daily Which Published 'Muslim Party' Report

Jammu and Kashmir government orders ban on 30 Islamic, Pakistani news channels

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Europe

Queen Elizabeth Wore Brooch from Obamas on Day Trump Arrived in UK

Counter Protesters to Oppose EDL March over Worcester Mosque

Why Poland's anti-Islamic stance makes perfect sense

Meeting with Putin angered many ‘haters’ who wanted to see ‘boxing match’ – Trump

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South Asia

Upcoming Elections a Good Opportunity for the Taliban, Afghan Nation: Ghani

Attack by unknown gunmen claims the life of a senior army officer in Kabul

New security commanders appointed for Hamid Karzai airport, Zabul, and Paktia

2 Senior ISIS group leaders arrested in Nangarhar province

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North America

Man Found Guilty Of Hate Crime in Burning Of Texas Mosque

Richard Dawkins sparks outrage after saying Muslim call to prayer sounds 'aggressive'

Muslim Group Targeted and Kicked Out of a Delaware Public Pool

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Africa

Kenya: Grand Mullah Schooled After Twitter Blooper on SGR

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamist-groups-hope-to-form-pakistan’s-next-government/d/115869

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Islamist groups hope to form Pakistan’s next government

By KUNWAR KHULDUNE SHAHID

JULY 18, 2018

number of Islamist groups which will contest the Pakistani general elections on July 25 are hoping to play a decisive role in the nation’s next government. The caretaker government is allowing the participation in the elections of many formerly-banned parties.

Among those being allowed to participate in the election is Ahmed Ludhianvi, whose name was removed from the Fourth Schedule terror watch-list. The government recently lifted the ban on the Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) organisation that Ludhianvi heads, releasing its assets including back accounts. ASWJ is a militant sectarian group, an offshoot of the Sipah-e-Sahaba, an anti-Shia terrorist organization banned in Pakistan.

Others participating in the polls are the son and son-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder and chief Hafiz Saeed who was designated a terrorist by Pakistan following the February passing of the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance.

Saeed’s son Hafiz Talha is eyeing the NA-91 contest and his son-in-law Khalid Waleed contesting the PP-167 election. Both Talha and Waleed are using the platform of Allah O Akbar Tehreek for the elections, after the LeT and JuD-backed Milli Muslim League (MML) were denied an election symbol.

Shaikh Yaqoob, who will also be contesting under the Allah O Akbar Tehreek banner in Lahore, says that the group is confident of doing well in Punjab and playing a part in forming the next government. “We’re opening offices, there are door to door campaigns, our message is being spread far and wide,” he told Asia Times. Yaqoob, who is close to Hafiz Saeed, said he met the JuD chief recently, whom he says ‘completely has his back’.

The MML candidate also maintained that Islamist groups are finding common political ground, and believes that many of them could unite following the elections.

Multiple sources within the Army and government have confirmed that allowing the formerly banned outfits to contest elections is a military-led ‘mainstreaming’ process, designed not only to ‘readjust’ former militant assets, but also to keep a check on the civilian leadership.

Among the Islamist groups accused of doing the Army’s job are the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of five Islamist parties, spearheaded by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), originally formed in 2002 under General Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship. MMA and JI senior leader Ameer-ul-Azeem believes that it will be ‘impossible’ to form the next government without the Islamist coalition. “Our strength will be such in Parliament that no legislation will be able to pass without the MMA’s support being taken on board,” he said while talking to Asia Times.

Azeem said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) are the two main contenders in the upcoming elections, and that the MMA would be willing to enter alliances with either depending on the election results. However, with parties uniting against the PML-N in a move believed to be backed by the military establishment, the MMA is also likely to find itself in the same camp.

Even so, Azeem denies that the MMA’s strings are being pulled by the military establishment. “The Army’s backing is for the PTI, that’s what everyone is saying. People say the Jamaat-e-Islami is the B Team of the Army, (but) let me tell you this is only limited to a militant capacity, when Pakistan’s geographical integrity is under attack (such as in) Dhaka or Kashmir.”

Meanwhile, regarding allegations that Islamist parties have links to the Army leadership, Sheikh Yaqoob said his party is, in fact, ‘proud’ of it. “We are proud to have relations with the Pakistani Army, instead of being linked to the Indian Army,” he said.

While the MMA, JI and JuD are considered old allies of the military establishment, the latest radical Islamist group to emerge is the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) that kept the national capital Islamabad hostage in November last year over changes in the original Electoral Reforms Bill, 2017

Safeguarding Khatm-e-Nabuwwat and the ‘honor of Prophet Muhammad’ has become the rallying cry for TLP and its firebrand chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Party banners depict an image of Mumtaz Qadri as its spiritual guide. Qadri was executed by the state in February 2016 for murdering former governor Salmaan Taseer, over his criticism of the blasphemy law.

In May, the outgoing Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal survived a shooting attack by a TLP worker over changes in the original draft of the Elections Reforms Bill. Even though the party distanced itself from the attack, it has refused to denounce the use of violence ‘in the way of Islam’. “Our main goal is the imposition of Islam in the country. And the way to do that has been clearly written in the Quran and Hadith. If any of our actions contradict the Quran and Hadith, please point them out,” TLP spokesman Ejaz Ashrafi told Asia Times.

Earlier this month TLP Khadim Rizvi chief remarked in a press conference that he would ‘drop the atom bomb on Holland, if he had it’, following reports that the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders had announced a competition to draw cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.

“It’s a matter of faith. No Muslim can sit quietly if our prophet, peace be upon him, is insulted. We don’t take up arms for any personal reasons, but when it comes to Islam and the honor of our prophet, peace be upon him, it’s mandatory for us. If we can’t avenge insults against him, it’s better that we die,” Ejaz Asharafi said.

http://www.atimes.com/article/islamist-groups-hope-to-form-pakistans-next-government/

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'Earthquakes Are an Attempt to Destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque'

Shimon Cohen

18/07/18

Maal Zakarna, a columnist for Jordan's Ad-Dustour daily claimed several days ago that Israel caused the recent earthquakes by testing nuclear weapons or a new type of weapon underground.

While nuclear testing does cause the ground to shake, the earthquakes it produces are unique enough that seismologists have been able to differentiate between nuclear tests and earthquakes for decades.

MEMRI reported that according to Zakarna, these "experiments" are part of Israel's attempt to cause a man-made earthquake in order to collapse Al-Aqsa mosque, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

"The earthquakes focused especially on the area of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee - ed.) and its surroundings and measured around 4 on the Richter scale," Zakarna wrote in his article. "This raises the question of what caused these earthquakes, their timing, and their location. It could be that they were caused by experimental explosions carried out by the Israeli occupation's army at a certain depth under the Kinneret. [This would be done] in order to test new weapons, such as smaller nuclear bombs which have limited influence, or a conventional weapon created for use against regional armies, which the occupying state believes.... constitute a new kind of threat."

"It could be that these actions are preparation for a major criminal action against sites in occupied Jerusalem which are holy to Islam and Christianity, and especially against the Al-Aqsa mosque, Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, while [at the same time] create a pre-planned earthquake to destroy them in preparation for creating a Holy Temple in the attempt to Judaize Jerusalem.

"We cannot trust the Israeli occupation, since it acts, plans, and plots,a nd at the end of the day - destroys - in order to achieve political, geographic, and Biblical goals. It does not hesitate to use the technology, knowledge, and science in its hands in order to complete its planned expansion, while blaming nature and natural causes. It also is not ashamed to ask for aid from other countries in the region and the world, in order to cover up its crimes and carry out its plans for Judaization at their expense.

"The other thing that raises suspicion that the occupation had a hand in creating these earthquakes is the fact that it did nothing and did not take any preparatory or cautionary steps of any sort to [help] deal with the large earthquake which its own expert geologists claimed would occur after the smaller earthquakes. The occupation continued to watch the public's reactions, until it understood that its mischief had been discovered and that no one had fallen for it. So they stopped the experiments."

Israel and Jordan both sit on the Syrian-African rift, a strike-slip fault which is geologists believe produces a major earthquake every century or so. While geologists agree that Israel needs to prepare for a major earthquake which could strike at any moment, they are divided over whether the recent smaller earthquakes are a sign of an upcoming major earthquake or stand "alone."

Earlier this year, a councilman in Washington, D.C., suggested on Facebook that rich Jews who control the weather caused an unexpected snowstorm.

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/249106

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New SOP soon for shariah judges before allowing underage marriage

Robin Augustin

July 18, 2018

PETALING JAYA: The government says it is more inclined towards standardising the procedures for shariah judges nationwide in addressing the problem of Muslim child brides, after a call for a blanket law to ban child marriages at the federal level.

Fuziah Salleh.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Fuziah Salleh said the problem was complex and made difficult by the nature of Islamic laws in the country.

“My ministry agrees that child marriages bring more harm than good, that’s why we are developing an SOP for shariah judges in approving an underaged marriage with the utmost goal of protecting the child’s wellbeing,” Fuziah, who is in charge of Islamic affairs, told FMT.

She said despite the government’s Islamic experts stating that child marriages brought more harm than good, implementing the advice was still left to the respective states, where Malay rulers have the powers to formulate Islamic enactments.

In 2014, a fatwa consultative committee (Muzakarah) from the National Council for Islamic Affairs advised state Islamic authorities to tighten the rules on underage marriage, saying such marriages were neither in the interest of the children nor encouraged by Islam.

The current minimum legal age of marriage for a Muslim is 16, but shariah judges are empowered to lower the age based on individual cases.

The issue of child marriage was thrust into the limelight after a 41-year-old man married an 11-year-old Thai girl in Kelantan, sparking calls for a ban on the practice.

G25 said federal authorities should take the lead in banning such marriages, and questioned Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for “passing the buck” to the Muzakarah committee to press states to ban underage marriage through shariah enactments.

Health checks, parents’ background

Fuziah said once a “comprehensive SOP” was implemented by end of the year, stringent procedures would be in place before a shariah judge could allow a child to tie the knot.

She said the procedures would include physical, psychological and emotional health checks.

“The SOP also includes determining the reasons for marriage, and the financial status of the child’s parents.

“We don’t want parents to agree simply due to poverty.”

She said the Shariah Courts Judicial Department (JKSM) would have to ensure that all shariah judges comply with the SOP.

“If a judge doesn’t give his permission for an underage marriage according to the SOP, then the child cannot be married.”

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/07/18/new-sop-soon-for-shariah-judges-before-allowing-underage-marriage/

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Cryptocurrency Firm Stellar Gets Islamic Finance Certification

Bernardo Vizcaino

18 July 2018

SYDNEY (Reuters) - California-based Stellar has received certification from Islamic scholars for its blockchain platform and related cryptocurrency, aiming to integrate the technology into the field of sharia-compliant financial products.

The move highlights how fintechs are broadening their footprint to include growth markets in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, prompting Islamic scholars to assess the religious validity of digital currencies.

The certification covers Stellar’s blockchain and its native currency called Lumens - the 7th largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $4.3 billion.

Over the past year the firm has been exploring partnerships with financial firms in the Gulf region and seeking sharia-compliance certification helped widen those discussions, said Lisa Nestor, director of partnership at Stellar.

“We have been looking to work with companies that facilitate remittances, including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Its a huge market.”

Stellar’s digital ledger could be used in areas beyond cross-border payments, such as asset digitization, and the firm has an ongoing partnership with IBM to develop such blockchain applications, Nestor added.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum enjoyed a bumper year in 2017 as mainstream investors entered the market, but they saw a drop in value earlier this year because of concerns over a potential regulatory crackdown.

Some Gulf regulators have also expressed scepticism, but Bahrain has bucked the trend by exploring the use of digital currencies to boost its role as a regional financial hub.

Stellar held discussions with Bahrain’s Economic Development Board early last year which led to wider engagements in the region, Nestor said.

In February, Saudi Arabia’s central bank and U.S.-based Ripple signed a deal to help banks in the kingdom settle payments using blockchain technology.

Stellar was co-founded in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, the former chief technology officer of Ripple.

CERTIFICATION

The Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), an Islamic advisory firm licensed by Bahrain’s central bank, provided the certification for Stellar, alongside guidelines for the types of assets that can be traded in its platform.

“For the blockchain technology there was no issue, the main thing we needed to consider was the use of the underlying cryptocurrency,” said Mansoor Ahmed, assistant general manager at Shariyah Review Bureau.

Islamic scholars have pondered over the permissibility of cryptocurrencies, wary of price volatility and the types of assets behind digital tokens.

Islamic finance emphasizes real economic activity based on physical assets, shunning interest payments and outright monetary speculation

Cryptocurrenices have drawn conflicting rulings from scholars, but the assessment from SRB could help narrow the debate as it compared trading of Lumens to transfer of rights, which is deemed permissible in Islam.

SRB also set rules for trading assets other than Lumens, including requirements to ensure price certainty, constructive possession and timely settlement - while allowing for a short delay to verify transactions on the blockchain.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-islamic-finance-cryptocurrencies/cryptocurrency-firm-stellar-gets-islamic-finance-certification-idUSKBN1K71RC

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BJP got wrong what Rahul Gandhi told Muslims, says Irfan Habib

Jul 18, 2018

NEW DELHI: Noted historian S Irfan Habib, who was part of the Muslim intellectual group which interacted with Congress president Rahul Gandhi last week, has refuted the claims of PM Modi and BJP leaders that Gandhi told them that “Congress is a party of Muslims”.

Terming these claims as baseless, Habib said all that Gandhi had told them was that Congress had historically drawn its strength from the support of all marginalised sections, including the poor and the socially and economically backward social segments such as Dalits, Muslims and tribals.

“I was surprised by the kind of total misinterpretation being given to what Rahul Gandhi had said in that meeting with us. I was the last one among the gathering to speak at the meeting. And I told Gandhi that the Congress has become much weaker now because the party has lost the support of the poor sections of society including the Dalits, Muslims, tribals...,” Habib told ET.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/bjp-got-wrong-what-rahul-gandhi-told-muslims-says-irfan-habib/articleshow/65033494.cms

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Pakistan

 

PTI joins hands with cleric on US terror list

By Arsalan Altaf

July 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD: 

An Islamabad-based religious leader, who is placed by the United States on a terror watch list, has announced to support the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the upcoming general elections scheduled for July 25.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil was placed by the US government on Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) list on September 30, 2014, for his alleged role in Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) militant organisation, which he reportedly founded in the past.

He later founded and is still heading Ansarul Ummah, which he says is a political party. Both HuM and Ansarul Ummah are on the SDGT list.

Khalil’s Ansarul Ummah also took part in the last local government elections.

However, many were surprised on Monday when senior PTI leader Asad Umar took to social media to announce that Khalil along with hundreds of other Ulema (clerics) had joined the PTI and announced to support him in the upcoming elections.

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman Kahlil has joined the PTI along with hundreds of his followers and Ulema,” Umar wrote in a Facebook post with an album showing Umar being welcomed by Khalil and others and the two addressing the ceremony.

When contacted, Khalil confirmed that he and other Ulema had hosted Asad Umar on Sunday and announced to support him in the elections. However, he clarified that he had not joined the PTI. “We are not joining the PTI. We just announced to support Asad Umar in NA-54,” he told The Express Tribune.

Asad Umar also edited his Facebook post on Monday evening saying Khalil and others had announced to support the PTI in NA-54.

When contacted, Umar said he had checked and made sure that Khalil was not on the 4th Schedule before he sought his support.

He said he was unaware whether Khalil was on the US-designated list. “I have known him for three years. He has condemned terrorist

activities by the TTP and made efforts for unity and harmony between various religious groups and sects. This is what I like about him,” the PTI leader said.

He claimed the gathering of Ulema in which Khalil announced his support also included religious leaders from other sects, some junior members of his team had mistakenly posted that Khalil had joined the party but it was corrected immediately.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1760368/1-pti-joins-hands-cleric-us-terror-list/

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Pakistan backs UN response to Indian allegations against Kashmir report

July 18, 2018

Pakistan on Wednesday supported the United Nations' (UN) dismissal of Indian allegations against its report on the poor human rights situation in Kashmir.

The first-ever UN report on alleged rights violations committed by both India and Pakistan in Kashmir released last month focuses mainly on India-held Kashmir (IHK), and accuses Indian troops of being responsible for an estimated 145 unlawful killings, far surpassing the 20 people estimated to have been killed by militant groups during that period.

It also speaks of "a range of human rights abuses" in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), but notes they "are of a different calibre or magnitude and of a more structural nature".

When the report first came out, India termed it a biased account.

According to the Times of India (TOI), the Indian Ministry of External Affairs rejected the report, describing it as "fallacious, tendentious and motivated", and questioned the intent in releasing such a report. It was also said to have violated India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The report came up once again at a United Nations Security council session on Children and Armed Conflict on Tuesday, when Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi made a reference to it during the session, NDTV reported.

Explore: The UN Kashmir report is an opportunity for Pakistan to take the higher moral ground over India

According to NDTV, India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal hit back at Lodhi during the session, reiterating the Indian Foreign Ministry's stance. He said the "so called" report reflects the "clear bias of an official who was acting without any mandate whatsoever and relied on unverified sources of information."

UN dismisses Indian allegations

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a press release issued on Tuesday responded to India's allegations against the report, saying that it had been developed through remote monitoring, after Indian and Pakistani authorities failed to grant the UN team unconditional access to the region.

"'Nefarious conspiracy', 'Pakistan-authored report', 'fallacious', 'mala fide' – these are some of the accusations levelled by numerous Indian media outlets against the UN Human Rights Office for our publication last month," the UN said.

"Since the report was published, we have been deeply disappointed by the reaction of the Indian authorities, who dismissed the report as 'fallacious, tendentious and motivated' without examining it and responding to the very serious concerns about the human rights situation" in IHK and AJK.

According to the UN press release, the report contains 388 footnotes that list the sources used in its compilation.

"These include official sources such as the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha – India’s parliament – as well as the Supreme Court of India, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, the Union Ministry of Defence, the Chief of Army Staff and even a former vice president," the UN said, adding that the accusations made by India regarding the use of "unverified information" in the compiling of the report are "puzzling".

"We are disturbed by the sustained attempts to distract and divert the focus away from the human rights violations on both sides of the Line of Control," it added.

Supporting the UN’s stance, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal reiterated the UN's stance against Indian allegations, adding that: "India failed to address the very serious concerns raised by OHCHR #Kashmir about the grave human rights situation in IOK."

He added that Pakistan welcomes the establishment of by a UN-proposed Commission of Inquiry the highest level of probe under the UN system "for international investigation into human rights violations" in both AJK and IHK.

India has, however, rejected it and claims that the high commissioner lacks the mandate to commission such a report.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1420840/pakistan-backs-un-response-to-indian-allegations-against-kashmir-report

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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan files counter-memorial in ICJ

By Hasnaat Malik

July 18, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday submitted its second counter-memorial to India’s arguments on the conviction of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

Sources told The Express Tribune that Pakistan rebutted Indian’s allegations that Kulbhushan’s wife and mother were ‘mistreated’ when they visited to meet him last year.

Pakistan also raised the jurisdiction issue of the ICJ that India had no case to plead because it never denied that Jadhav was travelling on a passport on a cover or the assumed Muslim name ‘Mubarak Patel’, the sources added.

Moreover, some international legal experts’ opinions have also been referred to in the counter pleadings to justify that effective review of the decisions of military courts is potentially available before high courts of Pakistan. The reply has been submitted by Director India at the Foreign Office Dr Fareha Bugti along with Khawar Qureshi, QC, the agent representing Pakistan at the ICJ.

Russian woman arrested in Washington, accused of acting as Russian government agent

The ICJ, a world court that sits at the Peace Palace in The Hague, is seized with an Indian complaint on the conviction of the Indian spy.

Commander Jadhav was captured in Balochistan in March 2016 and he later confessed to his association with Indian intelligence agency — Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — and his involvement in espionage and fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.

In early 2017, the Field General Court Martial sentenced Jadhav to death, which was confirmed by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa on April 10 this year.

On January 23, the ICJ gave a timeline to both Pakistan and India to file another round of memorials in the case.

Qureshi had briefed Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk two weeks ago about the developments in the case. Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan and other senior officials also attended the meeting.

On April 17, India submitted a second memorial before the ICJ. It is learnt that Khawar Qureshi has drafted the counter-memorial.

After the submission of the second memorial, the ICJ will fix the matter for the hearing which is likely to take place next year.

A senior lawyer, who has expertise in international litigations, believes that there is no chance of hearing the case this year.

Even the hearing of other matters has already been fixed until March or April next year, therefore, Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case will be listed next summer, he added.

Meanwhile, in an interview with an international newspaper published on July 16, Qureshi had given details of the written submissions in the case.

He stated that the ICJ has also been asked to consider whether India has behaved illegally by providing Jadhav with an authentic Indian passport in the name of ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.

An eminent British expert has provided evidence that Jadhav used the passport at least 17 times to go to and from India.

He confirmed that the passport was issued by Indian authorities. The inference is that India gave Jadhav the false Muslim identity for improper purposes. India’s answer has been to say it does not need to answer this point.

“The passport issue has also been raised by respected Indian journalists Praveen Swami and Karan Thapar, recently. They have been accused of spreading ‘propaganda’ and, sadly, also have been called as ‘traitors’ for doing their job as professional journalists.

No real answer has been given on this point, as well as most of the other arguments.

Qureshi in his interview also submitted that respected military law experts in the UK have given evidence concerning Pakistan’s military court system, with reference to the military courts in the UK, US, India and other key jurisdictions.

They have confirmed that effective review of the decisions of Pakistan’s military courts is potentially available before high courts of Pakistan.

“I submitted on May 15, 2017 and repeat [it now], the ICJ has never ordered “acquittal or release” (as India “at least” seeks), and all its previous decisions indicate it would never do so.”

Likewise, Qureshi says that “India says Jadhav recently retired from the Indian navy (but not when or why), and suggests he was kidnapped from Iran and smuggled into Pakistan to extract a false confession.”

“India says the entire legal process against him in Pakistan was unfair and demands that the ICJ ‘at least’ orders his acquittal or release. India says Jadhav should have been given immediate consular access.

“Pakistan says Jadhav was a naval commander who was working for RAW when arrested. The ICJ has been asked to consider whether individuals suspected of espionage had in practice often been excluded from the right to consular access—an argument never raised or considered previously.

“The ICJ has now exceptionally invited all states that signed the VCCR to respond to Pakistan’s argument on this point, which is based upon the material practice of the US, Soviet Union and China, including the famous Gary Powers-U2 case, as well as commentaries from experts in this field.”

He says, “In addition, Pakistan and India signed an express agreement on Consular Access in 2008 (at the suggestion of India), which clearly qualifies consular access in situations involving issues of security — consistent with the state practice I mentioned.

Full report at:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1760559/1-kulbhushan-jadhav-case-pakistan-files-counter-memorial-icj/

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PTI joins hands with cleric on US terror list

By Arsalan Altaf

July 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD: 

An Islamabad-based religious leader, who is placed by the United States on a terror watch list, has announced to support the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the upcoming general elections scheduled for July 25.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil was placed by the US government on Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) list on September 30, 2014, for his alleged role in Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) militant organisation, which he reportedly founded in the past.

SCREENGRAB

He later founded and is still heading Ansarul Ummah, which he says is a political party. Both HuM and Ansarul Ummah are on the SDGT list.

Khalil’s Ansarul Ummah also took part in the last local government elections.

However, many were surprised on Monday when senior PTI leader Asad Umar took to social media to announce that Khalil along with hundreds of other Ulema (clerics) had joined the PTI and announced to support him in the upcoming elections.

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman Kahlil has joined the PTI along with hundreds of his followers and Ulema,” Umar wrote in a Facebook post with an album showing Umar being welcomed by Khalil and others and the two addressing the ceremony.

When contacted, Khalil confirmed that he and other Ulema had hosted Asad Umar on Sunday and announced to support him in the elections. However, he clarified that he had not joined the PTI. “We are not joining the PTI. We just announced to support Asad Umar in NA-54,” he told The Express Tribune.

SCREENGRAB

Asad Umar also edited his Facebook post on Monday evening saying Khalil and others had announced to support the PTI in NA-54.

When contacted, Umar said he had checked and made sure that Khalil was not on the 4th Schedule before he sought his support.

He said he was unaware whether Khalil was on the US-designated list. “I have known him for three years. He has condemned terrorist

activities by the TTP and made efforts for unity and harmony between various religious groups and sects. This is what I like about him,” the PTI leader said.

Full report at:

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1760368/1-pti-joins-hands-cleric-us-terror-list/

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Mideast

 

Xinjiang Surveillance Expands to Non-Uyghur Muslims

Jul 18, 2018

Over the last year, there have been an increasing number of reports detailing the proliferation of re-education camps and the rise of a totalitarian police state in the Xinjiang region. The concept of re-education has existed since the advent of the People’s Republic of China. However, ever since former Tibet Party Secretary Chen Quanguo was installed in Xinjiang to replicate his perceived successes, Xinjiang’s re-education system alone grew to overshadow China’s officially-abolished re-education through labor system. Although the Chinese government denies the re-education camps’ existence, estimates peg (and likely underestimate) the number of Uyghurs interred at 120,000. Individuals can land in the camps for reasons such as contacting friends or relatives abroad, worshipping at mosques, or possessing Quranic verses on their phones; camps are designed to replace inmates’ Islamic beliefs with loyalty to the Party. Throughout such detention, individuals are wholly deprived of due process. The rise of cutting-edge facial recognition technology, most recently through Hikvision winning a Chinese government tender to install facial recognition cameras on 967 mosques, makes it all the easier to be placed in a re-education camp.

While observers have expressed alarm that Xinjiang may be functioning as a pilot region for surveillance, of increasing concern is the expansion of the Xinjiang model to non-Uyghur Muslims such as the Hui and ethnic Kazakhs. The Hui minority group, traditionally treated with more acceptance by the Chinese government due to their higher levels of cultural and linguistic assimilation with the Han majority, have found themselves subject to increasingly greater levels of scrutiny. In Linxia, a hub for Hui Muslims in Western China, the CCP had already removed call-to-prayer loudspeakers from 355 mosques last fall, citing noise pollution, and has now banned minors under 16 from studying the Koran or participating in religious activity. AFP’s Becky Davis reports that Hui individuals now live in a constant state of fear and despair:

Another group that has now been subject to increased scrutiny are China’s ethnic Kazakhs, who number over one million in Xinjiang, and may now be considered “potential confederates” of the Uyghurs. A Kazakh source with close ties to the Urumqi police claimed that the authorities had to detain a quota of 3,000 Kazakhs or Uyghurs per week.

Currently, an ongoing Kazakh court case is attracting attention as defendant Sayragul Sauytbay–an ethnic Kazakh Chinese national who illegally entered Kazakhstan to reunite with her family–claimed that as a state employee in an re-education camp, she knew that it held 2,500 ethnic Kazakhs. For more on the situation, see a report from Christopher Rickleton and Ben Dooley at the AFP.

As for the exiled Uyghur community, despite their living abroad, Beijing has attempted to exert control on some members. BuzzFeed News’ Megha Rajagopalan described how some exiled Uyghurs are being  induced into spying for the government, lest their China-based family members be sent to re-education camps without due process:

https://chinadigitaltimes.net/2018/07/xinjiang-surveillance-model-expands-to-non-uyghur-muslims/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+chinadigitaltimes%2FbKzO+%28China+Digital+Times+%28CDT%29%29

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Dozens of settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards

Jul 18, 2018

RAMALLAH, July 18 (KUNA) -- Dozens of settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa

Mosque Wednesday morning under heavy protection by Israeli forces, Islamic Endowment Department said.

The settlers carried out prayers and public rituals inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque

with the protection of Israeli police and armed forces, the department added in a statement.

Eyewitnesses reported that a number of settler children participated in breaking into the

courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque. (end) nq.lr

https://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2737671&Language=en

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Critics say Turkish government using US mosques to play politics, spy on foes

Jul 18, 2018

By Hollie McKay

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent re-election is fueling concerns about his growing powers not just in Turkey but here in the U.S., according to experts who believe he's determined to spread his controversial brand of Islamist-nationalistic fervor through a network of mosques and religious centers.

Some of that concern is focused on the Diyanet Center of America (DCA), a mosque and Islamic center in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. The DCA was built with the strong support and funding from the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, which under the 15-year Erdogan adminstration has pushed for the building of mosques and Islamic centers around the world.

Erdogan himself attending the opening of the $110 million center in 2016. But while the DCA's primary goal, according to its website, is to "providing religious services without regard to politics," critics say that's not the case.

“These mosques are not places of worship,” charged David L. Phillips, Director for the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. “They are centers for political mobilization functioning like madrasas, distorting Islamic and radicalizing youth.”

Poised in a quiet neighborhood in the town of Lanham, Md., across the road from a small church and a cluster of humble homes, the DCA fills an entire block, with a series of impressive buildings. And it's from this location that critics say the Turkish government spreads Erdogan's brand of Islam, spies and gathers information for his national intelligence service, and tracks Turkish-Americans who they suspect of following Fetullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric and one-time ally the president has named public enemy number one in Turkey.

Erdogan has been running Turkey under emergency rule since a July 2016 coup attempt - which he blames on Gulen - and along the way has imprisoned tens of thousands of Turks from the ranks of the civil service, military, judiciary, and education systems. Erdogan has demanded the U.S extradite Gulen, but those demands have been denied, citing a lack of sufficient evidence. “Gulen was one of the closest political allies of Erdogan between his party’s ascent to power in November 2002 and their dramatic fallout in December 2013,” explained Aykan Erdemir, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Erdogan pursued an effective campaign to first criminalize the movement and then to designate it as a terrorist organization. Today, a majority of the Turkish citizens see the Gulen movement as a terrorist entity.”

The Turkish flag flies high on the lush grounds of the DCA, whose imams and female chaplains are assigned through the Diyanet headquarters in Ankara, the Turkish capital. And the DCA is one of more than 20 mosques under the Diyanet umbrella, which most of them located in the Northeast.

But many Turkish-Ameicans who support the Gulen movement – or simply don’t agree with Erdogan's rule - say they stay far away.

“Gulen supporters don’t go to the Maryland mosque because they have a very credible fear of being harassed, intimidated or attacked. This is happening in all Diyanet-funded mosques across the U.S.,” claimed one Turkish journalist in the U.S., who previously worked for a pro-Gulen publication. “Many of the Gulen supporters were not permitted to pray, and ‘Gulenists are not permitted’ banners were hung on walls. But people fear more to be abducted than intimidated.”

A spokesperson for the Turkish Embassy in Washington did not respond to specific questions for this story. But the spokesperson provided a statement claiming the “group in question is not an innocent one focusing on education and charity activities as they prefer to disguise themselves, but rather a terrorist organization which attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Turkey with a terrorist coup attempt that cost the lives of 249 innocent Turkish citizens and injured over 2000 people.”

“In that regard, the group should be called with its proper name: ‘Fethullah Terrorist Organization – FETO’ and not as the ‘Hizmet movement.’”

In addition to the “terrorism” tag, the Turkish government describes “FETO” as a “cult-like movement” founded upon a “deeply troubling” ideology that masquerades as a pacifist Islamic doctrine, but cautions that those who have studied his “original” teachings warn of the “anti-secular, anti-Western” sentiment.

The embassy vehemently denied any accusations of surveillance.

“Neither the Turkish government nor Turkish citizens have been involved in spying activities against any individual living abroad,” the spokesperson said. “This is yet another example of the smear campaign initiated by the members of FETO. All allegations mentioned in your query therefore are totally false and groundless.”

But some strongly beg to differ.

Abdullah Bozkurt, President of the Stockholm Center for Freedom – an advocacy organization created by a group of Turkish journalists who live in self-exile in Sweden – cautioned the family members and associates who remain in Turkey end up paying the price for surveillance abroad.

“The profiling and unlawful intelligence gathering in diaspora put not only Gulen people but all other critics, opponents and dissidents at risk of imprisonment if they are to return to Turkey, confiscation of their assets, jailing of their relatives with guilt by association,” Bozkurt alleged.

Earlier this month, the Stockholm Freedom Center accused the Erdogan-led government of intensifying its “intimidation tactics” and “refugee espionage” targeting alleged members of the Gulen movement abroad,” after the state-run newspaper Anadolu news agency published information about members using an Episcopalian church in New Jersey for their Ramadan prayer given the mosque concerns.

“Having to use a space provided by a church is not unique, but it is rare,” another member of the movement in the U.S. said. “There are many examples of relatives of supporters being targeted. This is not just a fear, it is a reality.”

Some experts argue the Turkish government’s concerns over the Gulen movement simply make sense.

“Because the government believes that the Gulenist movement was behind the coup attempt, it is understandable that Turks will take a hostile view of its members while being suspicious of their motives,” noted Barak Barfi, Middle East expert and Research Fellow at the New America Foundation. “Turks living abroad, like most expatriates, are largely loyal to the state and willingto do its bidding.”

The Diyanet and Diyanet America did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this story.

Concerns about Diyanet activities are even more widespread in Europe, where several countries have investigated the mosques and their activities.

“Germany, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden have carried out investigations of Turkish imams, appointed and paid by the Diyanet, for spying on behalf of Turkish intelligence against Turkish citizens living in their countries, who are considered enemies of Erdogan,” said Ahmet Yayla, Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Austrian officials recently announced they would shutter seven mosques and remove up to 60 imams funded by foreign countries, a violation of a controversial 2015 Austrian law aimed at tackling “Islamist radicalism.” A series of controversial images involving children from inside the mosques sparked controversy in Austia, sparking debate over what was going on behind closed doors.

“It has been known now for some time that many of the imams who are running these mosques in Austria have been promoting Islamic radicalism,” said Alon Ben-Meir, professor and senior fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute. “They are considered servants of the Turkish government.”

And in March of last year, Austrian lawmaker – the now ousted Greens politician Peter Pilz – alleged the Turkish “intelligence network” – which was already under investigation by German, Austrian and Swiss authorities – was far broader than just those three European countries.

Pilz released documents, purported to be on both Diyanet and prime minister’s office letterhead, seeking information on Gulen followers. One such letter, dated September 20, 2016 and viewed by Fox News, was allegedly sent to 38 Turkish embassies in various countries, and signed by Halife Keskin, acting-director general of the Diyanet’s external affairs department.

The letter asked imams deployed abroad to send “detailed reports” about the Gulen movement – its members, their schools, connections to NGOS, associations, cultural activities, human resources and any other relevant tidbits of information.

Around the same time as the release of documents, an official in Turkey’s Vienna embassy, Fatih Karadas, told Austrian newspaper Kurier it was their “religious duty to conduct investigations into whether Turkish-origin citizens were influenced and misused or radicalized by Gulen” - while denying that constituted spying.

Turkish officials called Pilz’s accusations “completely false.”

A few months earlier, in late 2016, Turkey recalled its religious affairs attaché of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands – Yusuf Acar – after he received a “deportation warning” and was accused of collecting intelligence on the Gulen movement. The Diyanet staunchly denied charges it was illicitly gathering intelligence.

Around the same time, authorities in Brussels, Belgium also stated several mosques had received requests from Turkish authorities to spy and inform on Belgians of Turkish origin suspected of being active Gulen followers.

And in neighboring Germany, Green politician Volker Beck filed a criminal complaint in December 2016 against the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), Germany's largest Islamic group, with over 900 mosques tied to the Turkish government's Diyanet, over concerns that data was being collected illegally.

The deputy chairman of the German Chancellor’s Christian Democratic party, Armin Laschet, promptly called for the expulsion of all imams associated with the DITIB. A spokesperson for Laschet told Fox News they learned in December, 2016 that “various consulate generals of the Republic of Turkey were collecting information from imams of the Islamic governing body DITIB, among others, about alleged supporters of the Gulen movement living in Germany and sending this information to Turkey at the orders of the Turkish religious authority Diyanet in Ankara.”

German police went on to raid the homes of four imams connected with the DITIB last February. The raids were part of a wider investigation into illegal espionage on supporters of Gulen. No arrests were immediately made.

The investigation closed in December 2017. Volker Beck, German lawmaker and religious spokesperson for the Green Party who filed the initial complaint, told Fox News that no charges were brought forward because “all suspects fled the country.”

Erdogan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and accused the country of adopting “Nazi practices.”

Yet more issues are being raised. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland recently issued national arrest warrants for two Turkish diplomats accused of abducting a Swiss businessman in Turkey suspected of having ties with the Gulen movement. The men were reported to have been working at the Turkish embassy in Bern – one as press attaché and another as second embassy secretary – at the time of the incident, which occurred around one month after the coup effort.

Criminal proceedings have reportedly been in progress against the men since March 2017, after the Federal Department of Justice and Police authorized the OAG to take respective legal action.

A representative for the OAG in Switzerland told Fox News the two suspects “do not and did not enjoy diplomatic immunity.” Turkish officials have denied the allegations.

Despite the heavy criticism of Erdogan’s authoritarian rule, supporters note he has an upside in a region ripped apart by chaos and terrorism.

“His government is a stable island in a regional sea of chaos where no less than five states face an al-Qaeda/ISIS threat. Washington has long proved willing to tolerate authoritarian leaders if they can bottle up the jihadist threat,” Barfi said.

Meanwhile, Ottoman-style mosques continue to sprout – and not just in Europe and the U.S. Even Cuba – where only 0.1 percent of the population is Muslim – received its first ever mosque, with another on the way, courtesy of Turkey.

Full report at:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/07/17/critics-say-turkish-government-using-us-mosques-to-play-politics-spy-on-foes.html

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Hajj main factor of unity in World of Islam: Iran official

'Today, the World of Islam is in a sensitive and dangerous condition,' Hojjatoleslam Ali Qazi Asgar, Supreme Leader's representative in Hajj and Pilgrimage Affairs, said in a ceremony held at Imam Khomeini Airport to see off the first group of Iranian pilgrims.

On Wednesday morning, the first group of the Iranian pilgrims departed for Medina, western Saudi city, for annual Hajj rituals.

At the ceremony, Qazi Asgar said that the political disputes between Iran and Saudi Arabia should not be depicted in Mecca and Medina as the World of Islam is in a sensitive situation these days.

Pilgrims should be vigilant and not be trapped into plots, the official noted.

He further said that about 86,000 Iranian pilgrims will perform major Hajj rituals this year.

About the first Iranian group who left for Saudi Arabia this morning, the official said they were 270 pilgrims.

About 500 Iranian pilgrims were killed during a stampede in 2015 Hajj annual congregation when, according to reports, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the 'Stoning of the Devil' ritual at Jamarat.

Full report at:

http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82974309

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Iran Welcomes Muslim Figures’ Call for Cessation of War in Yemen

July 17, 2018

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has hailed a statement by a number of respectable political figures in Muslim countries to stop the ongoing war in Yemen for three months.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, from the beginning of this devastating war, called for an immediate end to the conflict and proposed a four-point solution to the crisis, Qassemi noted in a Tuesday statement.

He referred to the statement by a group of respectable figures of the Muslim world to stop the war in Yemen, and stressed that Iran would always support any plan or proposal that could help end this war through dialogue and political solution.

The spokesman also hailed these political figures for feeling responsible in this regard and expressed the country’s readiness for any assistance in implementing this proposal.

Qassemi also called on the international community, especially all Muslim governments, to increase their efforts to stop this devastating war.

He finally referred to the four-point plan proposed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to end the Yemen crisis, and said, “As stated in the proposal, the immediate ceasefire, dispatch of humanitarian assistance, initiation of political dialogue between all Yemeni parties and formation of a national inclusive government, are key components of achieving lasting peace in Yemen.

The Saudi attack on Yemen was launched in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Yemen has announced that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured during the past three years.

Full report at:

http://ifpnews.com/exclusive/iran-welcomes-muslim-figures-call-for-cessation-of-war-in-yemen/

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Southeast Asia

 

Bahrun's death has affected recruitment of IS militants in Malaysia

July 18, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The death of Indonesian militant Bahrun Naim has affected the recruitment of Islamic State (IS) terrorist militants in Malaysia as well as the region.

Federal police Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division (E8) principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said Bahrun, a bomb expert, often shared information on the making of improvised explosive device with his followers.

“He gave instructions to militants in the country to launch attacks at several non-Muslim houses of worship and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

“Police managed to foil the planned attack after 26 individuals were arrested in 2017,” he said when met at the 2018 Topcom conference organised by the Health Ministry at UiTM Selayang today.

Ayob said after the death of Bahrun, three of his senior followers, Akel Zainal, Rafi Udin and Zahar Abdullah, were still in Syria.

“Three of them may take the opportunity to become the main recruiter after the death of Bahrun. We are monitoring the situation carefully,” he said.

Foreign media reported that Bahrun, 34, was killed in a US military drone attack in Syria.

Bahrun, who was involved in a Jakarta terrorist attack in 2016 that killed four people, was said to have helped in coordinating the attacks from Raqqa, Syria, using Telegram.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/392087/bahruns-death-has-affected-recruitment-militants-malaysia

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Malaysian king calls for unity amid racial tensions

2018/7/17

Malaysia's king on Tuesday has appealed for calm amid growing racial tensions in the Muslim-majority country after an electoral earthquake in May toppled the Malay-dominated coalition that had ruled the country for decades.

In his inaugural address to lawmakers during the new parliament session, King Sultan Muhammad V urged "every citizen to preserve and strengthen" Malaysia's "peace and unity."

Race, language and religion are closely intertwined with politics in Malaysia, where Muslim Malays make up about 60 percent of the 32 million population, followed by large Chinese and Indian minorities.

Malaysia experienced deadly 1969 race riots that still haunt the country.

Tensions have increased since May 9 elections that saw the Barisan Nasional coalition, led by ex-prime minister Najib Razak, defeated for the first time since independence from Britain in 1957.

Najib's own party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) had been the backbone of the coalition and championed the rights of Malays, who have long enjoyed a favoured position in society under an official affirmative action program. Now in opposition, the UNMO claims the government is undermining Malays' privileged status.

Its supporters fear that the government's plans to officially recognize exams taken in Chinese-medium high schools will challenge the status of Malay as the country's official language, and have also accused the government of cutting back spending on the redevelopment of mosques.

Lokman Adam, a UMNO supreme council member who led some 300 party members in a noisy protest near parliament, told AFP that race relations between Malays and other minority races were strained.

"Race relations are a bit tense. Malays are restless. We feel Islam is being treated badly [by the new government]."

"We feel the current government is not able to protect Malay rights, Islam, the Malay language and the Malay rulers."

The protestors, chanting "Long live the king" and "Allahu Akbar" were prevented by police from marching to the parliament building, where the king later made his speech.

Full report at:

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1111241.shtml

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What PAS’ ‘Muslims-only’ call shows?

July 14, 2018

The predictable PAS is at it again, playing the religion and race card. It was reported that PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan had criticised the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government for appointing non-Muslims to the highest positions in government dealing with the law. He said the legal rights of Muslims would be further compromised with the appointment of Richard Malanjum as chief justice.

By sheer coincidence, and not by some grand design, Malanjum was the third non-Muslim to be appointed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Cabinet, after Tommy Thomas who was made attorney-general and Sabah MP Liew Vui Keong, the de facto law minister.

Nasrudin said, “Islam was already topsy-turvy under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government. But now, it is clear that the change promised by PH will lead to a worse, more terrible situation. Is this a situation of Muslims escaping the tiger’s jaws only to be lashed by the crocodile’s tail?”

Sabahans are angry with Nasrudin for making a sweeping statement that Malanjum has a “track record of making judgments that do not side with Islam”. Why should he just side with Islam? Doesn’t Islam teach justice for all? He then rubbed salt into the wound by saying that the chief justice’s appointment would bring disaster to Muslims. Fearmongering is one of the tactics often used by PAS to frighten the uneducated; this is its forte.

Netizens in Sabah slammed PAS for its chauvinistic attitude and for attacking the character of a person who is well regarded by his peers and the legal fraternity. Malanjum came from humble beginnings and was educated at Mara, the bastion of “Malay-only” education institutions. Finally, after 54 years in Malaysia, we have a Kadazandusun chief justice from Sabah. Although Sabahans cheered over that proud moment, the party was spoiled by PAS’ skewed thinking. Malanjum’s proud achievements were dragged through the mud by religious bigots in PAS.

Malanjum is the most senior federal judge on the bench but was bypassed by the BN government for promotion, some suspect for “political reasons”. His appointment is proof that a new Malaysia is in the making under the leadership of the venerable Mahathir. Mahathir is willing to buck the trend, pushing aside petty “Muslims-only” politics and promoting qualified Malaysians irrespective of religion or race, based on merit, while PAS is still languishing in its petty kampung politics. Soon, PAS will be irrelevant, if it isn’t already.

We are not quite sure what Nasrudin meant when he said Islam was “already topsy-turvy under the previous BN government”. Perhaps he meant that Umno was toying around with PAS, blowing hot and cold on Abdul Hadi Awang’s RUU355 private member’s bill.

Perhaps he was talking about people like lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia, who claimed that by reading the autobiography of former Selangor assembly speaker Hannah Yeoh, he could be influenced towards Christianity. Kamarul’s experience was published in PAS’ official organ, Harakah daily.

Perhaps he meant the BN government should defend the dressing-down of the Muslims-only laundry by the Sultan of Johor who found it offensive.

Perhaps he meant the apprehension of Muslim groups over the harbouring of Zakir Naik, who is banned from entering the UK, Canada and Sarawak, and wanted in India.

Nasrudin should explain his statement. If Islam was topsy-turvy during BN’s reign, it was because Najib was pussyfooting with Hadi over RUU355 over the last few years and forgot the meaning of Islam and compassion towards fellow human beings. PAS’ single-minded focus on RUU355 was one of the reasons BN lost the election.

Nasrudin has forgotten that the top leaders since independence have all been Muslims. Is the country better under a Muslim leader? If you look at Najib’s administration and what is now being revealed, can Nasrudin say that Muslim leaders are pious and clean? Can he say that Malaysia is a progressive nation? Is he blind to the corruption that went on in nearly every department?

During Najib’s time, Muslims were harassed and books like a G25 volume with a foreword from former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, launched by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, were banned. Cartoonist Zunar was arrested and Bilqis Hijjas dropping yellow balloons over a Najib function became a crime. Is this the kind of Islamic nation envisaged by Nasrudin? Is Kelantan, which for decades has been ruled by PAS, a model state?

One netizen from Sabah echoed Najib’s speech early this year: Those who are ashamed of being Malaysian should leave the country. Sabahans suggest the same. Perhaps people like Nasrudin would be happier and more comfortable living in tribal countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, where their chauvinistic utterances will be well received.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/07/14/what-pas-muslims-only-call-shows/

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Two MPs back proposed review on child marriage laws

18 July 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Two government and Opposition MPs supported today Minister Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s proposal to review laws that allow child marriage.

Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said for years, Malaysia has seen such cases and Muslims should not be abusing religion to allow child marriages.

“I wish to support the minister’s comment with regard to child and under-aged marriages. We have seen such cases for years and there were differences in opinion with regard to marriages involving under-aged and children,” Nancy told Malay Mail.

“The Quran has been used as a reference by the parties involved. We do not want opportunists to abuse religion as a reason for such marriages to be allowed. Hence, stricter rules and procedures are needed to tackle this matter.

“I would support the minister should he decide to bring in all stakeholders to discuss this matter once and for all. Children should be given the opportunity to experience the normal life of a child.

“Anyone who sexually abuses children or marries them for reasons that the law forbids, should be punished heavily,” added the Umno lawmaker.

In her role as a mother, Nancy urged Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in her capacity as women, family and community development minister to bring reforms on child marriages.

It was reported that Mujahid had condemned child marriages and wanted to review the law where Muslim parents can give their consent for girls under the age of 16, while non-Muslims can obtain the permission of their respective state’s mentri besar.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil also said he fully supported Mujahid’s proposal, adding that the minimum marriageable age should be increased to 18.

“Personally, I think we should raise the marriage age to 18. Just like we should lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

“Eighteen is a good age, a good number. For me, 18 is the age legally speaking that you can be tried as an adult, die for your country, join the police, drive a car, start work. There are so many things that you can do at 18. I think we should keep marriages at the minimum age of 18.

“(Kids should) get through school first. I am in support of his proposal,” the PKR MP said.

However, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said reminded Mujahid that any amendments to Muslim marriage laws must first obtain consensus from state governments.

“It’s a bit hard for me to comment on whether I support it or not because I need to take a look at the amendments he wants to propose because he needs to refer to the state governments as Islamic marriage is under Islamic law. That’s under the purview of the state government.

“This means, there must be endorsements and consent from state governments concerning Muslims. That’s for Islamic law. For non-Muslims, they (the Pakatan Harapan federal government) can bring it here and debate it,” said the former de facto law minister.

In a press statement dated July 4, Azalina said she wanted the government to review and amend the law ensuring children will be protected according to international standards.

She also plans to propose to the Lower House that a Special Committee on Children be established at the Parliamentary level.

Her Umno colleague, Lenggong MP Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, said the amendment must follow Islamic religious laws on marriage in order to have his support and he was interested in taking a look at the amendments that the new government will propose.

“We need to look at Islamic religious law first before we make any amendment to Islamic law. If it goes against our current law and Islamic religious law, I will oppose it. If there are weaknesses in the law, we can find ways to rectify it.

“We can discuss the issue so it will not go against Islamic religious law. I want to see the amendments that they propose first before I decide whether to support it or not,” said Shamsul Anuar.

Primary Industries Deputy Minister Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said the law must be made very clear so it will not be politicised.

“We need to wait to see the amendment that the minister in Prime Minister’s Department will make. And for the benefit of all, the law must be made even clearer so it can be used as a guideline by all Muslims.

Full report at:

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1653613/two-mps-back-proposed-review-on-child-marriage-laws

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PAS veep: Don’t be influenced by LGBT culture

18 July 2018

KOTA BARU, July 18 — PAS has reminded Muslims not to be influenced by the culture of a few group of Westerners who adopt the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyle.

Its vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, who is also Kelantan deputy mentri besar, said Muslims should stick to the religious teachings as the LGBT lifestyle is queer and out of the norm.

“That is why Allah destroyed these people especially the worst of them during the time of Prophet Lut where Allah had capsized or turned the city upside down so that their bodies could not be found. This shows committing sodomy is a horrible sin and this has also been mentioned in the Bible.

“We do not hate this group of people but we do sympathise with them and we want to guide them to the right path,” he told reporters after the State Executive Council meeting at the Kota Darul Naim Complex here, today.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mujahid Yusuf Rawa was reported as saying Malaysians, including LGBT groups should not be discriminated against at the workplace.

This was following the resignation of Numan Afifi as special officer to Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman earlier this month, after receiving criticisms from several quarters who claimed as a LGBT activist he should not be appointed as a staff of the ministry.

Elaborating Mohd Amar said Islam does not discriminate against anyone but moral qualities and virtues have been prescribed in Islamic religious teachings.

“Indeed, we do not discriminate in terms of rights but there are certain practices which have been forbidden in Islam and adopting the LGBT culture is not permissible.

Full report at:

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1653586/pas-veep-dont-be-influenced-by-lgbt-culture

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Kelantan local authority to ding food outlets for exposed ‘aurat’

18 July 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — The Kota Baru Islamic City Municipal Council will now include observation of Islamic dress codes when evaluating food outlets under its purview.

According to The Star newspaper today, the local authority said any failure by management and staff to cover their “aurat” or body parts considered intimate in Islam would prevent the outlets from receiving the highest “A” grade.

This was on top of standard criteria such as hygienic food preparations and handling as well as cleanliness of the premise.

“To score Grade A, the eateries must fulfill the main conditions which includes the dress code,” council president Ahmad Robert Abdul Rahman during a joint operation with district health office to check cleanliness of food premises here on Monday.

Ahmad Robert said the council was working on grading 3,018 licensed food outlets in the city.

Full report at:

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1653413/kelantan-local-authority-to-ding-food-outlets-for-exposed-aurat

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Arab World

 

Iraqi security denies reports on burning mosque, west of Nineveh

by  Nehal Mostafa

Jul 17, 2018

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) The Nineveh Operations Command has denied news circulated by media channels over assaulting a mosque in Tal Afar town, west of Nineveh, describing this as an attempt “to ignite the sectarian strife” among Iraqis.

In a press release on Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Najm al-Jabouri, the commander, said “I absolutely deny any attack on any mosque in Tal Afar,” adding that news by media channels as untrue.

Jabouri described this as “an attempt to ignite sectarian strife after they [terrorists] were in despair and did not find a way to break the unity of Iraqis in general and people of Nineveh specifically.”

Earlier today, Cap. Amir Wathiq, of Nineveh Police, told BasNews that two mosques were burnt in Tal Afar.

“Unidentified militants set Ahl-ul Bayt mosque in al-Nedaa district and al-Talee’a mosque on fire, after looting their contents,” he added.

According to BasNews, militants set the biggest mosque in Tal Afar on fire last week.

Thousands of Islamic State militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016.

The group still has dormant cells, through which it carries out attacks, across Iraq like it used to do before 2014.

https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/iraqi-security-denies-reports-on-burning-mosque-west-of-nineveh/

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Muslim World League joins Moroccan league in fight against extremism

Jul 18, 2018

JEDDAH: The Muslim World League (MWL) has joined Morocco’s Mohammadian League of Scholars in a joint program to encourage enlightened Islamic speech and combat extremism.

A research and data sharing agreement between the two organizations was signed during a visit by Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, MWL secretary-general, to the league headquarters in Rabat, where he met with Ahmed Al-Abadi, the organization’s leader.

Along with information sharing, the agreement includes joint scientific research and publishing initiatives, and invitations to take part in conferences, panel discussions, cultural programs, and joint training programs and workshops.

A committee from both organizations will decide on an annual executive program to identify joint projects.

The agreement follows an international conference hosted by MWL with the Mohammadian League of Scholars under the theme “Deconstruction of Extremist Discourse.”

Leading thinkers and researchers from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria took part in the two-day conference early this month in Rabat.

The conference discussed interventions on deconstructing the extremist discourse, the intellectual ideas of extremists and their rebuttal, sectarian extremism and strategies to prevent the spread of extremism.

Earlier, Al-Issa said that cultural communication generates understanding among nations … and this leads to the alliance of civilizations.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1340776/saudi-arabia

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Tribes in Northern Syria to Hand over Manbij to Syrian Army

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tribal elites in Northern Syria have started practical measures to hand over Manbij region to the Syrian Army as the US and Turkish military forces increased their meddling in the region.

The Arabic-language al-Ahad news website reported that elites from different tribes in Manbij city are trying hard to persuade the Damascus government to enter Manbij.

It further said that Manbij civilians, meantime, are enraged by the occupiers' brutalities and presence in their region.

Media sources affiliated to the dissidents in Syria reported on Thursday that representatives of the Syrian government and a number of officials of the Manbij military council held a meeting on the future of the town.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000489

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Bodies of Over 1,200 US Airstrikes' Victims Unearthed from Mass Graves in Raqqa

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- A sum of 1,236 bodies of the victims killed by US-led coalition air raids and Washington-backed militias have been discovered from mass graves in Raqqa city in Northeastern Syria, a media outlet reported on Wednesday.

The Arabic-language al-Watan news website reported that a sum of 1,236 bodies of civilians that have been killed in the US air raids and in attacks by Washington-backed militias have been unearthed from mass graves in Panorama, al-Rashid Sports Stadium and the Zoo in Raqqa city.

It further said that unearthing of bodies is still underway in the Zoo and Panorama, adding that most of the bodies discovered so far have been killed in the US air raids and attacks by the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Well-informed sources in Raqqa were quoted by the Arabic-language al-Manar news channel as saying earlier this month that a mass-grave was discovered near al-Forat sport club which contained a large number of bodies of the civilians killed in the US airstrikes when Raqqa was under ISIL control.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000451

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DM: Iranian Armed Forces Ready to Give Crushing Response to Aggressors

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami underlined that the country's Armed Forces are prepared to punish any enemy who dares to pose threat and aggression against Iran.

"The Armed Forces are fully ready to give a crushing response to any ill-wisher aggressor given their abundant capacities and operational capabilities, proper strategies and modern and advanced equipment," General Hatami said, addressing a ceremony in the Western city of Dorud on Wednesday.

He also said that Iran stands among the top world states in the field of defense industries, adding that the country's home-made weapons and military equipment are produced according to needs and Iran's geographical conditions.

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Khatam ol-Anbia Centcom Chief Major General Gholam Ali Rashid said the Iranian Armed Forces were fully prepared to give a crushing response to any threat and aggression.

"The Iranian Armed Forces and honorable nation are vigilant and prepared, more than the past, to protect and defend Iran's territories against any threat of the terrorist and Takfiri groups as well as the mischiefs of the ominous regional coalition," General Rashid said, addressing the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force commanders in Tehran.

"We will not let any threat at any level go unanswered and there will certainly be a firm and crushing response" to any threat or hostile action, he added.

Also, last month, Commander of the Iranian Army's Khatam ol-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi-Fard underlined that his forces would not allow the enemies to interfere and implement their aggressive plots in the country.

"The Air Defense Base forces will not compromise the (Islamic) Revolution's causes to the last drop of their blood," General Sabahi-Fard told reporters in Tehran.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000429

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Envoy: China to Continue Cooperation with Iran despite US Sanctions

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Pang Sen underlined that his country is determined to continue cooperation with Iran despite the US pressures and sanctions.

"These sanctions can complicate relations somehow but we will continue our cooperation with Iran despite all these problems," Pang said on Wednesday.

He also underscored Beijing's commitment to its undertakings based on the 2015 nuclear deal, and said, "We expect the European members (signatories) of the nuclear deal to remain committed to their undertakings based on the deal as the EU has declared."

"China is interested in keeping the nuclear deal," Pang said.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran's crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.

After Trump's declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as "unlawful". The statement underlined Iran's prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran's guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.

Two months later, the other five powers party to the nuclear deal have failed to satisfy Iran. President Hassan Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.

"Unfortunately, the EU’s package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union," President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.

President Rouhani pointed to US' unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, "After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business."

The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was “disappointing”.

President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, "Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months’ time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran’s economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions."

The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.

“If the process of the European foreign ministers’ meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe,” Rouhani added.

But the Vienna talks July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran’s continued merits under the deal.

On July 8, the Iranian parliament's research center has readied a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed list of policies and moves to fight off sanctions as Washington sped up attempts to rally international support for intensified pressures on Tehran.

The comprehensive "active anti-sanctions plan" that has been compiled at the parliament research center after long studies and consultations with experts from Iranian research and academic centers, traders and entrepreneurs is now under study by senior Judiciary, Parliament and Government officials for a final editing.

The program that mainly aims to make the country "unsanctionable" has been developed in contrast to the US sanctions program and has reportedly been edited seven times so far, several MPs told FNA.

Information obtained by FNA reveals the program offers a package that also involves social and cultural measures to reinvigorate the country's economy and infrastructure against the US sanctions that come into effect from 90 to 180 days after their re-imposition and seek to wear off Iran's economy step-by-step.

The plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.

The plan to make Iran sanction-proof includes detailed measures in two 90-120 days and 180-210 days periods in various areas of monetary, banking and currency sector, liquidity management and deterring middlemen disruption and negative interference, optimized forex reserves management, facilitated money transfer in the international market, reduction of intermediary currency role, strategic commodities, budget resources and use, energy, business, trade, structures, culture, society, media and legal affairs.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000351

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ICJ Confirms Iran's Filing Lawsuit against US for Renewing Sanctions

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague confirmed that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States over its re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran.

The International Court of Justice's Tuesday confirmation came one day after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that his country has lodged a complaint at the ICJ.

Following the ICJ's announcement, a State Department official claimed that the lawsuit was meritless and that Washington would attempt to counter it in court.

"While we cannot comment on the specifics, Iran's application is baseless and we intend to vigorously defend the United States before the ICJ," said a US Department of State Spokesperson on condition of anonymity.

On Monday, Zarif tweeted that his country had lodged a complaint with the ICJ over the United States' "unlawful" move to re-impose "unilateral" sanctions against Tehran.

He stressed that "Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations", adding that it is imperative to counter Washington's habit of violating the international laws.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran's crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.

After Trump's declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as "unlawful". The statement underlined Iran's prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran's guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.

Two months later, the other five-power party to the nuclear deal has failed to satisfy Iran. President Hassan Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.

"Unfortunately, the EU’s package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union," President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.

President Rouhani pointed to US' unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, "After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business."

The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was “disappointing”.

President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, "Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months’ time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran’s economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions."

The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.

“If the process of the European foreign ministers’ meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe,” Rouhani added.

But the Vienna talks July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran’s continued merits under the deal.

On July 8, the Iranian parliament's research center has readied a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed list of policies and moves to fight off sanctions as Washington sped up attempts to rally international support for intensified pressures on Tehran.

The comprehensive "active anti-sanctions plan" that has been compiled at the parliament research center after long studies and consultations with experts from Iranian research and academic centers, traders and entrepreneurs is now under study by senior Judiciary, Parliament and Government officials for a final editing.

The program that mainly aims to make the country "unsanctionable" has been developed in contrast to the US sanctions program and has reportedly been edited seven times so far, several MPs told FNA.

Information obtained by FNA reveals the program offers a package that also involves social and cultural measures to reinvigorate the country's economy and infrastructure against the US sanctions that come into effect from 90 to 180 days after their re-imposition and seek to wear off Iran's economy step-by-step.

The plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.

The plan to make Iran sanction-proof includes detailed measures in two 90-120 days and 180-210 days periods in various areas of monetary, banking and currency sector, liquidity management and deterring middlemen disruption and negative interference, optimized forex reserves management, facilitated money transfer in the international market, reduction of intermediary currency role, strategic commodities, budget resources and use, energy, business, trade, structures, culture, society, media and legal affairs.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000525

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AEOI Spokesman: Iran to Increase Enrichment If JCPOA Collapses

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi underlined that his country will definitely increase its uranium enrichment to higher levels if the European states fail to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We have of course adopted some measures in order to prepare the ground for eventually increasing the level of enrichment if it is needed and if the negotiations with the Europeans fail," Kamalvandi said on Tuesday.

"We are of course continuing to carry out and implement our obligations based on the JCPOA," he added.

Kamalvandi reiterated that the AEOI is prepared to face any scenario in the nuclear deal.

Kamalvandi's remarks came after EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini announced that the European countries have activated a blocking statute that prohibits companies from complying with US sanctions on Iran.

"Today, the European Council has endorsed the update of the blocking statute annex on the nuclear deal with Iran," Mogherini told reporters in Brussels at a meeting with the EU foreign ministers on Tuesday.

A blocking statute is a law enacted in 1996 to protect European entities "against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a third country."

On Sunday, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said that European signatories to the nuclear deal with Iran must provide Tehran with necessary guarantees about the continued implementation of the deal.

Ayatollah Khamenei noted that drawing up a “stable economic roadmap” was needed to solve the country’s economic problems, emphasizing that solution of those problems must not be made conditional on the continuation of the JCPOA.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran's crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.

After Trump's declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as "unlawful". The statement underlined Iran's prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran's guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.

Two months later, the other five-power party to the nuclear deal have failed to satisfy Iran. President Hassan Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.

"Unfortunately, the EU’s package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union," President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.

President Rouhani pointed to US' unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, "After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business."

The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was “disappointing”.

President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, "Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months’ time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran’s economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions."

The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.

“If the process of the European foreign ministers’ meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe,” Rouhani added.

But the Vienna talks July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran’s continued merits under the deal.

On July 8, the Iranian parliament's research center has readied a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed list of policies and moves to fight off sanctions as Washington sped up attempts to rally international support for intensified pressures on Tehran.

The comprehensive "active anti-sanctions plan" that has been compiled at the parliament research center after long studies and consultations with experts from Iranian research and academic centers, traders and entrepreneurs is now under study by senior Judiciary, Parliament and Government officials for a final editing.

The program that mainly aims to make the country "unsanctionable" has been developed in contrast to the US sanctions program and has reportedly been edited seven times so far, several MPs told FNA.

Information obtained by FNA reveals the program offers a package that also involves social and cultural measures to reinvigorate the country's economy and infrastructure against the US sanctions that come into effect from 90 to 180 days after their re-imposition and seek to wear off Iran's economy step-by-step.

The plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.

The plan to make Iran sanction-proof includes detailed measures in two 90-120 days and 180-210 days periods in various areas of monetary, banking and currency sector, liquidity management and deterring middlemen disruption and negative interference, optimized forex reserves management, facilitated money transfer in the international market, reduction of intermediary currency role, strategic commodities, budget resources and use, energy, business, trade, structures, culture, society, media and legal affairs.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000486

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Spokesman: Iran Welcomes Proposal to Stop war in Yemen

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi voiced his country's support for statements by a number of political figures of the Muslim states to bring to halt the war in Yemen for a period of three months.

"Iran has from the very beginning of the devastating war called for immediate cessation of hostility and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif presented a four-item solution to end war," Qassemi said.

Qassemi's remarks came after a number of political figures in Muslim countries called for a three-month cessation of war in Yemen.

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman reiterated that Tehran will always support any proposal to pave the way for putting an end to the war through dialogue and diplomatic solution.

Qassemi appreciated sense of responsibility of the political figures, and said, "Iran is ready for any assistance to fulfill the proposal."

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, meantime, called on the international community, the Islamic states in particular, to step up efforts to stop the devastating war.

The plan proposed by Iran to put an end to war in Yemen includes abandoning hostility, establishing immediate ceasefire, dispatching humanitarian aid and starting political talks between the Yemeni parties as well as establishment of inclusive government in order to achieve sustainable peace in Yemen.

In relevant remarks earlier in July, Ian's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshrou called on the UN and the international community to stop massacre of children by the Israeli and Saudi regimes in Palestine and Yemen, respectively.

"We call for the accountability for the war crimes against children committed by anyone, everywhere, to be in Palestine, Yemen, Myanmar or elsewhere," Khoshrou said, addressing the United Nations Security Council debate on children and armed conflict.

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations said that adopting a selective approach in such cases is tantamount to betraying the most vulnerable people, children, whom this process is designed to protect.

Also in early July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country is in talks with a number of European states to help efforts to end the plight of the Yemeni people created by the Saudi-led war.

"We had good talks on the regional issues and the problems in Yemen and the pressures exerted on the Yemeni people as well as the humanitarian acts that all countries should do, including cooperation between Iran and the European states," President Rouhani said in a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna.

"Today, we are in talks with four European states on Yemen and we are interested in easing pressures on the Yemeni people and its way is through ending assistance to Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia should feel that it faces no way but peace," he added.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000439

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Kurdish Sources: Damascus to Regain Control over Afrin Soon

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey and Russia have agreed on handing over control of Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo to the Damascus government, Kurdish sources disclosed on Wednesday.

Al-Ahad news website quoted well-informed Kurdish sources as disclosing that negotiations over the fate of the Kurdish-held region in Northwestern Syria are underway between the Turkish, American and Russian delegations.

Al-Ahad further said that Afrin region will go again under the Damascus government's reign under an agreement between Russia and Turkey.

It went on to say that the Turkish army is to set up several monitoring checkpoints in Syria 15 km away from the Syria-Turkey borderline, adding that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces will also leave the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River to be replaced by government troops.

The news website further said that the Syrian government flags will be hoisted in regions on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River and the local administration will come in charge again.

Media sources affiliated to the dissidents in Syria reported last week that representatives of the Syrian government and a number of officials of the Manbij military council, affiliated to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),  held a meeting on the future of the town.

They added that the two sides conferred on the process to deliver control of a security region in Manbij as well as al-Shahba (Tishrin) dam South-East of the town to the Syrian army forces, noting that it could pave the ground for the army's full control over Manbij.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000176

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Top Intel Official Leaving National Security Council

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- A top intelligence official at the National Security Council (NSC) is reportedly leaving the White House, according to a report.

Michael Barry, senior NSC director for intelligence programs, is leaving the council as part of national security adviser John Bolton’s major staffing overhaul, two government officials told the Daily Beast.

One source quoted in the report Tuesday said that Barry is leaving on “very good terms”, but that his departure will be a “tough loss”. Barry is reportedly returning to the CIA, where he served before joining the NSC.

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser H.R. McMaster hired Barry to replace Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who reportedly butted heads with other officials before being fired in August, according to the Daily Beast.

Several officials have left the NSC since Bolton was appointed in April. He has said that he wants to reshape the council, but it is unclear what his desired structure is. Most recently, a senior director in the NSC was reportedly pushed out of the council for clashing with White House aide Stephen Miller.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000534

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India

 

Nida Khan Remains Defiant After Fatwa Ousts Her from Islam, Says It's Illegal

dna Correspondent

 Jul 18, 2018,

Unfazed by her expulsion from Islam for taking up cases of triple talaq and Halala victims, Nida Khan on Tuesday said that her fight against the social evils in Muslim community and indiscrimination against women will continue.

Darul Ifta, the fatwa factory of Darul Uloom Deoband, had issued a fatwa against her on Sunday, ostracising her from Islam and directing community members to not to keep any touch with her. She will also have to live her life like an outcast till she offers remorse to "sins she has committed" by disobeying and defying Islamic laws, said the fatwa.

The fatwa said that she will not be given a place in the Muslim graveyard and anyone from the community found helping her will also meet the same fate. Nida Khan was married in one of the most revered family of Aala Hazrat Dargah family on February 18, 2015.

Reacting to the fatwa against her, Khan said that those who were trying to gag voices of Muslim women on triple talaq and nikah halala should take shelter in Pakistan which is governed by Islamic laws and allows these social evils. "Who are these ulemas to issue fatwa against me? India is a democratic country and we will continue our fight against triple talaq and halala," challenged Khan.

Khan also demanded action against Ulemas who issue fatwa against women without having any legal rights. "Action should be initiated against such Ulemas who are making a mockery of the Indian Constitution to exploit Muslim women to deny them equal rights," demanded Khan.

Khan also asserted that the Supreme Court had banned fatwa in 2005. "No Ulema has any right to oust any Muslim from Islam. They are misinterpreting Sharia and Islamic laws to deny basic rights to Musim women," she charged. Incidentally, a fatwa was also issued against Farhat Naqvi, sister of Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Founder of Mera Haq NGO. However, it was later withdrawn as Naqvi belongs to the Shiite Muslim community and the fatwa would not have been applicable on her.

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-nida-khan-remains-defiant-aftre-fatwa-ousts-her-from-islam-says-it-s-illegal-2638497

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Congress attacks BJP, spares Urdu daily which published 'Muslim party' report

Kumar Shakti Shekhar

July 18, 2018

espite being aggressively attacked by the BJP over Congress president Rahul Gandhi's alleged remark that his is a "Muslim party", the principal opposition party is unlikely to issue any denial to the Urdu daily which had published the news report.

According to sources in the Congress, the party has decided not to issue any rejoinders to the media organisation which published the controversial report.

Rahul Gandhi had reportedly told a meeting of Muslim intellectuals last week that the "Congress is a party for the Muslims". A news report attributing this statement to Rahul Gandhi was published in Urdu newspaper Inquilab.

Even though the Congress is on the back foot and the BJP has got a handle to attack it over the report, the party has thought that it would be better to just deny the report than issuing any formal rebuttal to the news item to the media organisation.

The thought at the moment in the party is that it will brave the attack but would not take on the Urdu daily.

The Congress will neither issue rejoinder to the Urdu daily nor file any defamation suit against it.

This is the reason why the party, even at the cost of embarrassment and perhaps also votes, has been denying the BJP's allegation instead of refuting the newspaper report.

The Congress is seeking to deflect the controversy by blaming the BJP for "misquoting" Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress leaders have been criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and others for attempting to grill the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi.

PM Modi, on a two-day tour of Uttar Pradesh on July 14, quoted newspaper reports as saying that Rahul had called Congress a party of Muslims. The PM said he was not surprised as when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister, he had said that Muslims had the first right over natural resources.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala retorted by stating that PM Modi was lying by using the names of Rahul Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh. He said the PM looked "desperate" sensing defeat in the next polls and was seen spreading the "poison of hatred and division" in the society. He also alleged that PM Modi was blinded by his desire to take revenge on Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress leaders were not as strong in countering Urdu daily Inquilab as they were so in case of the BJP leaders.

Inquilab bureau chief of Mumtaz Alam Rizvi stuck to his report published in the paper. He quoted Congress minorities department chief Nadeem Javed as telling him the inside story of Rahul Gandhi's meeting.

The alleged article in the Urdu daily Inquilab stated that Nadeem Javed agreed that Rahul Gandhi had indeed made the controversial comment.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra shared a news article and tweeted, "In an interview to Inquilab, Congress' Minority Cell president Nadeem Javed has reiterated that Rahul Gandhi was right in saying, 'Yes, we are a party of Muslims'. Javed further says Rahul Gandhi is meeting Muslim league and very soon he will be presiding over a Muslim Convention."

Though Javed did not refute Inquilab bureau chief, he, however, refuted the allegations saying that the BJP was spreading lies. "I have not said what the BJP leaders are tweeting," he said.

Commenting on the whole episode, Randeep Surjewala again held the BJP responsible for it calling the ruling party as the new version of the East India Company. He charged that the BJP was following their "Divide and rule" ideology whereas the Congress party belonged to the people of every religion.

Full report at:

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/congress-attacks-bjp-spares-urdu-daily-which-published-muslim-party-report-1288631-2018-07-18

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Jammu and Kashmir government orders ban on 30 Islamic, Pakistani news channels [Complete list]

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday ordered for an immediate ban on 30 Islamic and Pakistan-based religious and spiritual channels across all cable television networks.

A notification, issued by the Additional District Magistrate, Srinagar to the owner of a private cable television network based in the city, said that the operator has three days to suspend the "banned religious and news channels".

The list of channels also includes controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik's Peace English and Peace Urdu Channels and Pakistani channels such as GEO News, ARY, QTV and Paigam TV.

The notification mentions that the cable operator has been telecasting various channels that have not been permitted by the  Union Telecom Ministry. It further says that the ban is in the larger interest of public and maintenance of peace and tranquility in the state.

"Now, therefore in essence of powers conferred by the section 19 of Cable Television Networks(Regulation) Act, 1995, you are hereby directed to immediately stop telecasting the banned/ non permitted channels within a period of three days, for which a notarized affidavit be furnished to this office, failing which action as contemplating under the Provisions of Cable Television Networks (Regulation)Act, 1995 will be taken against you," the government order stated.

Official sources told the International Business Times, India that the state government has directed all the Deputy Commissioners across various districts of the valley to explain why cable operators were allowed to telecast the banned channels.

The state administration has also banned various social media websites already. A letter believed to have been written by a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Mannan Wani was recently taken down from a news portal.

Full report at:

https://www.ibtimes.co.in/jammu-kashmir-government-orders-ban-30-islamic-pakistani-news-channels-complete-list-775306

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Europe

 

Queen Elizabeth Wore Brooch from Obamas on Day Trump Arrived in UK

Jul 18, 2018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Queen Elizabeth wore a brooch given to her by former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama on the day President Donald Trump landed in the UK, according to multiple reports.

The Obamas gave the vintage brooch to the Queen during a 2011 visit. The 14-karat yellow gold piece of jewelry is also known as the American State Visit brooch, The Hill reported.

The nod to the former presidents has been seen by some as a subtle jab at Trump, who was greeted to his UK visit by hundreds of thousands of protesters.

The Queen met with Trump and first lady Melania Trump on Friday for tea at Windsor Castle. The visit was not without controversy, as Trump was caught on video walking in front of the Queen — not a breach of protocol, but widely seen as a sign of disrespect.

Princes William and Charles reportedly refused to meet with Trump, though the palace denied the reports.

Trump praised the Queen as an “incredible woman” in an interview with British tabloid The Sun ahead of his visit. In the same interview, he railed against UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit, comments that sparked major backlash from British lawmakers.

The Obamas visited the UK multiple times while in office, and are known to be close with both Princes William and Harry and their families. Neither the Trumps nor the Obamas were invited to Prince Harry's recent wedding to American actress Meghan Markle, as the couple decided against having any official political guests in attendance.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970427000561

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Counter protesters to oppose EDL march over Worcester mosque

Jul 18, 2018

COUNTER protesters plan to gather in the city to oppose a far-right rally over the proposed construction of a £3million mosque in Worcester.

76 people have signed up to attend the counter demonstration on Facebook and another 226 have registered an interest in joining them.

The English Defence League (EDL) intends to hold a protest in the city centre over plans to build a new mosque in Stanley Road, Worcester.

West Mercia Police anticipates that both of the demonstrations taking place on Saturday will be peaceful.

Laura Lane, who has organised the counter protest, said: "This should bring people closer together, we are not going to be confrontational at all.

"If you don't stand up to people and ignore things that are going on then hate continues to grow.

"I want to spread positivity to counter balance the negativity of the EDL and show support for the community."

Ms Lane, who is from Kidderminster but often visits Worcester, said she supports plans to build a bigger mosque in the city.

The 26-year-old student, who studies Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire, plans to hand out copies of a famous poem about Nazi persecution, called 'First they came', to members of the public during the protest.

Superintendent Damian Pettit, police commander for south Worcestershire, said he was aware of discussions about a possible protest in response to the EDL coming to Worcester.

He said: "At this time, we are anticipating peaceful events and would encourage people in Worcester to go about their business as usual on Saturday.

"We are talking to all groups and parties involved, as well as our partner agencies, to ensure a proportionate and appropriate response is in place and to facilitate peaceful events and prevent any crime and disorder.

"We will be monitoring the events and will have sufficient resources in place to respond if any criminal behaviour occurs.”

Worcester Trades Union Council said it was appalled the EDL intended to spread 'politics of hate' on the streets of the city.

Mike Cross, a spokesman for the council, said: "Masquerading as an organisation that opposes extremism, the EDL is in fact the very essence of intolerance and extremism."

Full report at:

http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/regional/16360892.counter-protesters-to-oppose-edl-march-over-worcester-mosque/

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Why Poland's anti-Islamic stance makes perfect sense

Jul 18, 2018

Earlier this month, when Polish lawmaker Dominik Tarczyński was asked how many “refugees” Poland has taken in, he flatly responded: “Zero.” When the British interviewer, whose nation has taken in millions of Muslim migrants, scoffed, “And you’re proud of that?” he said: “We will not receive even one Muslim, because this is what we promised. … This is why our government was elected; this is why Poland is so safe; this is why we have not had even one terror attack.”

That Polish voters are determined to keep Islam out has been demonstrated time and again, such as late last year when “thousands of Catholics formed a human chain along the borders of Poland … to pray for peace and ‘against the Islamisation of Europe.'”

What accounts for this candidly anti-Islamic response that is so different from Western European responses, which have culminated in the open-armed acceptance of millions of Muslim migrants?

The answer rests in history. Unlike most Western European nations, which, thanks to their geographical proximity, have for centuries been out of the reach of – and thus have forgotten all about – Islam, Eastern Europeans are intimately acquainted with it. Indeed, an event whose anniversary occurred this week sheds much light on the current situation. On July 14, 1683, the largest Islamic army ever to invade European territory – which is saying much considering the thousands of invasions preceding it since the eighth century – came and surrounded Vienna, the heart of the Holy Roman Empire and de facto nemesis of Islam.

Some 200,000 Muslim combatants, under the leadership of the Ottomans – the one state in nearly 14 centuries of Islamic history most dedicated to and founded on the principles of jihad – invaded under the same rationale so-called “radical” groups, such as the Islamic State, cite to justify their jihad on “infidels.” Or, to quote the leader of the Muslim expedition, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa, because Vienna was perceived as the head of the infidel snake, it needed to be laid low so that “all the Christians would obey the Ottomans.”

This was no idle boast; sources describe Mustafa as “fanatically anti-Christian.” After capturing a Polish town in 1674, he ordered all the Christian prisoners to be skinned alive and their stuffed hides sent as trophies to Ottoman Sultan Muhammad IV. Such supremacist hate was standard and on display during the elaborate pre-jihad ceremony presaging the siege of Vienna. Then, the sultan, “desiring him [Mustafa] to fight generously for the Mahometan faith,” to quote a contemporary European, placed “the standard of the Prophet … into his hands for the extirpation of infidels, and the increase of Muslemen.”

Once the massive Muslim army reached and surrounded the walls of Vienna on July 14, Mustafa followed protocol. In 628, his prophet Muhammad had sent an ultimatum to Emperor Heraclius: aslam taslam, “submit [to Islam] and have peace.” Heraclius rejected the summons, jihad was declared against Christendom (as enshrined in Quran 9:29), and in a few decades, two-thirds of the then-Christian world – including Spain, all of North Africa, Egypt and Greater Syria – were conquered.

Now, over a thousand years later, the same ultimatum of submission to Islam or death had reached the heart of Europe. Although the Viennese commander did not bother to respond to the summons, graffiti inside the city – including “Muhammad, you dog, go home!” – seems to capture its mood.

So it would be war. On the next day, Mustafa unleashed all hell against the city’s walls; and for two months, the holed-up and vastly outnumbered Viennese suffered plague, dysentery, starvation and many casualties – including women and children – in the name of jihad.

Then, on Sept. 12, when the city had reached its final extremity and the Muslims were about to burst through, Vienna’s prayers were answered. As an anonymous Englishman explained:

“After a siege of 60 days, accompanied with a thousand difficulties, sicknesses, want of provisions, and great effusion of blood, after a million of cannon and musquet shot, bombs, granadoes, and all sorts of fireworks, which has changed the face of the fairest and most flourishing city in the world, disfigured and ruined [it] … heaven favorably heard the prayers and tears of a cast down and mournful people.”

The formidable king of Poland, John Sobieski, had finally come at the head of 65,000 heavily armored Poles, Austrians and Germans – all hot to avenge the beleaguered city. Arguing that “It is not a city alone that we have to save, but the whole of Christianity, of which the city of Vienna is the bulwark,” Sobieski led a thunderous cavalry charge – history’s largest – against and totally routed the Muslim besiegers. (See “Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West” for a detailed recounting of this pivotal battle.)

Although a spectacular victory, the aftermath was gory: Before fleeing, the Muslims ritually slaughtered some 30,000 Christian captives collected during their march to Vienna – raping the women beforehand. On entering the relieved city, the liberators encountered piles of corpses, sewage and rubble everywhere.

It is this history of Islamic aggression – beginning in the 14th century when Muslims first established a foothold in Eastern Europe (Thrace), and into the 20th century when the Ottoman sultanate finally collapsed – that informs Eastern views on Islam. Whereas Western nations cite lack of integration, economic disparities and grievances to explain away the exponential growth of terrorism, violence and rapes that comes with living alongside large Muslim populations, Eastern nations see only a continuity of hostility.

Full report at:

https://www.wnd.com/2018/07/why-polands-anti-islamic-stance-makes-perfect-sense/

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Meeting with Putin angered many ‘haters’ who wanted to see ‘boxing match’ – Trump

18 Jul, 2018

Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he “got along well” with Vladimir Putin, adding that this fact bothered many “haters” who merely wanted “to see a boxing match.”

Starting the morning with a fresh tweet, Trump gave credit to his press conference following a landmark summit with Putin in Finland.

“So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki,” he said.

https://www.rt.com/usa/433564-trump-putin-no-boxing-match/

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South Asia

 

Upcoming elections a good opportunity for the Taliban, Afghan nation: Ghani

Wed Jul 18 2018

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani once again invited the Taliban group to peace talks as he emphasized that the upcoming elections is a good opportunity for the group and the Afghan nation.

Speaking during a meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board in Kabul, President Ghani said the laws and regulations are modified in other countries to pave the way for the participation of the participation of the opposition groups in the elections.

However, he said there are no such issues in the laws of Afghanistan and it would be better to conclude a peace deal before the elections rather than reaching an agreement after the elections.

In regards to the ongoing efforts for the Afghan-led peace process, President Ghani said a consensus is on the verge of building in the Islamic world for the Afghan reconciliation, international consensus has already been achieved and regional consensus exists up to 70 per cent.

He said an Islamic conference was organized in Saudi Arabia as a similar conference was organized in support of Afghanistan in Brussels.

According to President Ghani, the Imams of Saudi mosques and the Saudi King have delivered remarkable statements in support of peace process in Afghanistan.

He said the perceptions that the international community does not want peace in Afghanistan has proved as false as a consensus exist on international, regional, as well as in Islamic countries in support of the peace initiative of Afghanistan.

https://www.khaama.com/upcoming-elections-a-good-opportunity-for-the-taliban-afghan-nation-ghani-05612/

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Attack by unknown gunmen claims the life of a senior army officer in Kabul

Wed Jul 18 2018

A senior army officer lost his life in an attack by unknown gunmen in Kabul city earlier today, the defense officials confirmed.

The incident took place in the vicinity of the 5th police district of the city in Company area after unknown gunmen opened fire on the senior officer as he was travelling towards his work station.

A source in the ministry of defense confirmed that the army officer, Hamid, who was serving in a military hospital, lost his life in the attack.

In the meantime, the Taliban group claims that the army officer was killed in an attack by the Taliban fighters.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid in a statement claimed that the officer was shot dead by the Taliban fighters in Company area.

This comes as the anti-government armed militants have been attempting to increase their attacks in the key cities of the country, including Kabul during the recent months.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/attack-by-unknown-gunmen-claims-the-life-of-a-senior-army-officer-in-kabul-05615/

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New security commanders appointed for Hamid Karzai airport, Zabul, and Paktia

Wed Jul 18 2018

New security commanders have been appointed for Border Police Forces in Hamid Karzai International Airport as well as the security commandments of Paktia and Zabul provinces.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) informed regarding the new appointments in a statement released on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by MoI, Brigadier General Raz Mohammad Mandozai son of Nik Baduddin has been appointed as the new commander of the security commandment of Paktia province.

The statement further added that Gen. Mandozai was previously serving as the commander of 808th Police Zone Command.

In the meantime, Colonel Mohammad Mustafa Mayar has been appointed as the commander of the security commandment of southern Zabul province.

According to the Ministry of Interior, Colonel Mayar was previously serving as the head of the counter-criminal directorate in 303rd Spin Ghar Zone of the Police.

The statement by MoI also added that the former security commander of Paktia province Syed Gul Aqa Rouhani has been appointed as the commander of the border police forces in Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/new-security-commanders-appointed-for-hamid-karzai-airport-zabul-and-paktia-05614/

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2 Senior ISIS group leaders arrested in Nangarhar province

Wed Jul 18 2018

The Aghan security forces have arrested two senior leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan in a statement said the two senior ISIS leaders were arrested during an operation in Momand Dara district.

The statement further added that shadow district chief of the group for Momand Dara Haji Rohullah, also famous as Khamosh, is among those arrested.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the other senior ISIS leader arrested during the operation has been identified as Hejratullah who was hiring militants for the group.

The anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS loyalists have not commented regarding the report so far.

Nangarhar has been among the relatively calm provinces since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 but the anti-government armed militants have been attempting to expand their foothold in this province during the recent years.

However, the Afghan armed forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations to suppress the militant groups.

Full report at:

https://www.khaama.com/2-senior-isis-group-leaders-arrested-in-nangarhar-province-05611/

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North America

 

Man found guilty of hate crime in burning of Texas mosque

By Madison Park

Tue July 17, 2018

(CNN)A 26-year-old man was convicted of a hate crime on Monday for burning down a mosque in Victoria, Texas, in January 2017.

A federal jury also found Marq Vincent Perez guilty of the use of a fire to commit a felony and possession of an unregistered destructive device in an earlier incident, in addition to the hate crime, according to the Department of Justice.

A witness who had been with Perez on the night of the fire said Perez was excited to see the Victoria Islamic Center in flames, and that he was "jumping up and down like a little kid." Testimony included details about hate-filled messages on Perez's Facebook account, and his use of slurs when referring to Muslims, according to the DOJ.

Perez's lawyer, Mark Di Carlo, said his client intends to appeal the verdict.

"The statements made by the United States Attorneys Office before the trial and after indicate that the case was handled as a political trial and not as a criminal trial," he said in a statement. "These include statements that the trial was about 'diversity' and 'equal protection for Muslims' which were inappropriate."

Di Carlo said that the evidence allowed before the jury had been "very limited" and that Perez's Facebook posts were "often taken out of context."

During his five-day trial, state witnesses testified that Perez had planned and scoped out the mosque in the days before the fire. Authorities also found items taken from the mosque at Perez's home, and an improvised bomb similar to what was used in an attempted car bombing before the fire, according to the DOJ.

Perez faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the hate crime and up to 10 for possessing an unregistered destructive device.

"While we are saddened by this hate-motivated crime against a house of worship, we are relieved that the arm of justice is long and bends toward what is right," said Mustafaa Carroll, the Council of American-Islamic Relations-Houston's executive director, in response to the verdict. "We thank all law enforcement agencies, first responders, the Victoria community, and all those who helped their Muslim neighbors."

The congregation of the Victoria Islamic Center in Texas was devastated by the fire, but the east Texas community swiftly kicked into action.

The leaders of the local Jewish congregation gave them the keys to their synagogue so they could continue to worship. Local churches also offered the congregation a place to worship. A GoFundMe page set up to help raise money for the mosque's reconstruction took in more than $1 million.

More than a year after the fire tore down the mosque, a new structure has been erected with a sign outside the construction fence that reads: "United we stand," a photo posted on Facebook shows.

"All people are entitled to live free from violence and fear, regardless of their religion or place of worship," said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division in a statement. "Perez's actions were criminal, unlawful, and dangerous. This Justice Department is committed to holding hate crimes perpetrators accountable under the law."

CNN's Jamiel Lynch and Doug Criss contributed to this story.

https://us.cnn.com/2018/07/17/us/texas-mosque-fire-hate-crime/index.html

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Richard Dawkins sparks outrage after saying Muslim call to prayer sounds 'aggressive'

SEAN MORRISON

Jul 18, 2018

Richard Dawkins sparked fury after he said the Muslim call to prayer is “aggressive-sounding” in comparison to the ringing of church bells.

The prominent atheist, 77, made the controversial remarks in a Twitter post that included an image of him sitting outside Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.

In the post, he asked his 2.77 million followers if his preference was down to his “cultural upbringing”.

The tweet read: “Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great mediaeval cathedrals.

So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding ‘Allahu Akhbar.’ Or is that just my cultural upbringing?”

The phrase Allahu Akbar means “God is great” in Arabic and is used at the start of the Muslim call to prayer which is broadcast from mosques five times a day.

Among those to hit out at the evolutionary biologist was Fatima Bhutto, the niece of former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, who replied: “No, it’s your bigotry.”

Benjamin Hulett, a Tenor, wrote: “I was a Winchester Cathedral chorister and hold the place in deep affection.

“I am also a musician and traveller of the world and find the muezzin enchanting and profoundly evocative. Probably just your cultural upbringing.”

“I’m genuinely surprised that such a man as you would tweet something as gratuitously vile as that.”

Professor Dawkins set out his view in his 2006 book The God Delusion, saying religions were like “mind viruses”. And in 2013 said that Islam was “the greatest force for evil in the world today”.

Full report at:

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/richard-dawkins-sparks-outrage-after-saying-muslim-call-to-prayer-sounds-aggressive-a3889851.html

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Muslim Group Targeted and Kicked Out of a Delaware Public Pool

by Leanna Chan

Jul 18, 2018

A Muslim group was singled out at a Delaware public pool and asked to leave for wearing cotton shirts, shorts, and hijabs.

Tahsiyn A. Ismaa’eel, who runs Darul Amaanah Academy, an Arabic summer enrichment program, has been taking her elementary schoolers to Wilmington’s Foster Brown public pool for four years.

However, this is the first year that her group was asked to leave the pool due to their attire, according to WGRZ.

The pool manager apparently claimed to Ismaa’eel that “it’s against city policy to wear cotton in public pools.”

However, Ismaa’eel disputed that the rule was never enforced in the past. She also noted, “There are other kids with cotton on… Why are my kids being treated differently?”

After she was confronted about their clothing, a police officer was reportedly waiting for Ismaa’eel and her summer program children and asked her when they were going to leave the pool.

Instead of mentioning the cotton like the pool manager did, the officer said that there were “people waiting to get in and waiting for you to leave.”

“We were approached first about the cotton, and then it became, ‘Oh, the pool is over capacity so you need to leave.’ … I felt very unwanted,” the program director, who wears a hijab and niqab herself, said.

John Rago, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff for policy and communication, said in an email statement that cotton is banned from public pools because “the fact that cotton becomes heavy when wet and weighs swimmers down. Cotton also strains the pool filtration system more than proper swimwear.”

However, Ismaa’eel, who has been going to the pool for quite some time, says that she sees swimmers in cotton T-shirts who have never been harassed like her group.

Full report at:

https://nextshark.com/muslim-swimmers-delaware-public-pool/

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Africa

 

Kenya: Grand Mullah Schooled After Twitter Blooper on SGR

By Mwende Kasujja

Jul 18, 2018

Nigeria's recently launched Abuja Metro Rail System has got Kenyans talking, with many comparing it to the Standard Gauge Railway.

City lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi was among those who made the comparison as he shared photos of the Abuja Metro launch.

He asked tweeps to compare Kenya's SGR to the Abuja Metro writing; "The Nigerian SGR... compare with Kenya's and see how the game was played in Kenya."

The lawyer received some schooling from netizens who told him that the Abuja metro is a light rail system.

The Nigerian SGR... compare with Kenya's and see how the game was played in Kenya... @WehliyeMohamed pic.twitter.com/W2ucSbo0Ij

- Ahmednasir Abdullahi (@ahmednasirlaw) July 16, 2018

Nigeria has an SGR that runs from Abuja to Kaduna that was launched in July 2016.

Here is how Kenyans on Twitter responded to Grand Mullah's blonde moment.

This is their new monorail system... urban transport system. Their SGR was more expensive and they got much worse end of the stick than KE.

-- Jamal (@Gibbo_2010) July 16, 2018

Honorable Counsel this is NOT the SGR, this is the city-based LIGHT RAIL, which our cities are yet to embrace, I believe. There may have been a game, but this is not comparing like for like, for sure.

-- PD (@DatcheMD) July 17, 2018

Does Mr Ahmednassir know the difference between a Metro train service which is essentially a daily commuter train and the SGR which was supposed to ferry heavy goods from port of MSA across the east african countries? its like comparing pears to mangoes and calling them all fruit

-- Abdi Abdi (@Abdi001Abdi) July 16, 2018

That's a metro but still we were short changed I wait until the project is fully audited

-- @ArapChesir (@GKipchoge) July 17, 2018

The overlying message the locals are running it, our biggest mistake was letting the Chinese do the feasibility study,loan us the money,build it & finally run it. Our Tanzanian neighbors opted out of that route & the project's tender was a fair bid which the Turks won.

-- Mojo_Jojo🇰🇪 (@muya_gichigi_ll) July 16, 2018

No Chinese in sight. Not even in the control room. No Chinese signage visible. National pride present.

-- Paulo Ayoo (@thekenyanpaul) July 16, 2018

https://allafrica.com/stories/201807180090.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islamist-groups-hope-to-form-pakistan’s-next-government/d/115869

 

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