New Age Islam
Sat Oct 24 2020, 02:26 AM

Islamic World News ( 6 Feb 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Man Tries To Set Himself Alight In Front Of Kaaba















Here's what the Kaaba looks like from inside, The area, that doesn’t exceed 180 square metres, contains three wooden columns which hold the Kaaba’s ceiling.

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Man Tries To Set Himself Alight In Front Of Kaaba

Morocco’s High Religious Committee in charge of issuing Fatwas Says Apostates Should Not Be Killed

ISIS, Boko Haram Are Recruiting Child Refugees

New Challenge on the Horizon:  Nexus of Daesh-Rohingya-Bangladeshi Terror Outfit

 

Arab World

Man Tries To Set Himself Alight In Front Of Kaaba

ISIL Facing Shortage of Forces in Raqqa, Sending Administrative Staff to Battlefields

Terrorists in Eastern Ghouta Using Civilians as Human Shield

Egypt Army Kills 14 Militants in Central Sinai - Army Spokesman

IS ‘besieged’ in last bastion in Aleppo

ISIS encircled in Syria’s al-Bab after army advance

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince discusses developments with Yemen President

Syrian Army Deploys Forces in Nearest Distance to ISIL-Held Al-Bab Town

Syrian Army Scores More Victories against ISIL near Palmyra

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Europe

Morocco’s High Religious Committee in charge of issuing Fatwas Says Apostates Should Not Be Killed

Hundreds March In Quebec in Tribute to Mosque Shooting Victims

Islam in Europe: German Police Tell Muslim Refugees to Avoid Attending Carnival Celebration

Muslim Brotherhood Expands Presence in Germany, Seeks To Establish Sharia Law – Security Official

Three threats to the US according to diplomat-consultant’s point of view

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Africa

ISIS, Boko Haram Are Recruiting Child Refugees

Nigeria: No Plan to Islamise Nigeria, Says Govt

Sudan Brings Home Baby of ISIS Fighters Slain In Libya

Somali Extremists Announce Public Killings of 4 for Spying

Sudan to Continue Military Support to Saudi Arabia, Denies Backing Islamists

It’s Discontent, Not Religion, That Draws People To Al-Shabaab

Families return to Libya’s ISIL-purged city of Sirte

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South Asia

New Challenge on the Horizon:  Nexus of Daesh-Rohingya-Bangladeshi Terror Outfit

Death Warrant Read Out To Mufti Hannan, Execution Soon

Taliban leader joins peace process in Nangarhar province

Child among 3 killed in Taliban rocket attack in Laghman province

Afghan traders signed gemstones contracts in Indian trade show

Top government official killed in an explosion in West of Afghanistan

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North America

US 'Deeply Troubled' by UN Report of Myanmar Atrocities against Muslims

Trump Renews Pledge to Keep Radical Muslims Out of US

Small US College create refugee scholarship in response to Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban'

Suspected Florida mosque attacker pleads no contest

How Corporate Media Paved the Way for Trump’s Muslim Ban

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India

Rohingya Crisis: Hoardings around Jammu Ask Muslim Ethnic Group to 'Leave or Face Consequences

Zakir Naik’s School to Be Transferred to Minority Trust Soon

Eight from Tamil Nadu, One from Telangana Joined Islamic State in Syria: NIA

Frank Islam to Dedicate $2-Million Management School at Alma Mater AMU

ISI Agent Shamshul Huda, Mastermind Of Kanpur Train Derailment, Arrested In Nepal

‘Pakistan wants India’s nuke programme under IAEA safeguards’

Pak censor board blocks release of Raees as content ‘undermines Islam’

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Mideast

Iran’s Missile Test ‘Not a Message’ To Trump

Israel Legalizes Settler Homes on Private Palestinian Land

Russia says it disagrees with Trump's assessment of Iran as “number one terrorist state”

Turkey detains over 750 in anti-IS raids

Source: US, Yemeni Army to Involve in Intelligence War in South

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Pakistan

New Law to Curb Sectarianism, Protect Minorities Passed

Govt Pleased India by Detaining Hafiz Saeed: Ex-COAS

KP Assembly Terms Ban on Entry of Muslims into US Unjust

Pakistani-Americans give thoughts on executive order

Kuwait Denies Imposing Travel Ban on Pakistan and Other Muslim Countries

Christian, 70, Charged with Blasphemy in Pakistan as 106 Muslims Are Acquitted in 2013 Attack
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Southeast Asia

Indonesia and the Emergence of Foreign Fighters

IS unlikely to grow in SE Asia: academic

Rising religious intolerance in Indonesia caused by discriminatory government regulations: Human Rights Watch

Ahok's Lawyers Report Fourth Blasphemy Trial Witness to Police for Perjury

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/man-tries-to-set-himself-alight-in-front-of-kaaba/d/109989

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Man Tries To Set Himself Alight In Front Of Kaaba

By Reuters Published: February 7, 2017

A man tried to set himself alight with gasoline beside the Kaaba, the black-clad building towards which the world’s Muslims face to pray, inside Makkah’s Grand Mosque late on Monday but was arrested before he could do so, police in Saudi Arabia said.

“His actions suggest that he is mentally ill,” the mosque’s police service said in a statement, adding without elaborating that police would take measures to address the incident. Police said the man was in his 40s.

World’s largest hotel to open in Makkah in 2017

A video clip circulating on social media showed a man being hustled away from the Kaaba by pilgrims and security guards. Reuters was not able to verify the footage.

Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/1319424/man-tries-set-alight-makkah-grand-mosque/

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Morocco’s High Religious Committee in charge of issuing Fatwas Says Apostates Should Not Be Killed

February 6, 2017

The High Religious Committee in charge of issuing Fatwas (Islamic rulings) released a book in 2012 where it articulated its position on apostasy and argued that a Muslim who changes his or her religion should be punished with death, drawing on a widespread jurisprudence tradition.

Recently, however, the same entity issued a document titled “The Way of the Scholars,” in which it backtracked on its position of killing apostates. Instead, it redefined apostasy not as a religious issue but as a political stand more closely aligned with “high treason.”

The view that the apostate should not be killed in Islam is not a new one and can be found in the teachings of Sufyan al-Thawri in the first century AH. The scholar reviewed historical situations where the prophet Mohammed acted on the ruling, as opposed to the times he did not order the killing of the apostates. He concluded that killings occurred for political purposes and were not decisions based on religion. The apostates could, theoretically, disclose the secrets of the then fragile Islamic nation.

The reasons behind  Morocco’s High Religious Committee’s change in position are not different from those advocated by Sufyan al-Thawri. Their newly released statement says:

“The most accurate understanding, and the most consistent with the Islamic legislation and the practical way of the Prophet, peace be upon him, is that the killing of the apostate is meant for the traitor of the group, the one disclosing secrets, […] the equivalent of treason in international law.”

The High Religious Committee presented the Prophet’s statement that “whoever changes his religion, kill him” in the light of his explanation “the one who leaves his religion and abandons his people.” The statement further explains that, at the time of continuous wars against the Islamic revolution in Arabia, apostates represented the threat of disclosing the secrets of new Ummah to its many enemies.

The document  went to explain that during the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Prophet Mohammed himself observed the provisions stating that whomever became a Muslim and renounced it must be allowed to return to Quraich, the Muslim nations’ most powerful enemy at the time. When a Bedouin decided to leave Islam after the Treaty, therefore, the prophet simply let him go.

Using Islam’s primary source of legislation, the High Religious Committee stated that the Quran talks in many instances about apostasy and its punishment in the hereafter, without mentioning any punishment in this life as in Chapter 2 verse 217 that says:  “And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.”

The document also explained that the famous Wars of Apostasy launched by Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, the Muslims world’s first Caliph, were in line with his effort to keep the newly established state together and fight all sorts of internal divisions. This was a decision based on political reasoning rather than by religious motivations.

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2017/02/207505/moroccos-high-religious-committee-says-apostates-should-not-be-killed/

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ISIS, Boko Haram Are Recruiting Child Refugees

Feb 7, 2017

Extremist groups, including Isis and Boko Haram in a desperate attempt to attract new recruits to their ranks are now paying the smugglers’ fees for child refugees.

According to the UK Guardian, a report from counter-extremism think tank Quilliam states that that an estimated 88,300 unaccompanied children – identified by the European Union’s police agency Europol as having gone missing – were at risk of being radicalized.

The report which was published on, Monday, February 6, warns that jihadi groups, including Isis and Boko Haram, have attempted to recruit within refugee camps using financial incentives, as well as working with the people smugglers.

Nikita Malik, a senior researcher at Quilliam, said: “Young asylum seekers are targeted by extremist groups as they are more vulnerable to indoctrination, make able fighters and, in the case of girls, can create a new generation of recruits. This report outlines national and international requirements to reduce the risk of child-trafficking, extremism and modern slavery.”

Malik citing a propaganda material form the extremist groups said from June last year to last month, she 263 instances of such groups attempted to convince refugees to wage jihad against non-believers or join extremists and convert to Islam.

Examining the online material from Isis, the Taliban, al-Qaida, al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria, researchers found the four Islamist groups mentioned refugees every day between 13 June 2016 and 8 January 2017, with the most dominant theme – 53% of all references – relating to calls from fighters and believers urging refugees to wage jihad. Another 32.1% of the gathered data related to “negative grievances”, the grim consequences if they attempted to leave.

According to researchers, ISIS had offered up to $2,000 (£1,600) to recruit within camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Last year, Jordanian special forces reportedly found what they described as an Isis sleeper cell inside a refugee camp near Irbid, north Jordan. Additional reports indicated that Isis had tried to recruit refugees by supplying food previously withheld from camp residents.

It cited the failures in the approach of Europe, particularly the UK, towards protecting child refugees travelling alone as a reason for the child refugee exploitation.

The researchers state that one of the hotspots where the child refugees were particularly vulnerable to recruitment by extremist organisations is the north African coast where Quilliam said Isis fighters have offered £800 to those who join them.

The reports also identified the south Libyan town of Qatrun, as another hotspot where ISIS is believed to have offered £450 smuggler fees to allow refugees to travel north if they joined its ranks.

https://www.naij.com/1086658-isis-boko-haram-recruiting-child-refugees.html

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New Challenge on the Horizon:  Nexus of Daesh-Rohingya-Bangladeshi Terror Outfit

06.02.2017

With the latest input from Bangladesh, it has now dawned upon Indian security agencies that the radicalization of the Rohingya migrants is happening at a faster pace and on a scale much larger than what they had earlier anticipated.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — Bangladeshi authorities have alerted India's security agencies that a splinter group of the Bangladesh-based terror outfit Jamat-ul-Mujahideen — Bangladesh (JMB) has colluded with the Daesh and has been radicalizing Rohingya Muslims who have fled from Myanmar.

The findings came into light during Bangladesh's investigation of the July 2016 terror attack on a Café in Dhaka that claimed the lives of 20 people including Indians, Italians and Americans. Though Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack, investigations suggested that the terror plot was executed with the help of the New JMB that mainly comprised Rohingya migrants.

This is not the first time that Indian intelligence agencies have found links between Daesh and Rohingya refugees. A human trafficking racket busted in Delhi in January this year revealed that fake Indian passports were used to traffic hundreds of Rohingya Muslims to Saudi Arabia to join Daesh.

It is estimated that about 50 JMB modules are operating in India. The network is especially active in West Bengal and parts of Muslim-majority districts in Assam. Intelligence inputs suggest that the JMB has spread its footprints in southern India and Jammu and Kashmir in the north as well.

The principal objective of JMB, formed in 1998 in Banglaesh is to establish an Islamic state in Bangladesh based on Sharia (Islamic canonical law). The terror group executed its first big strike in August 2005 when about 500 bombs went off in 63 of the 64 districts of Bangladesh within half-an-hour. In the ensuing crackdown by the Bangladesh government, many of JMB's leaders and cadres were arrested or killed. It was at this stage that JMB decided to shift some of its operations to India.

Experts warn that New JMB's strategy points towards a deeper collusion among terror outfits of Asia and that it could be a disaster in the making. "It is difficult for JMB to operate in India without the assistance of local militant groups. Some of the known collaborationists are Indian Mujahideen, Al Jihad, Al Ummah and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). In the case of Pakistan, JMB has established a strong network with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul Jihad-al Islami (HuJI). Similarly, they have built linkages with Taliban and al Qaida in Afghanistan.

For its operations in Myanmar, JMB relies on Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) based in Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh.

Going by the latest slogan of JMB — "Jihad from Bangladesh to Baghdad" — the network now includes the ISIS as well. The scope of networking among these terror groups includes training, recruitment, funding, information sharing, arms, operational assistance, manpower and logistics. Funding to JMB has also been traced to NGOs located in West Asia, like the Kuwait-based Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), and even Europe," reads a paper by security analyst Dr. N. Manoharan published by the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses.

Bangladesh has resurrected a plan to relocate thousands of Rohingya migrants to a flooded island in the Bay of Bengal to prevent them from "intermingling" with Bangladeshi citizens. Meanwhile, some reports in the India media suggested that in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir, hoardings have been put up by local political outfits threatening Rohingyas to leave the state immediately or face the consequences, indicating the possibility of a severe law and order problem. Though the Indian establishment has not revealed any stringent plans of containing the multi-faceted challenges the influx of Rohingyas could pose, the slew of recent developments indicate that India would soon have to find a concrete solution to the looming crisis.

There are an estimated 36,000 Rohingya Muslims in India today, concentrated in the seven states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201702061050397993-bangladesh-daesh-rohingya/

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Arab World

 

ISIL Facing Shortage of Forces in Raqqa, Sending Administrative Staff to Battlefields

Feb 06, 2017

The sources said that ISIL has been faced with severe shortage of fighters and have found no way to overcome the problem but dispatching its administrative personnel to the battlefronts, after its field forces fled the ISIL-held regions in groups.

"ISIL has threatened those members that have not thus far joined battle with death and cut of salary," they added.

On Sunday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued the third phase of their Euphrates Rage Operation and advanced against ISIL, taking control over two villages and a large farm.

The Kurdish fighters advanced against ISIL from two different directions.

The SDF stared attacking ISIL's positions from al-Makan region and pushed the ISIL members back from the village of Abu Natali and Hadi.

In the meantime, the Kurdish fighters carried out another attack on ISIL's defense lines from the village of Khaniz and seized control over Doqan farm.   

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000783

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Terrorists in Eastern Ghouta Using Civilians as Human Shield

Feb 06, 2017

"Establishment of safe corridors in Eastern Ghouta was initiated by the Syrian government within the framework of the national reconciliation plans to prevent loss of life and damage on civilians," the source told FNA.

Expressing regret that no civilian has yet been transferred through these passages from Eastern Ghouta to other regions, he said, "The terrorists are using the residents of Eastern Ghouta as human shield to pressure the Syrian government."

On Sunday, the Syrian government set up a corridor near al-Wafedeen refugee camp in Eastern Damascus to pave the way for the militants and civilians to leave the region.

Al-Wafedeen camp is located adjacent to Douma city, Jeish al-Islam terrorist group's main stronghold in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus.

Al-Watan newspaper quoted sources as saying that other passages will open to this end too, adding that humanitarian aid have also been sent to the region.

Intense meetings have been reported among the representatives of the Syrian government and the tribal delegations in Eastern Ghouta in the past few days on opening safe corridors to restore stability and security to the region. News sources have underlined that 8 corridors are likely to be set up in this area.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000880

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Egypt Army Kills 14 Militants in Central Sinai - Army Spokesman

6 FEBRUARY 2017

Cairo — Egypt's army killed 14 militants in an exchange of fire during a raid in central Sinai, the military spokesman said in a statement on Monday.

According to a statement published on Egypt's army spokesman Facebook page, the military arrested 10 other militants. Three car bombs and 10 explosive devices were destroyed and weapons and communication devices were seized by the military.

Militancy inside Egypt has seen a significant rise since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, following mass protests against his rule.

Most of the insurgent activities which target security personnel and facilities occur in the restive Sinai peninsula, particularly in North Sinai.

The group known as "Sinai Province", affiliated with Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), claim most of the attacks in this area.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702060744.html

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IS ‘besieged’ in last bastion in Aleppo

Feb 7, 2017

BEIRUT - The Islamic State group is “completely besieged” in its last major stronghold in Syria’s Aleppo province, a monitor said Monday, as pro-regime forces piled pressure on the militants on several fronts.

IS fighters were cut off in Al-Bab after forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad severed a road into the northern town, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

“Al-Bab is now completely besieged by the regime from the south, and the Turkish forces and rebels from the east, north and west,” said the Britain-based monitor. It came after “the regime’s forces and allied militia seized the only and last main road used by the militants between Al-Bab and Raqa,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, referring to the militants’ de facto capital in Syria.

Regime forces were backed by fighters from Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and by Russian artillery, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground for its reports.

The town of Al-Bab, 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of the border with Turkey, is seen as a prize by nearly all sides in the complex war. Since December, Turkey-backed rebel fighters known as the Euphrates Shield alliance have edged towards Al-Bab from the north.

In January, Turkey’s air force began carrying out joint bombing raids around Al-Bab with Assad’s ally Russia. The two parties back opposing sides in the war but have joined forces in recent months to try to bring an end to the conflict.

Assad’s regime has refocused on IS since fully recapturing Aleppo city in December, in the biggest blow to rebel forces fighting to topple his regime for nearly six years.

IS is among several militant movements that have shot to prominence during the conflict, which has left more than 310,000 people dead and has forced millions more from their homes.

Assad’s forces were also locked in fighting with IS in the central province of Homs at the weekend, the Observatory said. It reported that the troops had captured the Hayyan oilfield west of the celebrated desert city of Palmyra. They also fought back against IS around Al-Seen military airport northeast of Damascus, said the monitoring group.

IS is facing simultaneous offensives in Syria and Iraq against its self-proclaimed Islamic “caliphate”.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/07-Feb-2017/is-besieged-in-last-bastion-in-aleppo

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ISIS encircled in Syria’s al-Bab after army advance

6 February 2017

Syrian government forces advanced on the northern ISIS-held city of al-Bab on Monday, cutting off the last supply route that connects it to militant strongholds further east towards Iraq, a monitor said.

ISIS militants in the area are now effectively surrounded by the army from the south and by Turkish-backed rebels from the north, as Damascus and Ankara race to capture the largest ISIS stronghold in Aleppo province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said the army and allied militia made gains southeast of al-Bab overnight, and fought the militants there on Monday.

Backed by air strikes, they severed a road that links the city to other ISIS-held territory in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor provinces, it said.

A military commander in the alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad said ISIS was encircled.

“There is one narrow passage left out of al-Bab,” the commander said. Government forces now had most of it “within close firing range”.

The Syrian army’s advance towards al-Bab risks triggering a confrontation with the Turkish military and its allies - rebel groups fighting under the Free Syria Army banner - which have been waging their own campaign to take the city.

In three weeks, Syrian army units moved to within 6 km (4 miles) of al-Bab, as Damascus seeks to stop its neighbour, Turkey, penetrating deeper into a strategic area of northern Syria.

“It’s clear the regime is in a hurry to reach al-Bab,” said Mustafa Sejari, a senior rebel official in the FSA group Liwa al-Mutasem. The Turkish-backed rebels, who have had the city in their sights for months, would fight government forces if they got in the way, he said.

Turkey launched its campaign in Syria, “Euphrates Shield”, in August to secure its frontier from ISIS and halt the advance of the powerful Kurdish YPG militia.

Northeast of the city, Turkish troops and FSA rebels, backed by Turkish air strikes, clashed on Monday with ISIS around the town of Bazaa, the Observatory said. Turkish-backed forces had briefly captured the town before suicide bombers pushed them out on Saturday.

Syria, Turkey risk face-off

Al-Bab is 40 km (25 miles) northeast of Aleppo, where the government defeated rebels in December, its most important gain of the nearly six-year-old war.

Northern Syria is one of the most complicated battlefields of the multi-sided Syrian war, with ISIS now being fought there by the Syrian army, Turkey and its rebel allies, and an alliance of US-backed Syrian militias.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/02/06/Syrian-army-chips-away-at-ISIS-on-several-fronts.html

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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince discusses developments with Yemen President

6 February 2017

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi of Yemen received at his residence in Riyadh yesterday evening Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, it has been revealed.

The Yemeni President thanked King Salman bin Abdulaziz for supporting the Yemeni government and people and the efforts made by Saudi Arabia and the coalition countries to restore legitimacy to Yemen.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/02/06/Saudi-Deputy-Crown-Prince-discusses-developments-with-Yemen-President-.html

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Syrian Army Deploys Forces in Nearest Distance to ISIL-Held Al-Bab Town

Feb 06, 2017

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL after liberating the town of al-Oweishiyeh and managed to take control of the al-Oweishiyeh hill Southeast of al-Bab, deploying forces in the nearest positions to the terrorist-held town.

A military source said meantime that with these advances the army men have now won control over terrorists' movement from Tadif to the town and to Abu Jabar Kabir in the Eastern part of Aleppo province, deploying in nearest distance to the town of al-Bab and the first defense line of the terrorists in Tadif.

In relevant developments in the province on Thursday, the army continued its military operations in the Eastern part of Aleppo province, seizing back a large section of the Al-Bab-Aleppo highway.

The Syrian army troops managed to take control of 16 kilometers of Aleppo-Al-Bab highway from Tayareh village to al-Madyouneh farms.

The Syrian army troops also reclaimed an important village to the North of the Kuwaires Airbase after it was briefly seized by the ISIL terrorist group.

In response to the heavy attack on Rasm Al-Sarhan by ISIL late on Wednesday night, the army troops operating in the area conducted a tactical withdrawal from the village only to, within a matter of hours, launch a counter-attack.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000582

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Syrian Army Scores More Victories against ISIL near Palmyra

Feb 06, 2017

The army men engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL in a region between al-Bayarat and Tadmur, advancing against the terrorists in the region.

The ISIL suffered tens of casualties and lost several vehicles in the attack.

Tens of ISIL terrorists also fled the battlefield towards the depths of the Badiyeh desert.

The army soldiers also drove ISIL out of the village of al-Beidheh al-Sharqi to the East of the Fourth Station towards Bayarat.

In the meantime, the Syrian Air Force carried out repeated attacks on ISIL's positions and its defense lines in Western Badiyeh of Tadmur, killing or wounding tens of them and destroying their vehicles.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000668

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Syrian Army Deploys Forces in Nearest Distance to ISIL-Held Al-Bab Town

Feb 06, 2017

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL after liberating the town of al-Oweishiyeh and managed to take control of the al-Oweishiyeh hill Southeast of al-Bab, deploying forces in the nearest positions to the terrorist-held town.

A military source said meantime that with these advances the army men have now won control over terrorists' movement from Tadif to the town and to Abu Jabar Kabir in the Eastern part of Aleppo province, deploying in nearest distance to the town of al-Bab and the first defense line of the terrorists in Tadif.

In relevant developments in the province on Thursday, the army continued its military operations in the Eastern part of Aleppo province, seizing back a large section of the Al-Bab-Aleppo highway.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000582

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Syrian Army Scores More Victories against ISIL near Palmyra

Feb 06, 2017

The army men engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL in a region between al-Bayarat and Tadmur, advancing against the terrorists in the region.

The ISIL suffered tens of casualties and lost several vehicles in the attack.

Tens of ISIL terrorists also fled the battlefield towards the depths of the Badiyeh desert.

The army soldiers also drove ISIL out of the village of al-Beidheh al-Sharqi to the East of the Fourth Station towards Bayarat.

In the meantime, the Syrian Air Force carried out repeated attacks on ISIL's positions and its defense lines in Western Badiyeh of Tadmur, killing or wounding tens of them and destroying their vehicles.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000668

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Europe

 

Hundreds march in Quebec in tribute to mosque shooting victims

6 February 2017

Several hundred people braved snow and cold Sunday in Quebec City to honor the six men shot to death a week earlier while praying at a local mosque. “No to Islamophobia, Yes to Peace,” “Open Your Heart” and “No to Terrorism” were the messages on some of the signs and banners carried by marchers, many of them Muslim.

The victims included two Algerians, a Tunisian, a Moroccan and two Guineans, all holding Canadian citizenship as well. They had been attending evening prayers at their mosque when a gunman stormed in and unleashed a barrage of bullets from a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle.

Eight other men were wounded – three remain hospitalized – in one of the worst attacks on the Muslim community of a Western nation. The suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, surrendered to police and was charged with six murders and five attempted murders.

Also read: Iranian Americans feel stuck, confused, afraid of travel ban

The march Sunday began not far from the mosque, at Laval University, where the presumed killer was a student, before proceeding to the national assembly of the French-speaking province.

In a display of solidarity, organizers paired Muslim and non-Muslim marchers for the procession. Mohamed Yangi, president of the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec, where the mosque was located, said the march provided an opportunity to show a “unified” Quebec.

He said he wanted to work with political leaders to help “eliminate messages of hate.” Canadian politicians, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have denounced the words or acts of those who target Muslims. On Friday, at the funeral of three victims, Trudeau blasted radio commentators and politicians who have fanned tensions.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2017/02/06/Hundreds-march-in-Quebec-in-tribute-to-mosque-shooting-victims-.html

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Islam In Europe: German Police Tell Muslim Refugees To Avoid Attending Carnival Celebration

BY JOHN WALSH @JRWALSH

7 ON 02/06/17

A police department in northwestern Germany has drawn criticism for sending a letter to refugee home administrators advising them against sending their Muslim residents to the Carnival celebrations because it could lead to “undesired interactions” with the general public, according to local reports Monday.

The report comes as several cities throughout the North Rhine-Westphalia region, which is the most populous Germany, are preparing to welcome millions of visitors to their Carnival celebrations later this February. Authorities in the region might have concerns about terrorist attacks happening at the Christian festivities that commemorate a period of fasting before Easter, because of the troubling history of Islamic militants targeting Western religious events.

A number of social rights groups last year organized excursions bringing refugees and Germans citizens to Carnival events together to educate the newcomers about the religious celebrations.

In addition to telling the housing administrators not to organize trips for their residents to attend the festivities, the letter also implored the refugees living there to “undergo police searches without complaint.”

A representative of one of the refugee centers that received the letter, Petra Jennen, told local reporters, “I won’t be telling the families we have living here that they can’t go to the Carnival parade.” She added that asking the refugees to endure additional screening procedures was “very unfair” because the police department would never ask such a thing from a German citizen.

Full report at:

http://www.ibtimes.com/islam-europe-german-police-tell-muslim-refugees-avoid-attending-carnival-celebration-2487281

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Muslim Brotherhood expands presence in Germany, seeks to establish Sharia law – security official

6 Feb, 2017

Islamic radicals from the Muslim Brotherhood are actively trying to gain a "monopoly" over mosques in the eastern German state of Saxony to attract more followers and increase their influence, the local security service chief has warned.

READ MORE: German police want refugees kept away from carnival

The members of the radical Salafist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, which was established in Egypt in 1928, “have long been active in Saxony, although they were stealthy,” Gordian Meyer-Plath, the president of the regional department of the German domestic security and anti-terrorist service, the BfV, told Germany’s MDR broadcaster.

Meyer-Plath warned, however, that “only now, when a [large] number of Muslims have come to Germany, do they see a chance to expand their network beyond some central structures and become interesting for the new Muslims in Saxony.”

While downplaying the threat posed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany as being “beyond Jihad,” meaning that the group is not actively involved in terrorist attacks, the security official pointed to the threat it poses to democratic society.

“The Muslim Brothers still want to establish Sharia law in Germany,” which would have grave consequences for religious freedom, women’s rights and democratic values, Meyer-Plath said.

The group is active in about 70 countries, where it builds mosques, schools and hospitals, presents itself as a democratic force and officially distances itself from an idea of the global Jihad in an attempt to win the sympathies of locals.

In Saxony, the Salafist group has been actively sponsoring the construction of new mosques. It has already built several mosques and plans construction of more places of worship in such cities as Dresden, Leipzig, Meissen, Riesa, Pirna, Bautzen und Goerlitz.

Meyer-Plath drew attention to the fact that, while western Germany has numerous Muslim associations that offer their services to newly arrived Muslims, the eastern part of the country lacks them. The Muslim Brotherhood “is trying to break into this vacuum and secure a monopolistic position,” he said, adding that the opportunity to spread the group’s influence came with the ongoing refugee and migrant influx from Muslim-majority countries.

“Offering prayers is a religious duty for Muslims. And when there are no [other] mosques in the region, they go to those that exist there,” Meyer-Plath explained, adding that “it is needless to say that it is a bad situation when the only Muslim structures in the area are controlled by Islamists and political extremists.”

The security official believes that the group has vast financial reserves as it does not lack money for sponsoring new construction projects or just buying real estate.

“They are going through the land with a fantastic sum of money and are just buying real property” to turn it into mosques, Meyer-Plath said, adding that the local Muslims often appreciate their efforts.

Full report at:

https://www.rt.com/news/376517-muslim-brotherhood-germany-mosques/

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Three threats to the US according to diplomat-consultant’s point of view

Feb 7, 2017

Despite a number of landmark decisions already taken by the new US president Donald Trump, the priorities of the foreign policy of Washington seem to be hazy. Vestnik Kavkaza suggests our readers the advices offered to the new  American administration by Stanley Escudero, who worked in the US diplomatic corps in Pakistan, Iran, India and Egypt and is the former US ambassador to Tajikistan (1992-1995), Uzbekistan (1995-1997 ), Azerbaijan (1997-2000). Today he is a president of the consulting firm Shield Bearer LLC and vice-president of American Chamber of Commerce.

With the Democrats and some Republicans talking of imposing additional sanctions and taking other steps against Russia based on what appears to be a Russian cyber attempt to interfere in our elections, it is important to look at the broader panoply of foreign policy challenges which America faces today. Today the Democrats, and some Republicans, demand harsh action against Russia for allegedly meddling in our presidential election.  But domestic politics aside, strong anti-Russians measures at this time would be a serious foreign affairs mistake. Right now the United States, badly weakened by eight years of damage from our first anti-American President, faces three – count ‘em – three - serious international rivals.  In no particular order of importance they are radical jihadist Islam, China and Russia.  Today we are simply not strong enough to deal with all three at once.  That means that we must not undertake policy initiatives against any one of the three without considering what effect those initiatives might have on our relations with the other two. Now none of these three are our friends.  Nations do not have friends.  What they have are interests.  Some of these, called vital national interests, are worth going to war for, some are less important.  But all US decisions in foreign affairs should be taken on the basis of what impact the decisions would have on America’s interests.

It is clearly not in our interest to take on confrontations with three major rivals when we are not strong enough to defeat them.  By the same token it makes no sense to take measures against one of the three likely to push them farther away from us and closer to the other two.  Wiser either to avoid some of those conflicts or, even better, to enlist one or more of those rivals to cooperate against one or more of the others, at least in those areas where we share common interests.

No such cooperation would be possible with radical jihadist Islam.  Not only do we have no common interests, the jihadists want us either converted to Islam, submitted to Islamic dominance or dead.  They do not speak for all of the Dar-ul Islam but they do drive the political dynamic in much of the Muslim world.  By their own words peaceful coexistence with them will not be possible except in the interim between conflicts.  Ultimately they must be confronted and destroyed, through a combination of military force, cooperation with non-radical Islamic states, close profiling of Muslims who reside in or emigrate to the West and a major shift in Islamic philosophy away from jihad as violent action against non-Muslims.

In short, there is no basis for US cooperation with the jihadists against either Russia or China.

Our common interests with China are primarily economic and trade based.  America’s consumption-based, import-driven economy is largely dependent on cheap Chinese products. But China’s controlled-market economy, rife with government sponsored cronyism and the inevitable inefficiencies of mass corruption, is equally dependent on its exports to American consumers.  Serious disruption of this trade would so damage both economies that each country is likely to seek to avoid disruption even in face of significant provocation. China also has problems with its repressed Muslim minority, called Uighurs and found primarily in western China, but not on a scale comparable to either Russia or the West. We face potentially serious confrontation with China over their growing military power and their clear intent to project that power into the western Pacific to enhance their political influence and reduce that of the United States.  Their naval/air force buildup, militarized space program, construction of islands as military bases, refusal to rein in their North Korean protectorate, threats to Taiwan and outreach to the Philippines all constitute a traditional balance of power challenge to our post war position and influence in that area which cannot be overlooked.  Along with our allies Japan and South Korea and with possible cooperation at varying levels from Viet Nam and Taiwan, we can respond to that challenge but not if we have to actively resist Russian and jihadist ambitions at the same time.  There seems little likelihood that we could beneficially cooperate with China against radical jihadist Islam or Russia.

Russia has been our rival since 1918, and a serious opponent since 1945, with a brief interregnum from the fall of the USSR until the rise of Vladimir Putin.  Let’s be clear, Putin is not our friend but he is also not the “KGB thug” that many consider him to be if by that insult it is meant that he is a dumb knuckle-dragger.  Vladimir Putin is a brilliant, well-educated, experienced KGB operative – among the best the Soviet Union could produce – and he is very popular among the Russian people.  He is also a ruthless Russian nationalist and dictator.  Under any circumstances he is a formidable adversary.  But he is also a realist and, as long as you keep in mind his ultimate goals and come from a position of strength, it should be possible to work with him on the basis of limited,  shared (if temporary) interests.

We and Russia have a common interest in the defeat and destruction of radical jihadist Islam.  Moscow has been fighting the Muslim world in one way or another since the Mongol invasions of Russia in the 1200’s.  Russia has been conquering Muslim lands since the time of Catherine the Great.  They have long sought control of warm water ports below the southern periphery of territories under Islamic rule.  They invaded Turkey in 1915-1916.  Though reduced in size from their Soviet heyday Russia still rules several Muslim provinces.  Presently targets of jihadist terrorism, the Russians have responded ruthlessly to Muslim uprisings and terror attacks.

Moscow too would like to see the threat from radical jihadist Islam eliminated and would, I believe, cooperate with us in doing so.  Russia cannot be displeased by heightened Sino-US tensions, but Moscow also shares a riverine border with China and fears possible Chinese expansion to the west into Russia.  Several decades ago there were significant clashes between the two along the Amur River frontier.  This too could offer a basis for some degree of cooperation or at least avoidance of Russian support for China in the event of serious US/China disputes.  But what else does Russia want?  What, in this era of Obama-imposed American retreat from the world, has Russia already achieved?

One of Putin’s primary goals is the re-establishment of control over as much as possible of the territory lost to newly independent states when the Soviet Union imploded in 1991.  This explains his invasion of Georgia in 2008, of Crimea and eastern Ukraine and his designs on the Baltic countries.

Russia’s long-sought desire for control of or at least free naval passage through the Turkish Straits explains his eagerness to accept Obama’s clumsy and dangerous invitation to become a player in the Syrian Civil War and thus re-enter the struggles of the Middle East at a time of growing American weakness and disengagement.  Moscow’s negotiation, with Turkey and Assad’s Syrian government, of a ceasefire in Syria merely underscores the fact that Putin has become the arbiter of the Syrian question.  He wants and is beginning to obtain a stronger voice in the Arab world.

Russian support for the Iranian position during the Obama Administration’s negotiation of the execrable nuclear agreement and Moscow’s subsequent sale of arms to Iran has earned Russia the temporary use of the Iranian airbase at Hamadan and has increased their influence in Tehran.  Continuation of support for and arms sales to Armenia as well as arms sales to Azerbaijan have solidified Russian ability to determine the outcome of events in the south Caucasus.

Putin has designs on Western Europe as well – not so much to expand territory (although the Baltics were once part of the Soviet empire) but to weaken NATO.  At present Russia is the major supplier of natural gas to Europe.  Some 40% of Germany’s gas flows in from Russian fields through Russian pipelines.  More pipelines are under construction.  European dependence in Russia as its principal energy source vastly increases Putin’s influence in western halls of power.

No doubt, Russia is our most formidable rival.  Clearly we have to push the Russe back from many of these desired or partially achieved gains.  Under other circumstances I would suggest a calculated partnership with one of the other two in order to offset Moscow’s strength but a consideration of Russian weaknesses and our common interests suggests otherwise.

Full report at:

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Three-threats-to-the-US-according-to-diplomat-consultant%E2%80%99s-point-of-view.html

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Africa

 

Nigeria: No Plan to Islamise Nigeria, Says Govt

6 FEBRUARY 2017

The Federal Government says the alleged Islamisation of Nigeria under the current administration is totally false and should be perceived in its entirety as a campaign of calumny.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Monday in Ilorin at the Federal Government Town Hall meeting for the North Central zone.

He noted that in recent times, the media had been increasingly awash with incendiary statements designed to pitch the adherents of the two prominent religions Christians and Muslims against one another.

The minister said the secular nature of Nigeria's Constitution makes the issue of religious dominance and impunity improbable.

"Such fallacies like the Islamisation of Nigeria, the killing of Christians by Muslims, the labeling of Nigeria as the most dangerous place for Christians in the world can only serve one purpose: trigger a religious war.

"Needless to say that no nation ever survives a religious war," he said.

The minister said those making the allegations were using religion as tool to demonise the government and divert attention from the government's anti-corruption stance.

He said that more often than not, conflicts between Muslims and Christians were fuelled by political motivations, ethnic differences, extremism, intolerance and terrorism.

"Make no mistake about it, there have been conflicts between adherents of the two major religions in certain parts of the country.

"To now extrapolate from that to say Nigeria is the most dangerous place for Christians in the world is a disservice to Nigeria and an overkill."

He appealed to the media to desist from providing a platform for exponents of incendiary statements.

The minister also appealed to Christian and Muslim leaders to emulate Catholic Cardinal John Onaiyekan and Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar who formed the Inter-faith Initiative for Peace to promote inter-faith dialogue.

Mohammed said the North-Central edition is the eighth in the series of the Town Hall Meetings, which started in Lagos on April 25, 2016.

He said the intention was to bridge the communication gap between the government and the people, carrying the people along in the process of governance and also getting the much-needed feedback from the citizenry.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ministers of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu attended the event .

Others are Ministers of State for Mines and Steel, Bawa Bwari, Budget and National Planting, Zainab Ahmed and Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar.

The ministers gave accounts of their stewardship and fielded questions from the audience on critical national issues.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702070015.html

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Sudan brings home baby of ISIS fighters slain in Libya

7 February 2017

Sudanese security agents on Monday brought home a four-month-old baby girl whose parents were killed in Libya while fighting for ISIS, a security official said. The infant, born to Sudanese parents, was brought to Khartoum after the Libyan Red Crescent alerted Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

“The mother and father of the baby were IS fighters who were killed in Sirte during the fighting to liberate” the city from the group, the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) reported Brigadier Tijani Ibrahim of NISS as saying.

The baby’s mother had travelled to Libya in August 2015 along with four other Sudanese girls, the media outlet close to NISS reported Ibrahim as saying. “There they joined ISIS and also married Sudanese men who were members of ISIS,” he said.

The baby’s grandfather said the child was brought to Sudan from the Libyan city of Misrata. Libyan authorities who found the baby handed her over to the Libyan Red Crescent, who then contacted NISS to return the infant to Sudan, the SMC report said.

“I had heard that my daughter had left behind a baby she had from a Sudanese member of IS,” Alithi Yousef told SMC. “After what was a complicated operation conducted in coordination with NISS and Libyan officials, we were able to bring back the baby,” he said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2017/02/07/Sudan-brings-home-baby-of-ISIS-fighters-slain-in-Libya-.html

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Somali extremists announce public killings of 4 for spying

February 6, 2017

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia's al-Shabab extremist group announced it has killed four men accused of spying for the CIA and the Kenya and Somali governments.

article continues below

The insurgents announced the killings on its Andalus radio, saying they were carried out in a public square in Jamame, in Lower Jubba region, late Sunday.

The group said it killed Siyad Ali Abdi, 26, Ahmed Ibrahim, 28, Yusuf Makaran, 58, and Abdullahi Omar, 26, after its court convicted them of assisting drone attacks in Somalia which killed rebel leaders.

Al-Shabab, al-Qaida's East African affiliate, has been fighting for years to impose a strict version of Islam in this Horn of Africa nation.

Full report at:

https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/2.1198/somali-extremists-announce-public-killings-of-4-for-spying-1.452701

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Sudan to Continue Military Support to Saudi Arabia, Denies Backing Islamists

6 FEBRUARY 2017

Khartoum — Khartoum is currently preparing new troops to be transferred to Yemen in support of the Saudi military campaign against the Houthi rebels in the country. President Omar Al Bashir denied accusations that Sudan is backing and training Libyan and Egyptian Islamist groups.

In an interview with the Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV Channel, Al Bashir stated that "We in Sudan feel that the situation in Yemen is threatening to us.

"When the [Saudi operation] Decisive Storm began, we immediately participated by sending a number of fighter jets and Sudanese forces that are now present on the ground in Aden".

According to the president, Washington has established a Shiite state in Iraq after Sadam Hussein was removed. "This made Iran to control four Arab capital cities, Damascus, Beirut, Baghdad, and Sanaa. [..] Iran has more targets," he said.

In March 2015, Sudan joined Saudi Arabia's military campaign against the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen by sending aircraft. Not much later, Khartoum sent ground troops as well.

Since then El Riyadh pledged fresh investments in Sudan's agricultural sector. According to Khartoum, the economic assistance is not linked to its support for the military campaign.

Libyan Islamists

Al Bashir strongly denied that his government has provided arms to Libyan Islamists after the fall of President Muammar El Gaddafi.

He said that Sudan recognises the Government of National Concord in Libya as the only legitimate government. "Any vacuum in Libya will affect the entire region" he said.

Libyan authorities have repeatedly accused Sudan of supporting Islamist insurgents by smuggling weapons and militant extremists into the country in recent years.

In July 2015, a Libyan official claimed that an average of 50 vehicles carrying extremist Muslim fighters and arms were daily crossing the Sudanese-Egyptian-Libyan border area near El Kufra. Fighters and weapons are also airlifted from Khartoum to Mitiga airport in Tripoli, he said. In September 2014, Libyan border guards intercepted a convoy of vehicles carrying Yemeni fighters into the country. In the same month, the authorities of El Kufra airport grounded a Sudanese military aircraft bound for Tripoli, that was reportedly laden with weapons.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201702060674.html

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It’s Discontent, Not Religion, That Draws People To Al-Shabaab

07/02/2017

A new study of attitudes towards al-Shabaab in Kenya has found no evidence that terrorist violence is directly driven by religion. Instead, al-Shabaab – the Somali-based terror group that has wreaked deadly havoc in Kenya – exploits perceived historical, social and political grievances and draws on extreme interpretations of Islam to craft its propaganda narratives.

This conclusion is confirmed by several related studies on violent extremism in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The findings of the study in Kenya also showed that different situations throw up different reasons for why alienated people resort to violence. This is evident in the areas in which the field work was done. This ranged from the Majengo and Eastleigh areas of Nairobi, to Garissa in the east and Mombasa in the south. Each has concentrations of Somalis.

The study entailed a series of individual discussions, 200 focus groups and 30 in-depth interviews. The interviewees included community leaders, religious figures, ex-combatants, academics and members of civil society. Some were sympathetic to al-Shabaab while others were strong opponents.

The goal was to assess attitudes towards al-Shabaab. This was based on the premise that the success or otherwise of rebel groups is significantly dependent on community support. Thus efforts to counter them require the trust and participation of local communities.

The findings indicate that there’s no single pathway to violent extremism, which is a complex psycho-social process. Mainstream Muslim and Christian leaders have expressed the common view that Jihadist Islamic extremism is as far removed from mainstream Islam as the heretical neo-Calvinist support for apartheid was from mainstream Christianity.

These leaders cautiously supported the use of force by the military and police against al-Shabaab, its suspected sympathisers and other perpetrators of unrest. But they also insisted that without a change in social conditions and the involvement of people in government programmes, the present conflict is likely to intensify.

The case study was conducted between June and August 2016. It involved researchers from the Nairobi branch of the Life & Peace Institute and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, with the support of Georgetown University.

Religion and radicalisation

Kenya has been subject to deadly attacks by al-Shabaab. These include the 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, in which 67 people were killed and the 2015 massacre at Garissa university College that claimed 148 lives.

The Kenyan government has cast suspicion on the concentration of Somalians in the country. Many regularly cross the extended and porous border with Somalia. It’s against this backdrop that Kenya has announced plans to shut down Dabaab, the largest refugee camp in the world.

A student wearing face paint dedicated to the 147 Garissa university students who were killed by al-Shabaab gunmen. Credit: Reuters

A student wearing face paint dedicated to the 147 Garissa university students who were killed by al-Shabaab gunmen. Credit: Reuters

There’s no evidence that the terrorist violence is driven directly by religion. Religious radicalism is an offspring of deprivation, alienation and despair by people who find options for improving their lives increasingly difficult to come by.

Talking to poor and desperate people living in camps and on the edge of mainstream Kenyan society, it became clear that many of them are torn between support and rejection of the use of violence to bring about change. This vacillation makes them vulnerable to recruitment and radicalisation by preachers and imams.

A myriad factors merge to create an environment conducive to the spread of extremism, especially among young people. These include corruption and government failure to provide essential services. In addition, respondents mentioned:

structural marginalisation,

the breakdown of family and community structures,

the proliferation of criminal gangs,

youth unemployment,

corruption,

human rights abuses, and

individual and collective trauma.

Even so, only a minority of respondents showed open support for al-Shabaab. They attributed their support to a lack of opportunities to live a purposeful life or to overcome their loss of human dignity.

This indicates that the narrative perpetuated by some in the West – such as US President Donald Trump who attributes violence to Islam and the promotion of sharia law – is not shared by most local residents.

Behind the violence

Respondents ascribed violence in Kenya to a range of different factors. These include al-Shabaab, the police and military, gangs and splinter groups within both al-Shabaab and government agencies.

Only in Garissa did interviewees specifically identify al-Shabaab as the major source of their insecurity. No doubt many still had a vivid image of the 2015 local campus massacre in their minds.

But in Mombasa, for example, respondents pointed to a link between radical Islam and independence movements such as the Mombasa Republic council. The interviewees also identified specific mosques and preachers that teach interpretations of Islam that promote violence. Copies of these sermons are available on internet forums and on CDs distributed at markets and youth gatherings.

Importantly, most respondents said they were reluctant or afraid to report crimes committed by the police or anyone else to the authorities. Their reason was fear of revenge from al-Shabaab, rebel gangs or the police.

Full report at:

https://thewire.in/106335/discontent-not-religion-draws-people-al-shabaab/

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Families return to Libya’s ISIL-purged city of Sirte

06 February 2017

At least 290 displaced families have reportedly returned to Libya’s north-central city of Sirte within the past 24 hours -- one month after the city’s recapture from the ISIL terrorist group.

According to Abdul Wahab al-Haddad, who led pro-government forces in retaking the city last month, the return of Sirte’s displaced residents will be conducted over six stages, the first of which, he said, would be completed next week.

"Sirte’s displaced residents are being swiftly returned to their homes," he told Anadolu Agency.

Returnees are reportedly being made to sign a document that includes a pledge not to cooperate with ISIL in the future.

In May of last year, forces aligned with Libya’s UN-backed unity government launched a campaign to recapture Sirte, which ISIL overran in early 2015.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/184324/released-from-uk-jail-nigerian-politician-plots-next-move

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South Asia

 

Death warrant read out to Mufti Hannan, execution soon

February 07, 2017

Hannan carries another death sentence for the 2001 Ramna Batamul bombing

Convicted militant leader Mufti Abdul Hannan is likely be executed soon for the  attempt on former British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury’s life in 2004.

A death warrant was read out to the chief of a faction of Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh (HujiB) on Monday, sources at the Kashimpur high security jail confirm.

Senior Jail Superintendent Mizanur Rahman on Tuesday said that they were waiting for completion of the legal procedures.

“After that, the high-ups will decide the next step,” he said.

Hannan can seek a review of his death penalty. He can seek mercy from the president if his review petition is rejected.

However, if he declines to seek mercy or if the president denies it, he will be executed.

The notorious group has carried out at least 14 attacks in which over 100 people have been killed since its formation in 1992 with a view to establish Shariah Law in the country.

Also Read- Ferocious HujiB now on the wane

Militants tried to assassinate the then UK envoy Anwar Choudhury at the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal in Sylhet on May 21, 2004. Three people were killed and over 70 others were injured.

A Sylhet court in December 2008 sentenced Hannan and two other militants to death and handed down life imprisonment to two others for the attack.

The High Court upheld the sentence in February last year.

Hannan and two other militants moved the Appellate Division but the top court threw out their appeal in December the same year.

The Appellate Division full verdict was published last month. The convicts will have to file a review petition within 30 days.

Hannan carries a death sentence for the 2001 Ramna Batamul bombing. He is also accused of attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2000 and 2004.

Formed officially on April 30, 1992 by Afghan war veterans from a press conference at the National Press Club with Maulana Abdus Salam as its chief, HujiB later split into three parts. Most of the leaders of the two factions led by Hannan and Mufti Abdur Rouf have been arrested. But Salam has been on the run and believed to be financing the group from abroad.

Leaders of the three groups held meetings several times to unite, but it has not been possible because of Salam’s opposition. Many of its members have joined different active militant groups like the JMB and Ansarullah Bangla Team, and are believed to be taking part in the recent targeted killings, say police.

The group first saw split in 1998 when Mufti Hannan and Mufti Rouf formed Islamic Gono Andolon. After its ban in 2005, Gono Andolon was renamed Sacheton Islami Janata on August 19, 2006.

The outfit enjoyed impunity during the military-backed caretaker government when they organised rallies and processions under the banner of Sachetan Islami Janata. The faction led by Salam even floated Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) with a 15-member convening committee in May, 2008 to contest the national election in December. But the IDP did not get party registration.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/court/2017/02/07/death-warrant-read-mufti-hannan-execution-soon/

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Taliban leader joins peace process in Nangarhar province

Feb 07 2017

A local leader of the Taliban group joined peace process in Nangarhar province in East of Afghanistan, local officials said.

The Taliban leader was actively involved in insurgency activities in the restive Achin and other districts of Nangarhar province.

The Nangarhar police commandment officials said the Taliban leader was originally hailing from Achin district and joined peace process by handing over a rocket launcher, a communication device, and some other type of explosives.

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

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militants are actively operating in some of its remote districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are operating in this province.

The surrender of the Taliban group in Achin district comes as the Afghan security forces are busy conducting counter-insurgency operations in this province.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-leader-joins-peace-process-in-nangarhar-province-02824

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Child among 3 killed in Taliban rocket attack in Laghman province

Feb 06 2017

At least three civilians including a child were killed in a rocket attack by the Taliban insurgents in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan.

According to the local government officials, the incident took place earlier today in Maidani area located in the outskirts of the provincial capital.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Sarhadi Zwak confirmed the incident and said two women and a child were killed in the attack.

He said a mortar round fired by the militants hit the house of the civilians and at least four others were also wounded.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding incident so far.

The incident took place hours before the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its annual civilian casualties report for the year 2016.

The UN mission said it documented 11,418 civilian casualties between 1st January 2016 to 31st December, 2016.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/child-among-3-killed-in-taliban-rocket-attack-in-laghman-province-02822

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Afghan traders signed gemstones contracts in Indian trade show

Feb 07 2017

A number of the Afghan traders have signed contracts with some international companies for the trade of precious stones.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) informed regarding the latest development by the Afghan gemstones traders.

USAID said “Several USAID beneficiary traders of marble, onyx and lapis from Afghanistan signed a number of contracts this week with international buyers at the India Stone Mart, the country’s largest stone industry exposition.”

It also added “The event was held from February 2-5 at the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Center and drew more than 25,000 guests and 15,000 traders from 60 countries.”

Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, said “Afghanistan’s mountains hold massive reserves of marble and other minerals, yet the industry remains underdeveloped. India Stone Mart gives Afghan marble traders the opportunity to negotiate deals, network and make sales,”

He said. “This not only contributes to the Afghan economy; it also has the important effect of attracting foreign investment in the Afghan mining sector.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-traders-signed-gemstones-contracts-in-indian-trade-show-02825

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Top government official killed in an explosion in West of Afghanistan

Feb 07 2017

A top government official was killed in an explosion in western Farah province of Afghanistan, local officials said Tuesday.

The incident took place late on Monday night targeting the district administrative chief of Khak-e-Safid Abdul Raziq Noorzai.

The provincial police chief Aamir Gul confirmed the incident and the killing of the district chief but did not provide further details regarding the incident and the type of explosion.

The government officials are blaming for Taliban for such attacks and specifically using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to target the government officials and security forces.

However, they are saying that in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are targeted.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/top-government-official-killed-in-an-explosion-in-west-of-afghanistan-02826

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North America

 

US 'Deeply Troubled' by UN Report of Myanmar Atrocities Against Muslims

Feb 7, 2017

Washington. The United States is "deeply troubled" by the findings of a United Nations report that said soldiers in Myanmar's Rakhine State had committed atrocities against minority Muslims, the State Department said on Monday (06/02).

Washington was still studying the report, but urged the Myanmar government "to take its findings seriously and redouble efforts to protect the local population," a spokeswoman for the department, Katina Adams, said.

"We are deeply troubled by the findings," Adams said, referring to the Feb. 3 report from the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

The allegations should be investigated "in a thorough and credible manner," and those responsible for any violations held accountable, she said, adding that Washington was continuing to call on the government to restore fully humanitarian and media access to the area.

The UN report issued on Friday said Myanmar's security forces had committed mass killings and gang rapes of Rohingya Muslims and burned their villages since October in a campaign that "very likely" amounted to crimes against humanity and possibly ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar has said it is conducting a lawful counterinsurgency campaign.

While denying observers and independent journalists access to the conflict area, officials have accused Rohingya residents and refugees of fabricating stories of killings, beatings, mass rape and arson in collaboration with insurgents who they say are Rohingya terrorists with links to Islamists overseas.

Former US President Barack Obama made a priority of encouraging democratic change in Myanmar after decades of military rule.

The new administration of President Donald Trump has yet to outline its Myanmar policy, but has drawn fire for announcing a temporary ban on entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, citing the threat of terrorism.

http://jakartaglobe.id/news/us-deeply-troubled-un-report-myanmar-atrocities-muslims/

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Trump Renews Pledge to Keep Radical Muslims Out of US

Feb 06, 2017

President Donald Trump renewed campaign pledges Monday to keep radical Muslims out of the U.S., rebuild the military and press NATO members to pay their fair share for defense.

In a brief address to troops from U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, Trump did not refer directly to his executive order travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries, now the subject of court challenges.

However, the president said he wants a strong program of border controls to ensure that those who are admitted to the U.S. are "people that love us and want to love our country -- not people that want to destroy us and destroy our country."

His remarks were greeted by hoots and applause from the audience.

The president also said that the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and other proponents of "radical Islamic terrorism" is being distorted by the media.

"It's gotten to a point where a very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that," he told the troops.

Recalling one of his campaign themes, Trump said defending the U.S. also entails "getting our allies to pay their fair share" and "make their full and proper contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing -- not even close."

Trump was introduced by Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, who told the troops they were "incredibly fortunate to have him [Trump] with us today" on his 18th day in office.

Full report at:

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/02/06/trump-renews-pledge-keep-radical-muslims-out-us.html

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Small US college create refugee scholarship in response to Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban'

Feb 7, 2017

A tiny American liberal arts college has created a refugee scholarship in response to Donald Trump's immigration and refugee orders. 

Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, announced the offer after the US President issued his executive order, suspending America's refugee program and halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries in late January. The US government suspended enforcement of the ban a day after a federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked it.

College President Dennis Hanno said the scholarship is meant to demonstrate that Wheaton embraces its foreign-born community, even as the White House moves in the opposite direction.

"We value the different perspectives people from all around the world bring to Wheaton," he said, noting that about 18 per cent of the college's 1,650 students hail from more than 70 different foreign nations. "It's about wanting to take immediate action to preserve that environment we've created here."

Mr Hanno stressed the college has no intention of breaking any laws.

The scholarship is open to any refugee student fleeing conflict, but applicants from the seven countries specifically targeted by Trump's order — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — would be given special preference.

"We're not trying to do anything illegal," Mr Hanno said. "It's really about trying to send a message to students who would normally be interested in Wheaton College that we're still interested in them, and hope they're still interested in us."

A spokesman for the US Department of Education declined to comment on the scholarship, but reaction on Wheaton's social media accounts from alumni and parents has been generally supportive.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-college-refugee-scholarship-wheaton-massachusetts-liberal-arts-donald-trump-muslim-ban-a7565371.html

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Suspected Florida mosque attacker pleads no contest

07 February 2017

The suspect who allegedly set fire to a mosque in Florida last September, pleaded no contest in court Monday.

Joseph Schreiber, 32, effectively acquiesced to 30 years in prison if convicted for torching the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce.

The mosque announced it would move as it was left beyond repair on the eve of Eid, one of two religious holidays on the Islamic calendar.

Prior to the attack that came on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, Schreiber, who is Jewish, wrote online that "all Islam is radical".

The Fort Pierce Islamic Center came to national attention after Omar Mateen, who frequented the mosque, allegedly killed 49 victims and wounded dozens at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/184332/us-justice-dept-asks-court-to-reinstate-travel-ban

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How Corporate Media Paved the Way for Trump’s Muslim Ban

By Adam Johnson

President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations justifiably led to much outcry from activists, politicians and foreign leaders. The list—currently struck down by a federal judge in Seattle—was arbitrary, motivated by disjointed racist panic and was reportedly causing deaths worldwide. But while it’s important to lay primary blame for the ban at the feet of the man who signed it, years of Islamophobic coverage in corporate media—right-wing, centrist and “liberal”—laid the propaganda groundwork to get us here.

Surveys have found support for Trump’s Muslim ban ranging from 42 to 47 percent. This in line with the 43 percent of Americans willing to admit to having at least some prejudice against Muslims. Trump’s order exploits an irrational fear that media have spent at least 15 years conditioning.

Attention has rightly been paid to the Islamophobia industry—a loose consortium of professional far-right trolls such as Pam Geller, Frank Gaffney, Steve Emerson, Breitbart, Infowars, etc. And while these forces certainly were major factor in creating the Trump-friendly Muslim-fearing climate, it’s important not to lose sight of at least three other media phenomena that also had a major role: 1) the presentation of “terrorism” as a unique, existential threat, arbitrarily defined as applying almost exclusively to Muslim violence, 2) New Atheist liberal bigots and 3) disproportionate news coverage of the ISIS spectacle.

‘Terrorism’ as Muslim political violence

As FAIR has shown time and again (5/1/11, 4/15/14, 6/22/15, 6/14/16) over the years, media unjustifiably reserve the word “terrorism”—and the corollary breathless coverage it entails—overwhelmingly for political violence leveled by Muslims. Indeed, this past week provided one of the starkest examples of this asymmetry: White supremacist Alexandre Bissonnette’s January 30 attack on a Quebec mosque was not generally described as “terrorism” by the press, and despite killing six times more people than the October 2014 attack on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill by Muslim Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, it received only one-sixth as much coverage by US media (FAIR.org, 2/4/17).

As the “War on Terror” drags on into its 16th year, liberal and mainstream media have largely accepted the premise that “terrorism” is a separate and urgent manifestation of violence worthy of a global, generational struggle. This elevation to a separate moral order a particular kind of crime—whose definition, in practice, is arbitrarily restricted to perpetrators from a specific religious background—justifies throwing all sense of proportionality out the window. The very concept of a never-ending “global war on terror” laid essential groundwork for our current fever pitch of anti-Muslim sentiment.

‘New Atheist’ Islamophobia

Bill Maher, Real Time

Bill Maher is a fan of Bernie Sanders, a huge Obama booster and a frequent subject of write-ups on liberal websites for his latest dig aimed at Republicans. Maher is also a pro-war ideologue with a long history of bigoted statements about Muslims.

On his popular HBO show Real Time, Maher has repeatedly railed against Muslim immigration into Europe and the United States. He once declared that “civilization begins with civilizing the men; talk to women who’ve ever dated an Arab man. The results are not good.” Maher has repeatedly downplayed the killing of Palestinians in Gaza, even once comparing Hamas to a “crazy woman” whose wrists you could only hold “so long before you have to slap her.”  Some other gems:

“Islam is the only religion that acts like the Mafia that will fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing.”

“The Muslim world has too much in common with ISIS.”

“People who want to gloss over the difference between Western culture and Islamic culture and forget about the fact that the Islamic culture is 600 years younger and that they are going through the equivalent of what the West went through with our Middle Ages, our Dark Ages”

Bill Maher is a so-called “New Atheist”—those who use the pretense of reason and liberal enlightenment to advance otherwise banal conventional wisdom about American and Israeli aggression in the Middle East.

Other New Atheists, such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, routinely provide faux-liberal cover to the most vulgar aspects of anti-Muslim sentiment. Dawkins tweets things like “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge,” and had a much-mocked weeks-long feud with a 14-year-old Muslim kid over a clock he built for school, often times devolving into embarrassing conspiracy-mongering.

Sam Harris has turned anti-Muslim sophistry into a high art, focusing heavily on the pernicious influence of Muslim immigrants and the dangers they pose. Here’s Harris in 2006:

Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe. The demographic trends are ominous: Given current birth rates, France could be a majority Muslim country in 25 years, and that is if immigration were to stop tomorrow. Throughout Western Europe, Muslim immigrants show little inclination to acquire the secular and civil values of their host countries, and yet exploit these values to the utmost—demanding tolerance for their backwardness, their misogyny, their antisemitism and the genocidal hatred that is regularly preached in their mosques. Political correctness and fears of racism have rendered many secular Europeans incapable of opposing the terrifying religious commitments of the extremists in their midst.

Harris’ screeds Europe find an echo in the manifesto of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine people in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015:

From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Europe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries. Again I found myself in disbelief. As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of white people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there.

That the “demographic” threat is demographically groundless is no surprise; a 2016 Pew Research poll showed that people often wildly overestimate how many of their compatriots are Muslims. In France, for example, respondents said they believed 31 percent of the population was Muslim, when the number is actually 7.5 percent. In the United States, people put the number at 17 percent, when the actual figure is less than 1 percent. This distortion of reality is promoted by the “demographic threat” fear that Harris sows.

It’s difficult to measure exactly how much the New Atheists contribute to today’s anti-Muslim trend, but their cable TV shows, public intellectual status, large followings and nominally liberal appeal certainly help normalize what would otherwise be considered rank bigotry. Indeed,  Harris has spent the past week boosting voices defending the underlying logic of Trump’s Muslim ban, while pouting at those calling it “Islamophobic.”

Manufactured ISIS plots and the problem of meta-terror

Americans’ perception of terrorism is, for the most part, not informed by actual terrorist activity, but rather what we call “meta-terror,” or the fear caused by the coverage of terrorism, unconnected from any actual threat. Meta-terror has five manifestations: 1) the media disseminating ISIS threats in the form of video of audio; 2) reports about speculative terror attacks (e.g., LA Times, “A Freeway Terror Attack Is the ‘Nightmare We Worry About,’ Law Enforcers Say,” 12/21/15); 3) media treating “ISIS plots” manufactured by the FBI as actual ISIS plots, despite the fact that no one in ISIS was actually involved; 4) FBI and DHS “terror alerts” that never precede any actual attacks; and 5) the whole-cloth creation of fake ISIS stories.

In all five of these categories, it bears repeating, there is no actual act of terrorism. There is simply the specter of a threat, or a Potemkin plot. Taken together, meta-terror inflates the perception of Islamic terrorism, inflaming anti-Muslim prejudice.

There is no doubt the so-called Islamic State has killed tens of thousands under its brutal rule. In the lead-up to the war in fall 2014, however, this legitimate threat was consistently magnified wildly out of proportion by US media, especially as it related to the group’s direct threat to the US “homeland.”

As FAIR (2/15/15) noted at the time, in the second half of 2014, there was basically no story involving ISIS media wouldn’t publish. Fox News told us ISIS was building training camps in Mexico, ABC News published a scary-as-hell “ISIS caliphate map” that was lifted from a neo-Nazi website, a fake story about ISIS imposing female genital mutilation, an even faker story about a $425 bank robbery in Mosul, a church burning that never took place—none true, but all reported as such by mainstream outlets. Again, while ISIS’s crimes are not in doubt, the rush to exaggerate and fabricate the scope of its horrors inflated the threat to an apocalyptic fervor.

One of the key elements to selling the expansion of the war to Syria in the summer and fall of 2014 also fed greatly into the broader fear of Islamic terrorism—that ISIS’s social media sophistication was recruiting dozens and dozens of Americans. “More than 100 Americans” are fighting for ISIS, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress in fall 2014, which media dutifully repeated without question.

“More than 100 young home-grown Muslims, including some from Gotham, are being trained to become an enemy within by Al Qaeda–inspired groups like ISIS,” declared the New York Daily News (6/19/14). “More Than 100 Americans With Syrian Rebels,” a CNN headline (8/27/14) insisted. Americans, we were told again and again, were being seduced to fight in Syria en masse.

But wait. Two days after the US began airstrikes on Syria, this number was quietly reduced by 88 percent by FBI Director James Comey. “Around 12 Americans Are Fighting in Syria, Not 100,” the AP (9/26/14) reported.

Full report at:

http://fair.org/home/how-corporate-media-paved-the-way-for-trumps-muslim-ban/

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India

 

Rohingya crisis: Hoardings around Jammu ask Muslim ethnic group to 'leave or face consequences

Sameer Yasir

Feb, 06 2017

They gathered, around a shack, to discuss an unusual situation that is threatening to rob them of their livelihood and their settlements, once again. On Friday, dozens of hoardings popped up in the entire Jammu city asking Rohingyas, a Muslim ethnic group that has faced persecution at the hands of majority-Buddhists in Myanmar for decades, to immediately leave the city or they will be thrown out.

"Where will we go," Mohammad Johar, 35, who was among the first batch of refugees to arrive in this city, said, as he caressed his four-year-old daughter near his Juggie. “It is not easy to find a place to live and make a living,” he adds.

The Jammu and Kashmir government recently said that more than 1,200 Rohingya families, comprising of 6,000 people, have been living in different parts of Jammu for the last six years. They are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and also with the Union Home Ministry. But now, they are at the crossroads of a fierce political debate raging in this winter capital, whether they should be allowed, at all, to live in the state.

“Does the state law permit them (Rohingyas) to settle here in any part of the state? Article 370 does not allow anyone to settle here in Jammu and Kashmir,” Harshdev Singh, JKNPP Chairman, said. “If the state government does not throw them out, we will do that.”

The hoardings put by the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party threatens that Rohingya and Bangladeshis should leave the Jammu immediately or face the consequences. However, these persecuted people have found little support from both mainstream as well as separatist politicians.

Inside a Rohingya camp, in Narwal area of Jammu, residents gather to discuss the explicit threat and explore the possibility of meeting political leaders and appraise them about their condition back home and their reason for migration.

“We want to tell them that we are cursed people and trying hard to live a peaceful life here,” Saleem Ahmad, another refugee, says. “Our migration here was purely on the bases of economic reasons. The wages here are much better than in the rest of India,” he adds.

The issue of Rohingya started taking political colour after the valley based political parties started expressing concern over the issuance of identity certificates to the West Pakistani refugees, who migrated from Sialkot and other neighbouring belts in 1947 and settled in Jammu. However, these refugees are still neither state subjects nor citizens of India.

“If West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) can’t be given citizenship after three generations, how can these people be allowed to stay in the state. Their settlement in a sensitive border state is a great threat to national security,” BJP MLA from Nowshera, Ravinder Raina, said recently in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, before demanding the headcount of these displaced people.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said recently 5,743 Burmese (Rohingyas) are staying in the state and no instance of radicalisation has been reported among them so far.

“No Rohingya has been found involved in militancy-related incidents. However, 17 FIRs have been registered against 38 Rohingyas for various offences,” Mehbooba, who holds the charge of the Home Department also, had said in a written reply to a question of BJP MLA Sat Sharma in the Legislative Assembly.

For living, Rohingyas do daily wage jobs and majority of them have become scrap dealers. Children support their families by collecting and selling recyclable material, and a few women work in walnut factories up to 12 hours a day, cracking shells and removing nuts.

However, majority of the political parties in Jammu, including the ruling BJP, was of the opinion that by demanding the expulsion of Rohingya from state, the valley based political parties would give in on the demand of refusing issuance of identification cards to the refugees who came from West Pakistan in 1947, 1965 and 1971.

But to their surprise, almost every political party from the valley has refused to come to the aid of Rohingyas, and instead, demanded the expulsion of both.

That could be the reason the fresh hoarding in the Jammu are indications of what is coming for these refugees who fled Myanmar as security forces there carry out a brutal counter-insurgency campaign.

The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry called the presence of “foreigners” in the city a “sinister campaign” to change the demography of the area by “unseen forces”. Rakesh Gupta, its president, says, there is an attempt by “people” to change the demography of Jammu by settling Muslim population from foreign lands.

“If the politics over our temporary settlement continues, I think we will have to move from here,” Abir Sheik, a Rohingya, says in the Narwal camp.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/rohingya-crisis-hoardings-around-jammu-ask-muslim-ethnic-group-to-leave-or-face-consequences-3268490.html

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Zakir Naik’s school to be transferred to minority trust soon

by Tabassum Barnagarwala

February 7, 2017

After much deliberations, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF)-owned school in Mazgaon may be handed over to a trust owned by Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi. The state education department has already approved a proposal for the transfer of the school management from its founder Zakir Naik to Azmi’s Niyaz Ahmed Minority Educational and Welfare Trust. The school, its management, curriculum and workings are being scrutinised by legal experts before the official transfer can be formalised. “We just want to ensure there are no risks involved and I have appointed a solicitor to look into it. Once that is done, our trust will run the school,” Azmi said.

According to Azmi, the curriculum of Islamic International School (IIS) will remain unchanged. IIS is affiliated with IGCSE and teaches Quranic texts, Arabic along with academic subjects to its students. It currently has 220 children and over 100 staffers and teachers.

The school faced uncertainty when the Union Cabinet banned the IRF for five years in November last year and the bank accounts of the school along with that of IRF and Harmony Media were frozen. IIS was founded by controversial preacher Zakir Naik and runs classes from the first standard to the 10th.

It was funded by IRF’s education trust. Since last November, the routine expenditure is being taken care of by principal Imran Qureshi.

Fearing a shutdown, the school administration had petitioned with the state education department to allow its academic activities to continue claiming that the school is run by a trust separate from the now banned IRF. While the education department had approached various minority trusts to take over the school, none had shown interest until Azmi stepped in.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/zakir-naiks-school-to-be-transferred-to-minority-trust-soon/

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Eight from Tamil Nadu, One from Telangana Joined Islamic State in Syria: NIA

07th February 2017

HYDERABAD: In a major blow to India's premier security agencies, nine persons -- eight from Tamil Nadu and one from Telangana -- are believed to have joined the Islamic State in 2016. The National Investigation Agency booked a fresh case to probe the matter on January 26, 2017.

The NIA learnt about the module of nine that was based in Chennai from central security agency inputs. The central agencies had interrogated three persons deported from Abu Dhabi for recruiting Indian youngsters for ISIS.

According to the NIA's FIR registered this Republic Day in Delhi and then Chennai, in January 2016, the agency took custody of Sheikh Azhar Al Islam Abdul Sattar Sheikh, Mohammed Farhan Mohammed Rafiq Shaikh and Adnan Hussain Mohammed Hussain, who were working in Abu Dhabi on behalf of ISIS "to identify, motivate, radicalise, recruit and train Indian citizens located both in India and other countries for planning and executing terrorist attacks in India and in other friendly countries".

The agency's probe had recently revealed that the Chennai-based module of nine persons, including one from Telangana and eight from Tamil Nadu, all reportedly under the age of 30 had managed to join IS in Syria.

“It has been revealed that a group of nine persons - eight hailing from Tamil Nadu and one from Telangana -- and some other unknown persons, with the intention to further the activities of Daesh/ISIS, hatched a criminal conspiracy in Chennai and other parts of the country by forming a terrorist gang which raised and received funds, organized training camps, recruited and trained some persons, and facilitated their travel to Syria, to join ISIS,” said the NIA.

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2017/feb/07/eight-from-tamil-nadu-one-from-telangana-joined-islamic-state-in-syria-nia-1567739.html

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Frank Islam to Dedicate $2-Million Management School at Alma Mater AMU

FEBRUARY 06, 2017

Indian-American investor and philanthropist Frank Islam will dedicate a $2 million management school that he financed at his alma mater, the Aligarh Muslims University (AMU), on February 12.

Mr. Islam sees his support for the Frank and Debbie School of Management at the AMU more as an investment than charity. “I would not be the person I am if it were not for Aligarh education. Aligarh students have always been our best hope. My investment is my way of saying thank you and keeping the hope alive,” Mr. Islam, who made a fortune in the United States as a technology entrepreneur, says. Mr. Islam has also been a major donor to the Democratic Party and numerous other philanthropic activities in the U.S. and India.

‘Trump-era a dark chapter’

Keeping the hope alive is important, he – an Indian-American Muslim – says, noting that America is entering a dark chapter under President Donald Trump. “Depending on who is looking at it given conditions in the United States and around the world today, it might be said that I am either doubly blessed or doubly cursed. I feel strongly that I am doubly blessed,” says Mr. Islam.

A philanthropic foundation that he and his wife run – The Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation – has started from this year, a fellowship for an Indian journalist to train for six months at the Missouri School of Journalism and work on the staff of a U.S. news outlet.

Reaching America at the age of 15, Mr. Islam studied Computer Science at the University of Colorado, and, after working for a few years, bought business for $45,000 in 1994. Within 13 years, the business grew from one employee to more than 3,000 employees and $300 million in revenue. Mr. Islam sold the company in 2007, and set the up the foundation. “I give because I believe firmly in what President Kennedy said: To whom much is given, much is expected,” he says.

He has good words about U.S.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Frank-Islam-to-dedicate-2-million-management-school-at-alma-mater-AMU/article17204603.ece

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ISI agent Shamshul Huda, mastermind of Kanpur train derailment, arrested in Nepal

Bharti Jain

Feb 7, 2017

NEW DELHI: Shamsul Huda, the alleged Dubai-based mastermind behind an alleged ISI-backed plot to cause train accidents in India+ by planting IEDs on the railway tracks, has been arrested in Nepal.

Huda was arrested by the Nepalese police after he was deported from Dubai.

Confirming the arrest, a senior NIA official on Tuesday described Huda's arrest as a big breakthrough in its investigation into three cases handed over to it recently - the failed attempt to detonate an IED on the tracks in East Champaran as well as the suspected sabotage angle behind Indore-Patna Express train accident in Kanpur+ and the Koneru train accident. NIA is already in touch with Nepalese authorities and will seek access to Huda for questioning.

The NIA has prima facie found the Bihar police's line of investigation pointing to an ISI-backed sabotage plot to cause train mishaps in India, to be correct and is probing further.

Sources told TOI that the three accused arrested in Motihari+ - Motilal Paswan, Umashankar Patel and Mukesh Yadav - had, during their recent questioning by NIA sleuths, repeated their claims of a sabotage angle in both the failed Ghorasahan track blasting attempt+ as well as the Kanpur derailment.

"There are no contradictions whatsoever in what they had told the Bihar police earlier and now the Central agencies. They seem to be very sure of and consistent in their 'disclosures'. Also, technical evidence points to conversations between the arrested accused on the one hand and Nepalese handler Brij Kishore Giri, Dubai-based mastermind Shamsul Huda as well as Karachi-based suspected ISI agent Shafi Shaikh on the other, lending credence to the ISI involvement theory," said a home ministry officer.

Brij Kishore Giri is currently under arrest in Nepal along with two other suspects.

Sources following the investigation told TOI that Umashankar Patel, one of the three accused arrested by Bihar Police, had spoken to both Shamsul Huda and Shafi Shaikh while the two masterminds were together in Dubai in August, after being put in touch with them by Brij Kishore Giri.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/isi-agent-shamshul-huda-mastermind-of-kanpur-train-derailment-arrested-in-nepal/articleshow/57014034.cms

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‘Pakistan wants India’s nuke programme under IAEA safeguards’

February 7, 2017

Pakistan wants India to bring its entire civilian nuclear programme under the safeguards laid out by the International Atomic Energy Commission, the Director-General Disarmament at the Foreign Office said on Monday. “It is incumbent on us to stand up for our own interest. We want an assurance that India’s whole three stage nuclear power programme would be under safeguards,” DG Disarmament at Foreign Office Kamran Akhtar was quoted as saying by Dawn.

Akhtar was speaking at a round-table discussion in Islamabad on Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), organised to prepare for the upcoming Conference on Disarmament (CD). Experienced FMCT experts also participated in the meeting. Pakistan will not agree to FMCT until it gets the assurance from India, he said.

He said negotiating a treaty that only bans future production of fissile material without taking into account the existing stockpiles would freeze “the existing asymmetries”.

The DG Disarmament was of the opinion that India has been given “discriminatory waivers”, which add to Pakistan’s security concerns, the report said.

He said eight of the Indian reactors, its fast breeder programme and approximately five tonnes of reactor-grade plutonium were included in the safeguards of dictated by the IAEA.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/iaea-kamran-akhtar-pakistan-wants-indias-nuke-programme-under-iaea-safeguards/

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Pak censor board blocks release of Raees as content ‘undermines Islam’

Feb 06, 2017

Within days of lifting a self-imposed ban on Indian films, Pakistani exhibitors were informed on Monday that Shah Rukh Khan’s much-awaited Raees will not be released in the country as it depicts Islam in a “negative light”.

The Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) said the film, which is the Bollywood debut of Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, will not be cleared for release because of its “objectionable” content, the media reported.

An unnamed official was quoted by The Express Tribune as saying: “Owing to subtle portrayal of Muslims as criminals, violent and terrorists, the recommendations forwarded by the CBFC panel deemed the film unsuitable for public screening.”

The official added, “We could not issue a certificate because the film portrays Islam and a particular Muslim sect in a negative light.”

Most members of the censor board of Punjab province objected to the film’s release, an official of the panel said. The film was reviewed last week by the censor boards of Punjab and Sindh provinces.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/raees-not-clear-by-pakistan-censor-board-as-it-undermines-islam/story-4VPtlIQsb6vIWIQRSMFVnL.html

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Mideast

 

Iran’s missile test ‘not a message’ to Trump

07-Feb-17

DUBAI: Iran said on Monday a recent missile trial launch was not intended to send a message to new US President Donald Trump and to test him, since after a series of policy statements Iranian officials already "know him quite well".

Iran test-fired a new ballistic missile last week, prompting Washington to impose some new sanctions on Tehran. Trump tweeted that Tehran, which has cut back its nuclear programme under a 2015 deal with world powers easing economic sanctions, was "playing with fire".

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying: "Iran's missile test was not a message to the new US government.

"There is no need to test Mr Trump as we have heard his views on different issues in recent days... We know him quite well."

Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the 2015 deal, but the latest test on January 29 was the first since Trump entered the White House. Trump said during his election campaign that he would stop Iran's missile programme.

Qasemi said The US government was "still in an unstable stage" and Trump's comments were "contradictory". "We are waiting to see how the US government will act in different international issues to evaluate their approach."

Despite heated words between Tehran and Washington, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday he was not considering strengthening US forces in the Middle East to address Iran's "misbehaviour".

Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted on Monday that the US government "should de-escalate regional tension not adding to it", and Washington should "interact with Iran" rather than challenging it.

Iran announced on Saturday that it will issue visas for a US wrestling team to attend the Freestyle World Cup competition, reversing a decision to ban visas for the team in retaliation for an executive order by Trump banning visas for Iranians.

http://dailytimes.com.pk/world/07-Feb-17/irans-missile-test-not-a-message-to-trump

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Israel legalizes settler homes on private Palestinian land

Feb 7, 2017

Israel passed a law on Monday retroactively legalizing about 4,000 settler homes built on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, a measure that has drawn international concern.

The legislation has been condemned by Palestinians as a blow to their hopes of statehood. But its passage may only be largely symbolic as it contravenes Israeli Supreme Court rulings on property rights.

Israel's attorney-general has said it is unconstitutional and that he will not defend it at the Supreme Court.

Though the legislation, passed by a vote of 60 to 52, was backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition, it has raised tensions in the government.

A White House official said that, given the new law is expected to face challenges in Israeli courts, the Trump administration "will withhold comment on the legislation until the relevant court ruling."

Political sources have said Netanyahu privately opposes the bill over concerns it could provide grounds for prosecution by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington would oppose any such international legal action.

But the far-right Jewish Home party, a member of the coalition looking to draw voters from the traditional base of Netanyahu's Likud, pushed for the legislation after the forced evacuation of 330 settlers last week from an outpost built on private Palestinian land.

With Netanyahu under police investigation on suspicion of abuse of office, an allegation he denies, Likud has been slipping in opinion polls. Opposing the law would have risked alienating his supporters and ceding ground to Jewish Home.

Last-minute appeals this week by Netanyahu to postpone the vote until after he meets U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Feb 15, were refused by Jewish Home, political sources said.

In London, where he met Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday, Netanyahu told Israeli reporters he did not want to delay the vote and that he sought only to update Washington ahead of time - which he said he did. Israeli officials did contact their U.S. counterparts at the "staff level," the White House official said.

Netanyahu himself did not attend the vote because he was on a plane back from London when it was held.

"BLACK FLAG"

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the main Palestinian political umbrella body, said in a statement that the law gave settlers a green light to "embark on a land grab".

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition government are deliberately breaking the law and destroying the very foundations of the two-state solution and the chances for peace and stability," Ashrawi said.

The U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement that the law "will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel and greatly diminish the prospects for Arab-Israeli peace".

However, Netanyahu may face little to no criticism from the White House, which has signaled a far softer approach to the settlement issue than that of the Obama administration, which routinely denounced settlement announcements.

The Trump administration said on Thursday it did not see existing settlements hampering peace, although it recognized that "the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal."

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/07-Feb-2017/israel-legalizes-settler-homes-on-private-palestinian-land

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Russia says it disagrees with Trump's assessment of Iran as “number one terrorist state”

Feb 7, 2017

The Kremlin said on Monday it did not agree with US President Donald Trump's assessment of Iran as "the number one terrorist state" and wanted to deepen what it described as already good ties with Tehran.

The Kremlin was responding to comments Trump made to Fox News in an interview aired at the weekend in which he complained that Iran had "total disregard" for the United States.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that Moscow saw things differently.

"Russia has friendly partner-like relations with Iran, we cooperate on a wide range of issues, value our trade ties, and hope to develop them further," said Peskov.

Trump and Putin say they want to try to rebuild US-Russia ties, that were badly damaged by Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and by Western sanctions imposed on Russia in response.

Peskov said there was no reason for policy differences over Iran to hinder such a rapprochement.

"It's no secret for anyone that Moscow and Washington hold diametrically opposed views on many international issues," said Peskov. "That should not be an obstacle when it comes to forging normal communication and pragmatic mutually-beneficial relations between Russia and the United States."

Separately, Russia criticized the Trump administration's move on Friday to impose sanctions on Iran after a recent ballistic missile test, saying the test did not violate existing agreements.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/07-Feb-2017/russia-says-it-disagrees-with-trump-s-assessment-of-iran-as-number-one-terrorist-state

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Turkey detains over 750 in anti-IS raids

Feb 7, 2017

ISTANBUL: Turkish security forces have detained over 750 people suspected of links to the Islamic State extremist group in Turkey's biggest ever crackdown against the organisation, state media said Monday.

Some 450 suspects were picked up in the initial phase of the nationwide operation on Sunday but the number held has now risen to 763, the Anadolu news agency said. It said raids took place in 29 of Turkey's 81 provinces and documents, weapons and ammunition were also seized. The operation came just over a month after 39 people, mainly foreigners, were killed on New Year's night when a gunman went on the rampage inside a plush Istanbul nightclub.

The IS militant group claimed the massacre, its first clear claim for a major attack in Turkey although it had been blamed for several bombings in 2016.

Turkish police have over the last few years launched numerous raids against IS suspects but a nationwide operation on this scale against the group is unprecedented.

Anadolu quoted Turkey's police directorate as saying that IS was looking to stage a "sensational action" inside the country for propaganda purposes, with media organisations seen as a possible target. No further details were given.

Turkey was long accused by its Western allies of not doing enough to stop the flow of militants across its borders and emergence of IS cells in its own cities.

Ankara denies the charges, saying it listed IS as a terror group since 2013. However, observers say Turkey has markedly stepped up its actions against the group in the last few months.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/07-Feb-2017/turkey-detains-over-750-in-anti-is-raids

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Source: US, Yemeni Army to Involve in Intelligence War in South

Feb 06, 201

"The safe regions that the US and Saudi Arabia are attempting to create in Yemen will be controlled by the ISIL and al-Qaeda and monitored by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia," an intelligence source told al-Najm al-Thaqib news agency.

Noting that the US most obvious goal during Donald Trump's presidency is transferring the terrorist groups to the safe regions that will be set up in Yemen and Syria soon, the source said, "The Southern regions of Yemen will soon witness a major war of intelligence between the Yemeni army and popular committees affiliated to Ansarullah on one hand and the US and Israel on the other hand through the ISIL and al-Qaeda."

More than 13,100 Yemeni people have been killed since the Saudi-led intervention began in March 2015, most of them civilians.

The Yemeni popular forces remain in control of the capital Sana'a and much of the densely populated highlands, as well as the main Red Sea port of Hodeida.

In a latest development, the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia admitted Monday that a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea near the port of Al-Hodeida in Western Yemen was attacked and damaged by the Yemeni army.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13951118000203

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Pakistan

 

New law to curb sectarianism, protect minorities passed

AMIR WASIM

Feb 7, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Monday passed a key bill seeking amendments to various laws, aimed at strengthening the criminal justice system and curbing sectarianism and persecution of minorities in the country.

The bill, titled the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Act 2016, now requires formal assent of the president to become an act of the parliament. It amends the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860; the Police Act 1861; the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898; the Qanoon-i-Shahadat 1984 and Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The bill’s statement of objects and reasons says that “terrorism, sectarianism and extremism have gripped the entire country and these acts have become the order of the day. The country is passing through an extraordinary situation, which requires stringent measures to be taken to curb this menace that has infiltrated society.”

The bill was moved by parliamentary secretary Rana Mohammad Afzal on behalf of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan after Speaker Ayaz Sadiq turned down requests of opposition members to send it to the concerned committee.

Giving background, the speaker reminded the opposition members that the bill had originally been passed by the National Assembly in May last year, and was later approved by the Senate with some minor amendments.

Mr Sadiq ruled that since the bill had already been deliberated upon in the committee and the house, therefore, there was no need to refer it to the committee again.

Sectarianism

Through the new law, the punishment for the offence of ‘deliberately using words to hurt the religious feelings of any person’ has been enhanced from yearlong imprisonment and unspecified fine to imprisonment extendable to three years and not less than one year, and/or fine of Rs500,000.

The amendment prescribes the same punishment for inciting religious, sectarian or ethnic hatred by using loudspeaker, sound amplifier or any other device.

The new law has also amended various sections of the over 150-year-old Police Act 1861. One of the amendments to Section 23 of the Police Act, outlining duties of a police officer, has included prevention of sectarian and hate speeches and proliferation of hate material by any person, organised group, organisation or banned outfit in their basic duties.

The new law also suggests enhanced punishments for “officers guilty of any violation of duty, willful breach or neglect of any rule, regulation or lawful order made by a competent authority” increasing it from confiscation of three-month salary or imprisonment not exceeding three months to imprisonment of up to three years with Rs100,000 fine.

Under the new law, every person opposing or not obeying the lawful orders of superiors or violating the conditions of any license granted by a district superintendent or assistant district superintendent of police for the use of music or for the conduct of assemblies and processions will now have to face imprisonment for up to three years with fine, under an amendment to Section 32 of the Police Act.

Previously, the sentence for the offence was a fine not exceeding Rs200.

False information

Through an amendment to Section 182 of the PPC, the punishment for ‘giving false information to a government servant that causes him to use his lawful powers to injury’ has been increased from a maximum of six months to up to seven years in case the offence about which information has been given is punishable with death and five years in case it is punishable with life imprisonment.

Forced marriages

The new law has also suggested punishment for cases of forced marriages of minor girls or women, belonging to minority groups.

The existing section 498-B of the PPC reads: “Whoever coerces or in any manner whatsoever compels a woman to enter into marriage shall be punished with imprisonment of description for a term which may not be less than three years and shall also be liable to a fine of Rs500,000”.

In the amendment, a proviso has been added to provide for a sentence of up to 10 years and not less than five years and a fine of up to Rs1 million in the case of a girl child as defined in the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1992, or a non-Muslim woman.

Lynching

A new clause has been inserted in the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, defining the term “lynching” and suggesting punishment for it.

The new clause reads: “Whenever any individuals, an organised group or a mob by taking the law in own hands inflict punishment on a person accused or suspected of a crime by causing him a hurt or his death, every such individual, a member of such group or a mob is said to commit lynching.”

Also on Monday, the National Assembly passed a unanimous resolution expressing solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir and condemning Indian brutality in the valley.

The members of the opposition PPP also staged a walkout to protest the attack on a party rally in Bahawalnagar earlier in the day.

Published in Dawn February 7th, 2017

http://www.dawn.com/news/1313249/new-law-to-curb-sectarianism-protect-minorities-passed

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Govt pleased India by detaining Hafiz Saeed: Ex-COAS

February 07, 2017

LAHORE - Former army chief General Mirza Aslam Beg has said that Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was detained to please India.

In a statement issued by JuD media cell yesterday, General Beg was quoted criticising government Kashmir policy and demanding immediate release of Dawa chief.

“There is no justification of Hafiz Saeed house-arrest. He made no crime. I feel Hafiz Saeed’s only crime is to raise voice for the Kashmiris,” he said.

Markazi Jamiat Ehlehadith chief Senator Sajid Mir, who is a government ally and a political opponent of Hafiz Saaed’s organisation, also condemned JuD chief and allies detention in a statement issued from Jamia Qudsia, the head office of JuD. He called government to reverse its decision and release JuD leadership.

The statement also quoted Jamhori Watan Party chief Shah Zain Bugti, PML-Q leader Ajmal Khan and Jamaat-e-Ehlehadith chief Abdul Ghafar Ropri condemning detention of JuD leadership and demanding his release.

They said the government made illegal decision just to please foreign power without considering its domestic implementation.

Meanwhile, Muslim Medical Mission (MMS) held demonstration to express solidarity with Kashmiri Muslims and against the detention of Hafiz Saeed and other leaders outside Press Club. Professors, Doctors different hospitals and students of medical department participated in demonstration.

They carried placards containing text against Indian aggression in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and detention of Hafiz Saeed.

MMS Coordinator Doctor Nasir Hamdani, Doctor Khawar Iqbal, Doctor Asim Saifullah, Doctor Abdul Rauf, Doctor Muhammad Ali and others addressed the demonstration. They said that Indian army crossed the limit of cruelty and barbarity in IOK. Eyes of Hundreds of Kashmiris were lost after martyrdom of Burhan Wani. Thousands of Kashmiris were injured and they had no healthcare facilities. Indian army was torturing injured people, they said.

Speakers strongly condemned the detention of Hafiz Saeed and demanded of government to release him immediately. “Hafiz Saeed raised strong voice against Indian state terrorism and announced to observe 2017 for Kashmir. He arranged programs of doctors, traders, students and other departments. Government detained him on the pressure of Modi Government.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/07-Feb-2017/govt-pleased-india-by-detaining-hafiz-saeed-ex-coas

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KP Assembly terms ban on entry of Muslims into US unjust

MOHAMMAD ASHFAQ

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday through a joint resolution termed the executive order of US President Donald Trump about banning entry of Muslims into his country as cruel and unjust.

The resolution, passed unanimously by the house, said that order would cause provocation in the Muslim countries as it reflected biased mentality, based on enmity of Islam.

The resolution was tabled by PPP lawmaker Fakhar Azam Wazir. It says: “This house appreciates the USA’s court decision (which has suspended Donald Trump decision. So this assembly demands of the Trump government to avoid such steps against the Muslim countries, keeping in view international laws as such acts create hatred against Americans, which is against the America’s interest.”

The resolution was also signed by members of treasury and opposition including Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman, ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak, Malik Noor Saleem of JUI-F, Mohammad Ali of JI, Ishtiaq Urmar of PTI and others.

Compulsory education bill tabled in house after delay of seven years

Speaker Asad Qaiser chaired the session.

With a delay of around seven years, The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Free and Compulsory Primary and Secondary Bill, 2017 was finally tabled in the assembly to fulfil constitutional requirement. The bill was tabled by Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Mohammad Atif Khan.

Section 3 of the bill states: “Government shall provide free and compulsory primary and secondary education to all the children from the age of five to 16 years in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

It says that the parents shall, except in case of reasonable excuse for non-attendance, cause a child to attend a school until the child has completed secondary education.

The bill states that parents, who fail to comply, will be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to one month or fine which may extend to Rs100 for every day after the conviction for which the failure continues or with both.

The school attendance authority, to be established by the government for each school, shall ensure that every child shall attend a school under its jurisdiction and shall take such steps as it may consider necessary or as may be specified by the government.

Earlier during question hour, several lawmakers depicted a deplorable condition of the health units in their constituencies.

To the question of MPA Sardar Hussain Chitrali, the health department informed the house that out of 18 civil dispensaries established in 1992-93, six were functioning. Another three civil dispensaries established in 2011-12 also couldn’t be made functional as the sanctioning of posts was not approved.

“It is astonishing that health department has failed to make operational the remaining 12 civil dispensaries in 24 years,” said Mr Chitrali while commenting on the health department reply.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1313190/pa-terms-ban-on-entry-of-muslims-into-us-unjust

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Pakistani-Americans give thoughts on executive order

Feb 7, 2017

Senior Aman Ahmed is a health care management and policy major. He’s also a Pakistani-American, and a Muslim. He does not support generalizing whole groups of people because he said he understands the dangers of history repeating itself.

“Look what happened to the Japanese in the ‘40s,” Ahmed said. “They were generalizations. Look at the Jews in Nazi Germany. There was a huge generalization there.”

Another Pakistani-American Muslim, who requested anonymity for this story, studies marketing in the Kelley School of Business. He, too, likes to think of himself like any other student.

“We believe in something bigger than us,” he said. “We pray. We have our customs and traditions. At the core of it, we are peaceful.”

These two students, who identify as Muslims but are non-practicing, believe they represent a faction of American Muslims who are ignored by the public. They are not terrorists, nor are they refugees. They’re just college kids.

The anonymous student said it’s important for the United States and the rest of the non-Islamic world to understand the diversity of Muslims. It is not entirely accurate to think of Muslims as one people. He said there are more than a billion Muslims in the world and that most of them are good people but a few bad ones have ruined it for the rest.

He also said he is against the generalizations people make about Islam, particularly the conflation of religious practice and geography. He has lived in six Middle Eastern and North African countries -- Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria. Wherever he went, he met Muslims with different religious traditions.

Ahmed agreed and said the U.S. has a history of using a specific race, religion or ethnicity as a scapegoat. Although Pakistan was spared from the list of banned countries, the anonymous student said he understood it was possible that Pakistan could be next.

“If you ask any Pakistani in the country, he will be the first to tell you we have our own troubles,” he said. “To place a travel ban would be unfair. I know good people at home who want to come here, be productive and contribute to society.”

He pointed out that diversity goes both ways.

“I went to Nashville this weekend, and there were a lot of Trump supporters there,” he said. “It was interesting. I was in a bar, and the band shouted ‘Trump’ out before their set.”

Full report at:

http://www.idsnews.com/article/2017/02/pakistani-americans-give-thoughts-on-executive-order

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Kuwait Denies Imposing Travel Ban On Pakistan And Other Muslim Countries

FEBRUARY 06, 2017

Kuwait has denied a media report which said it had imposed a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries, a story which US President Donald Trump praised on Facebook.

"Smart!" a post on Trump's official Facebook page said on Thursday, linking to a report on Jordanian news website Al Bawaba which alleged that Kuwait had "mirrored" a decision by the Trump administration to temporarily bar travelers from several countries.

The article alleged that "Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans" would not be allowed to enter the Gulf state "while the blanket ban is in place".

But Kuwait's foreign ministry refuted the report, which was widely picked up by news websites popular with Trump supporters including Breitbart, Infowars and Sputnik.

Kuwait "categorically denies these claims and affirms that these reported nationalities ... have big communities in Kuwait and enjoy full rights," a ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on state news agency KUNA on Friday.

weekend to bar for 90 days entry into the United States by travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Representatives of the proscribed countries, as well as several neighbouring nations, condemned the move, but Trump on his Twitter account said the initiative enjoyed support in the region.

"Interesting that certain Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in its death & destruction!" he wrote.

Full report at:

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/world/kuwait-denies-imposing-travel-ban-on-pakistan-and-other-muslim-countries-270996.html

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Christian, 70, Charged with Blasphemy in Pakistan as 106 Muslims Are Acquitted in 2013 Attack

Feb 06, 2017

A 70-year-old Christian in Pakistan was jailed on blasphemy charges on the same day 106 Muslims accused in a 2013 attack on a Christian colony were acquitted.

 mosque leader in the Lambanwali area north of Gujranwala, Punjab Province, on Jan. 28 accused Mukhtar Masih of writing two letters containing derogatory remarks about the Koran and Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, police records show. He was charged under Section 295-A, deliberate and malicious acts intending to outrage religious feelings, which carries a sentence of 10 years of prison and/or a fine, and under Section 298, derogatory remarks against "holy personages," punishable by three years' imprisonment and/or fine.

Police raided Masih's house on Jan. 28 and took his entire family into custody, an area source told Morning Star News.

The police took with them Masih, his son, daughter, and three children," he said. "The family was later released on the intervention of rights outfits, but Masih was detained under blasphemy charges."

The source said that the charges against Masih were fabricated by local Muslims seeking to seize his property. Pakistan's blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal scores, and Islamist groups and lawyers advocating the harshest punishments often apply pressure for convictions on police and courts.

Mosque leader Qari Shahbaz Hussain alleges in the First Information Report (FIR No. 49/17) that area residents on Jan. 26 brought to his notice two letters containing the alleged blasphemous comments. He stated that an investigation by a local committee he headed revealed the letters were written by Masih.

Hussain claimed in the FIR that the committee had found Masih guilty and sought his prosecution under blasphemy charges. Hussain and other accusers were unavailable for comment, and Masih's relatives have gone into hiding and were also unavailable.

The investigating officer refused repeated requests for comment, citing orders from his superiors.

Also on Jan. 28, an Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore acquitted 106 Muslims accused of a massive attack on Joseph Colony, sparked by a blasphemy accusation in March 2013, after prosecution witnesses said they did not recognize any of the accused assailants.

More than 80 prosecution witnesses, 63 of them with statements recorded about the attack that destroyed more than 150 homes, said they did not recognize the accused. The 106 suspects, who were released on bail the day they were accused, appeared before judge Muhammad Azam.

On March 9, 2013, thousands of rioters armed with sticks, clubs and stones besieged Joseph Colony and torched the houses in the predominantly Christian neighborhood following allegations of blasphemy against a Christian, Sawan Masih.

The mob also torched three church buildings, several shops and a number of vehicles. Police later arrested both the rioters and the blasphemy suspect, who was charged under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for derogatory remarks about Muhammad, which mandates the death penalty.

Sawan Masih was sentenced to death on March 28, 2014. His appeal against the conviction is pending in the Lahore High Court.

Witnesses and police said the enraged mob ransacked and burned the entire locality a day after all Christian families left the area, as police apparently had alerted them about the possibility of an attack. The affected people, however, also accused police of doing nothing to stop the attack and plunder.

Blasphemy Suspect Released on Bail

Separately, a Christian facing the death penalty on blasphemy charges was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Wednesday (Feb 1) because of gaps in the investigation of his case, sources said.

Evangelist Adnan Prince had been in prison since Nov. 6, 2013, after he sought to correct misconceptions about Christianity in a Muslim book. He was charged with outraging religious feelings (Section 295-A), defiling the Koran (295-B) and derogatory remarks against Muhammad (295-C) of Pakistan's widely condemned blasphemy laws. He denied having written anything against Islam or Muhammad when he scribbled in a Muslim book he found in a glassworks shop where his brother worked.

The accused's lead counsel, Asma Jahangir, indicated that deficiencies in the case against Prince led to his release on bail. She told reporters that there were no direct eyewitnesses, and all forensic evidence failed to link the accused in the case against her client.

Full report at:

http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/69550/20170206/christian-70-charged-with-blasphemy-in-pakistan-as-106-muslims-are-acquitted-in-2013-attack.htm

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesia and the emergence of foreign fighters

By Matthew Abbey

6th February 2017

THE Islamic State (IS) is beginning to shift its focus towards Southeast Asia after losses on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.

From reports, it seems a growing number of Indonesians are becoming radicalised through extensive propaganda and by  joining the IS and other terrorist organisations across the Middle East. It’s about time the government steps up to combat the growing security threat.

The Soufan Group, an organisation that provides intelligence services, released a report on foreign fighters in Syria in December 2015. According to the report, 500 Indonesians had left the country to join terrorists organisations in Syria, lower than the government estimate of 700 in November 2015.

But the biggest worry isn’t who departs, but who decides to return.

At the time of the study, 162 Indonesian foreign fighters had returned home. Over 100 were unable to make the journey after getting deported from Turkey, while others voluntarily chose to return to Indonesia after not getting paid.

The IS began targeting Indonesians and Malaysians with propaganda in July 2014, which persuaded people to join the organisation.

After previously fighting alongside Central Asians, there were now enough Malay-speaking foreign fighters to create a separate military unit within the IS, which became known as the Katibah Nusanara. If Southeast Asians continue to play an important role in the organisation, they will be able to redirect the IS towards the region, leading to further attacks and heightened recruitment.

Another problem is the continued threat of extremist forms of Islam within Indonesia.

The IS once used Saudi Arabian textbooks to guide its followers, many of which were based on the conservative strain of Islam known as Wahhabism. Riyadh also exported the ideology to Indonesia through funding mosques and educational centres. Many students are pushed into the extremist ideology by failing to have sufficient funds to attend a public school, instead opting for the relatively cheaper Saudi-funded schools that offer a strict Islamic education. Wahhabism has therefore been able to infiltrate into the country’s religious fabric, which played a secondary role in turning Indonesians into foreign fighters.

But the main problem, of course, are the marginalised students who are unable to attend public schools due to costs.

Many Indonesians have joined the IS and other organisations out of a misplaced desire to become a good Muslim.

Propaganda has portrayed radical Islam as the most pure form of Islam and many grew romanticised ideas about a caliphate. Almost half of these Indonesians were recruited while already in the Middle East on student visas. And when these former students return to Indonesia, the threat will multiply.

After the IS claimed responsibility for the attack in Jakarta in January 2016, the risk posed by radical Islam came to surface.

The chief of police in Indonesia claimed the rise of terrorist attacks in 2016 is attributable to the IS, which doubled from the year prior. A total of 170 terror suspects were processed in 2016 alone.

Indonesia may have the largest Muslim population in the world, but a comparatively small amount of its citizens have become foreign fighters.

For a number of reasons, however, there is a need to mitigate the threat before it comes disproportionate to government capability.

Foreign fighters will continue to threaten national security in coming years, unless the government takes action.

https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/02/indonesia-emergence-foreign-fighters/

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IS unlikely to grow in SE Asia: academic

February 07, 2017

Although Muslim populations in Asean are not high on the US’s list of potential terrorism targets, Islamic State (IS) movements are likely to remain stagnant in the region, an expert on Muslim affairs.

IS operations have been prominent in Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia, which are also home to foreign fighters who owe allegiance to the IS, said Charan Maluleem, a Muslim academic from Thammasat University.

In Jakarta last January, the IS claimed responsibility for bombings in the capital which killed four civilians and injured another 25. Then in July, Santaso, leader of the IS-affiliated East Indonesia Mujahidin, was hunted down and shot by Indonesian police.

Malaysian authorities have also stepped up measures against the IS threats following a grenade attack in Kuala Lumpur in June. Two months later, they foiled alleged IS militants who planned to attack several sites in the capital on the national independence day. The country, with 60 per cent of the population of 30 million being Muslim, has also been verbally threatened by IS affiliates.

Some 500 Indonesians, half of whom are students or migrant workers, have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight for the IS compared to about 40 Malaysians who have also joined the battles in the Middle East

But the fact that the IS is not prominently active in any other Asean countries, Charan said, could imply that the movement is unlikely to grow in the region but will still be active.

Full report at:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/aec/asean_plus/30305844

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Rising religious intolerance in Indonesia caused by discriminatory government regulations: Human Rights Watch

February 6, 2017

Religious intolerance and violations of religious freedom are on the rise in Indonesia, according to a report from human rights watchdog The Setara Institute.

The Jakarta-based organization found that violations of religious freedom rose significantly last year, from 134 in 2014 to 208 incidents in 2016. The report also found acts of religious intolerance to be increasing, from 177 in 2014 to 270 last year.

While it is easy to blame these incidents on the increased prominence of hardliner groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the report found more than half of the incidents of religious intolerance involved government bodies, such as the police and local administrators.

Andreas Harsono, Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the current climate of religious intolerance is the legacy of former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) actions while he was in power.

“When SBY came to power in 2004, he tolerated these violent and intolerant groups. He also accommodated their demands,” Andreas told Coconuts Media.

“For instance, in 2005, he opened the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) congress and said the government was going to listen to their fatwas… when making public policies.”

“He also set up the so-called Religious Harmony Forum (Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama or FKUB) as an advisory body attached to all regions, mayors, governors and, of course, the president.”

The composition of FKUBs was designed to “mirror the composition of religions” in each area. As a result, the dominant religion in any given area holds the majority of members in each FKUB.

FKUBs have the power to veto any plans to build a house of worship in their local area, a power which the HRW researcher says leads to discrimination against minority religions.

Andreas says religious intolerance is also bred by Indonesia’s blasphemy law, which punishes deviations and criticisms of the six officially recognized religions with up to five years in prison.

When the law was challenged in 2009 by various NGOs and individuals, led by former president Abdurrahman Wahid, SBY and his cabinet strongly defended it.

Indonesia’s constitutional court subsequently ruled, in an 8-1 decision in April 2010, that the 1965 blasphemy law was a necessary restriction of minority religious beliefs in order to maintain “religious harmony.”

Even though his former deputy Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is on trial facing blasphemy charges, current President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has made no move to repeal the law.

“Jokowi inherited all of these discriminatory legal infrastructure practices and he has so far not made any substantial move to undo what SBY had installed,” Andreas said.

“If only Jokowi had undone what SBY had done, we wouldn’t be in a situation like this.”

Andreas argues that these discriminatory regulations are the main cause of rising intolerance. Not only that, they allow discriminatory groups such as the FPI to use popular mobilization to achieve their political ends.

Full report at:

http://jakarta.coconuts.co/2017/02/06/rising-religious-intolerance-indonesia-caused-discriminatory-government-regulations-human

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Ahok's Lawyers Report Fourth Blasphemy Trial Witness to Police for Perjury

Feb 7, 2017

Jakarta. Lawyers representing Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama have reported another opposing witness to police for allegedly giving false testimony during his ongoing blasphemy trial.

I Wayan Sudirta, one of Ahok's lawyers, said they reported Muhammad Asroi Saputra to the Jakarta Police on Monday (06/02), which brings the number of witnesses reported on similar allegations to four.

"There are two crucial requirements [for filing such reports to the police]. First, that the person gave false testimony under oath, and second, that the person is a claimant [or a witness for the claimant]. We have yet to decide whether to report those who are not claimants," Wayan said on Monday evening.

"This time we reported Muhammad Asroi Saputra, who lives in Padang Sidempuan [in North Sumatra]. Previously, in [the police] report, he described himself as a businessman. But in the police investigation report, he is listed as a civil servant," Wayan added.

Asroi allegedly gave false testimony during the trial by claiming to represent the voice of the global Muslim community.

Full report at:

http://jakartaglobe.id/news/ahoks-lawyers-report-fourth-blasphemy-trial-witness-to-police-for-perjury/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/man-tries-to-set-himself-alight-in-front-of-kaaba/d/109989

 

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