New Age Islam
Thu Sep 24 2020, 06:09 PM

Islamic World News ( 23 Nov 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim Body Goes Online To Counter ‘Misinterpretation Of Islam’ By IS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: File photo of Kashmiri protesters displaying the flags of IS and Pakistan flag during a protest against the alleged desecration of Jamia Masjid by police in Srinagar, Jammu-Kashmir. (HTfile photo)

 

India

Muslim body goes online to counter ‘misinterpretation of Islam’ by IS

Keep youth away from ISIS: Bengaluru Jama Masjid's Maulana

IS rival al-Qaida may target India

ISIS does not consider Indians good fighter

Hindus-Muslims to fight terrorism jointly

Paris aftermath: India must reaffirm its secular, plural credentials

Incredible India to intolerant India in 7 months?  Anupam Kher hits out at Aamir Khan

 ‘Jihadi bride’ a dream too far for ISIS recruits from India

India, Malaysia seek to step up cyber security

Victory of secularism in Bihar hailed

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Arab World

Gov't Forces Score More Victories against Militants South of Syria's Aleppo

‘No extremist teaching at Al-Imam university’

Russia Starts 2nd Round of Military Operations against ISIL in Syria

Terrorists' Military Equipment Destroyed in Damascus

U.S. to boost attacks on ISIS global network

KSA anti-terror policy ‘praised globally’

Daesh considers South Asians not men enough to fight

Car bomb kills four at hotel housing election judges in Egypt's Sinai

Syrian Forces Gain Ground in Damascus Countryside

Syrian Army Clashes with ISIL Northeast of Aleppo, Kills Groups of Terrorists

Qatar’s ruler Emir Tamim visits Mexico

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince receives Yemeni tribal chiefs

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar Al-Faisal passes away

France uses its newly-deployed carrier, Russia, U.S. strike ISIS

SNC: Russia air strikes on ISIS doesn’t go beyond 6% of its targets

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Southeast Asia

PAS ‘extremists’ gunning for us because of our Islamic ideology, Amanah veep claims

IS should be called Daesh so as not to tarnish Islam, says DPM

US Survey Says 1 In 10 Malaysians Support Islamic State

Thailand indicts two people over Bangkok shrine bomb attack

Malaysian Islamic department should focus on urban poverty, says ex-MP

Ex-ISA detainee has jihad experience, military training in Afghanistan, witness tells High Court

Islamic State’s Rise Risks Sparking Indonesia Terror Revival

Indonesia inching closer to becoming global Islamic fashion capital

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Europe

Hate crimes against UK Muslims soar after Paris attacks

France boosts IS fight as Brussels locked down

French Muslims fear deeper divide after Paris attacks

Brussels extends terror alert,US issues travel warning

Sweden indicts two over Daesh links and terror charges

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Pakistan

PM appreciates PAF role in eliminating terrorism

Elements in Pakistan, Afghanistan major sources of terrorist financing: US report

Pakistani Shia man jailed for 13 years for Facebook 'hate speech'

Disabled man to be hanged as Pakistan nears 300th execution

Brazil army chief hails Pak army's achievements in meeting with Gen Raheel

EU agrees to address Pakistan's deportation concerns

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South Asia

200 university students linked with ISIS and Taliban in Nangarhar

Afghan Taliban name new political head in peace talks boost

Claims of ISIS leaders living in Kabul baseless, MoI says

Dhaka summons Pakistani envoy, lodges protest over FO statement

Shocking as sick horses meat sold to Afghan police in Balkh

ARG Palace oppose with the creation of militia forces in Afghanistan

US lauds Bangladesh’s progress on GSP action plan

Apex court hears witnesses' statements in Nizami's appeal against death sentence

Myanmar government rebuffs calls for Rohingya citizenship

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North America

US issues global travel alert for Americans

Carson joins Trump in claiming U.S. Muslims cheered 9/11

Mother Of Muslim 9/11 First Responder Says Republicans Are Insulting Son’s Memory

US Muslim teen accused of clock bomb seeks $15 million

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Mideast

Iran, Russia against ‘external attempts’ to dump Assad

Iran to Export 9 Tons of Enriched Uranium to Russia, Import 140 Tons of Ore

Refugee crisis to persist if terrorism not tackled: Iran

Extremism distorting true face of Islam

Russia Begins S-300 Missile Deliveries to Iran

Turkish F-16s shoot down warplane near Syrian border: military official

Violence flares as Kerry arrives in Israel

Israeli soldier, three Palestinian attackers killed

Iran, Russia Sign 7 Cooperation MoUs

Kremlin hails Iran, Russia ‘unity’ on Syria after Putin’s visit to Tehran

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Africa

Coalitions claiming to fight terror unreliable: Leader

Sultan: Terrorism has no place in Islam

Somali pirates hijack Iranian fishing vessel with 15 crew

Tense Christian-Muslim relations provide backdrop to Pope’s Africa trip

Leaked Emails Show UAE Ships Weapons to Libya, Violates UN Resolution

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-body-goes-online-to-counter-‘misinterpretation-of-islam’-by-is/d/105407

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India

 

Muslim body goes online to counter ‘misinterpretation of Islam’ by IS

Nov 24, 2015

To counter the propaganda of terror outfit Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS), prominent Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind is planning to move into the online space, said Mahmood Madani, general secretary of the organisation.

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind said it may soon start a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

“We will move into the online space but with a plan. The IS is very active in the online space. Starting a Facebook page and Twitter account can be the beginning. We are preparing to counter the ideological misinterpretation of Islam by the IS,” said Madani, who is also a former Rajya Sabha member.

Read | Indian imams issue joint fatwa against IS, call it un-Islamic

“The Islamic State is the most un-Islamic outfit as it kills innocent people. It tarnishes the image of Islam. There is no justification for killing innocents in Islam,” Madani said, adding few “misguided boys” in India had joined the IS compared to the massive recruitment in Europe and the US.

“Peace is in the DNA of Indians. India being a democracy also helps as it allows us to chose our own government, express our opinion and follow any religion,” said Madani.

When asked about the reason behind the growth of IS, he attributed it to the policies of the US and Western countries.

“The invasion of Iraq was the biggest mistake,” Madani said.

The organisation had also organised a protest against the IS in more than 70 cities across the country on Wednesday.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/muslim-body-goes-online-to-counter-misinterpretation-of-islam-by-is/story-TWR6wGVOPlaMi83a3noWIK.html

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Keep youth away from ISIS: Bengaluru Jama Masjid's Maulana

Sowmya Aji

Nov 24, 2015

BENGALURU: The Maulana of Jama Masjid in Bengaluru, who controls over 6,000 mosques in Karnataka, has issued an alert to the Muslim community to be wary of the ISIS. Maulana Mohammed Maqsood Imran Rasheedi, who hails from Kolar, has said he had issued a directive about a month ago to all the mosques under him that it was a matter of urgency to ensure that young, educated Muslim youth are not lured by ISIS and its ideology.

"Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. What the ISIS is doing is against humanity and has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms," he told in an exclusive interview to ET.

Expressing horror at the recent bloodbaths in Paris and Beirut, the Maulana said: "We were talking about how to tackle this issue within the community itself till now. But now, I think, it is very important that the message we send out to our youth, is made available to the general public across the country, particularly after the recent attacks by ISIS."

The directive issued by the Maulana, a copy of which is with ET, is being circulated, debated and discussed at all Friday prayers and other meetings that the Muslim community is holding in Karnataka. "In the present times, many people with the intention of bringing disrepute to the religion have adopted many serious measures. One of the most popular strategies is using the name of Islam to propagate their own ideologies. Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with any of these ideologies. This ideology and acts are highly condemned by both the religion and the Muslims," the directive says.

It states that what the ISIS and its sister organisations preach is against Islam and Prophet Mohammed's teachings.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Keep-youth-away-from-ISIS-Bengaluru-Jama-Masjids-Maulana/articleshow/49902306.cms

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IS rival al-Qaida may target India

Raj Shekhar

Nov 24, 2015

NEW DELHI: Intelligence agencies are on alert to detect activities of al-Qaida's Indian sub-continent wing (AQIS) in the country. This comes just days after the outfit was slammed by the Islamic State.

The movements of AQIS chief Maulana Asim Umar, who is of Indian origin, is being closely tracked while sleeper cells in West Bengal and other states are being scanned for any subsequent communication, a source said.

While IS has asserted its presence through operations in neighbouring Bangladesh, AQIS will try to carry out a strike in India to regain its advantage, the source said. Agencies are trying to pre-empt such a strike as they believe AQIS will try to carry out an attack to prove they are no less in might than IS.

For now, the police agencies of Delhi, Mumbai and Puducherry have been asked to carry out threat assessment of French dignitaries/nationals and establishments in their areas and beef up their security, the source said.

AQIS had raised furore in May this year after it directly mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a video message released by its publicity wing as-Sahab. In the video titled 'From France to Bangladesh: The Dust Will Never Settle Down', Umar who is from Uttar Pradesh's Deoband mentioned Modi in the context of what he called as the war against Muslims.

IS slamming Qaida and Lashkar has paved the way for a competitive environment which makes an attack likely, sources said. IS treats Qaida as a rival not as a friend when it comes to international jihad, they said. IS has asserted that there was no rationale for "independent jihad organisations" as the time has come to unite behind a "single Quraysh Imam"-a reference to IS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and a puritanical tradition that the Khalifah or Caliph must be from the Quraysh tribe.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/IS-rival-al-Qaida-may-target-India/articleshow/49900295.cms

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ISIS does not consider Indians good fighter

Nov 23, 2015

NEW DELHI: Dreaded terrorist group ISIS does not consider South Asian Muslims, including Indians, good enough to fight in conflict zone of Iraq and Syria and so treat them as inferior to Arab fighters often tricking them into suicide attacks.

According to an intelligence report prepared by foreign agencies and shared with Indian agencies, fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as certain countries like Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters.

There appears to be clear hierarchy wherein the Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries.

"The fighters from South Asia are usually housed in groups in small barracks and are paid less than the Arab fighters and are provided inferior equipment," the input says.

There are reports that the so-called inferior fighters are also, at times, tricked into suicide attacks. Usually they are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a certain number, who would purportedly come and meet them to explain the mission.

However, as soon as the number is dialled, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying a specific target.

A total of 23 Indians have so far joined the ISIS of which six reportedly killed in different incidents. The dead are: Athif Vaseem Mohammad (Adilabad, Telangana), Mohammad Umar Subhan (Bangalore, Karnataka), Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar (Bhatkal, Karnataka), Saheem Farooque Tanki (Thane, Maharashtra), Faiz Masood (Bangalore, Karnataka) and Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid (Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh).

The intelligence report suggests that there is a disproportionately high level of casualty among the South Asian and African foreign terrorist fighters since they are forced to the frontlines of battle as foot soldiers.

The Arab fighters with better battle experience are mostly positioned behind these fighters and hence their casualties are proportionally less in terms of their total numbers. This explains why so many Indians from a small Indian contingent have died, it says.

The intelligence report says there is information that foreign fighters of Chinese, Indian, Nigerian and Pakistani origin are housed together and are monitored closely by the ISIS Police.

Incidentally, only Tunisian, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and Syrian are allowed to be in the ISIS Police force, which is barred for fighters of all other nationalities.

Hence, there is a clear trust deficit between the dominant Arab fighters from other nationalities, who are mostly attracted to ISIS through its sophisticated propaganda techniques on the Internet.

There is also information, the intelligence input suggests, that the ISIS considers Islam, as it is practised in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh .., as apostate and a departure from the original teachings of Quran and Hadith, which makes them less motivated towards Salafist Jihad.

Hence, there are authentic reports of brain washing of fresh recruits from South Asia and certain other countries by invoking the fear of 'Jinn', which are considered supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology, the intelligence input says.

The fear of 'Jinn' is invoked to ensure that the recruits from these countries do not return to their countries of origin on the premise that the 'Jinn' will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives if they do so.

Further, passports of foreign terrorist fighters from South Asia and certain African countries are usually burnt upon their arrival in Iraq-Syria to prevent them going back to their countries.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISIS-does-not-consider-Indians-good-fighter/articleshow/49894644.cms

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Hindus-Muslims to fight terrorism jointly

Nov 24, 2015

KANPUR: Bringing Hindu-Muslims together for taking pledge to fight terrorism, Akhil Bhartiya Gayatri Parivar held a mass oath taking ceremony on the concluding day of 'Maha-Yagya' on Sunday evening. As many as 150 Muslim men donning skull caps shared dais with Hindus and took the oath.

Shahar Qazi Alam Raza Noori also took part in the function held at Welfare Centre Ground in Jajmau. He urged Muslims to condemn terrorism.

Noori told the gathering to uphold traditional love between the two communities for the betterment of the country. He said that the terrorism has no religion and Islam had nothing to do with it.

For the first time such an event was organised by Gayatri Parivar in which Muslims took an active part.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/Hindus-Muslims-to-fight-terrorism-jointly/articleshow/49903233.cms

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Paris aftermath: India must reaffirm its secular, plural credentials

Vir Sanghvi

Nov 24, 2015

We know now that at least part of the network behind the carnage in Paris comprised people who were born and brought up in France. These attacks — like the shootings at Charlie Hebdo, some months ago — were not carried out solely by dangerous mercenaries and jihadists imported into France from West Asia. They were carried out by French people.

In that sense, the outbreak of terror in France is not unlike the London tube attacks of 2005. Then too, the perpetrators were British. They were young people who had grown up in Britain. Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit some years ago, Tony Blair, who was prime minister when the London attacks occurred, said that one element of the bombings continued to puzzle him: Why?

Why did British Muslims, who had received the full benefits of the welfare state and a liberal education from the British school system, want to become religious terrorists? Why were they prepared to give up their lives in the process? And what was their grievance given that Muslims in Britain (and certainly the bombers themselves) were not treated particularly badly and that the community seemed to be integrating into the British mainstream?

Blair had no answers then. And now, as more and more British Muslims (including the notorious Jihadi John, now hopefully deceased) go abroad to join murderous jihadi groups, the questions seem even more troubling, and the answers are as elusive.

I imagine that they are asking themselves the same questions in Paris in the aftermath of the attacks. What transforms Western-educated European citizens into suicide bombers? Why do they turn against the system in which they have been raised?

The narrative of terrorism has, till about a decade or so ago, focussed on the doctrine of no alternative. The Palestinians who kicked it all off in the sixties, we were told, had been left with no choice because of the way the Israeli State — with the help of the West — had oppressed them and driven them to acts of desperate violence.

It is a narrative that still surfaces every now and then. When Pakistan sent jihadis to Mumbai, they were told to pretend to be Indians from the Deccan Mujahideen protesting against the Indian State. Asked by a TV channel whether he realised he was going to die, one of the terrorists at Nariman House mournfully responded “we die every day”.

This narrative was also routinely parroted by Pakistani politicians. Asked at another HT Leadership Summit about suicide bombers, Imran Khan recited: “How desperate must a man be if he is prepared to sacrifice his own life?”

The problem is that this bogus glamorisation of murderers does not explain why there are so many more terrorists in Pakistan than there are in India, or why so many of them target the Pakistani State and its politicians (including Imran). They are certainly not being driven to desperation and violence by some evil Jewish or Hindu State when they massacre their own people.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/paris-aftermath-india-must-reaffirm-its-secular-plural-credentials/story-fym0GRqT2ph7xCZsoicR1L.html

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Incredible India to intolerant India in 7 months?  Anupam Kher hits out at Aamir Khan

November 24, 2015

Reacting to Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s remarks on intolerance in the Indian society, actor Anupam Kher on Monday hit out at Khan questioning what his solution to millions of Indian’s living in an ‘intolerant India’ was. Khan, on Monday evening, joined the ongoing intolerance debate saying there was a feeling of despondency and he was alarmed at what was happening in the nation over the last six to eight months. He was speaking at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards.

“Dear @aamir_khan. Did you ask Kiran which country would she like to move out to? Did you tell her that this country has made you AAMIR KHAN,” Kher tweeted in response to Khan’s comments that his wife Kiran Rao had spoken about whether they should move out of the country.

BJP MP and Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal, too, questioned Khan’s remarks saying a true patriot would never leave his motherland behind in turmoil.

“Aamir is a fighter so he should not leave but change the situation in the country! jeena yahan marna yahan! A true patriot will not run away n leave his motherland behind in turmoil or in troubled times (if any )… don’t escape – build it…

If I believe this is my motherland then I will never talk about leaving it ….but I would if I had believed otherwise …

“(Wife) Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers everyday. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet,” he had said at the RNG Awards ceremony.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/incredible-to-intolerant-anupam-kher-hits-out-at-aamir-khan-kiran-rao-for-remarks-at-rng-awards/

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‘Jihadi bride’ a dream too far for ISIS recruits from India

Nov 24, 2015

NEW DELHI: Islamic State, which entices young men into jihad with the prospect of finding themselves a 'jihadi bride', is spooking fresh recruits from India and other countries that they will be haunted by 'djinns' if they quit the battle to return home.  According to intelligence reports, IS is known to brainwash young fighters from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh by invoking the fear of 'djinn', a supernatural creature in Islamic mythology. The young men are threatened that they will be haunted for the rest of their lives by the 'djinn' if they desert the IS and head back to their home countries.

Of course, the more practical option of destroying the passports of IS recruits upon their arrival in Iraq/Syria is also exercised. Agencies claim it is a usual practice for IS to burn passports to prevent the recruits from going back.

As for those tempted to join IS in search of a 'jihadi bride', agencies warn that the skewed gender ratio in IS territory mostly spells disappointment for fighters from India or countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. The few available jihadi brides go to the "preferred" senior IS commanders and ethnic Arabic fighters.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jihadi-bride-a-dream-too-far-for-ISIS-recruits-from-India/articleshow/49900253.cms

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India, Malaysia seek to step up cyber security

Nov 24, 2015

India and Malaysia on Monday signed an agreement for cyber security and agreed to enhance cooperation in defence, including in maritime security, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his counterpart Najib Razak.

Speaking at a joint media briefing after his talks with Razak, Modi said the recent spate of attacks in different countries, "not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan are a reminder of the global nature of this threat".

Modi also complimented Razak for providing leadership in combating extremism and radicalisation, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion and in highlighting the "real values of Islam".

A joint statement released after the talks said both sides expressed "strong condemnation for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and called upon all states to reject terrorism and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice". "In this context, they welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries on counter terrorism and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this direction," it said.

Malaysia and India also agreed to continue sharing of information and best practices to address the challenges posed by terrorism and other "traditional and non-traditional threats". Modi and Razak recalled their stake in promoting multiculturalism and reaffirmed their "commitment to democracy, pluralism and development".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Malaysia-seek-to-step-up-cyber-security/articleshow/49899909.cms

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Victory of secularism in Bihar hailed

24 November 2015

RIYADH: The non-resident Indians (NRIs) from Bihar could not exercise their franchise in the crucial elections back home recently, but they did not spare any efforts in contributing to the victory of secularism against communal forces.

The community members, during the elections, worked in close co-ordination with their relatives in their state to make sure the secular fabric and composite culture remain intact in India. They also took to the social media to pass their message.

Leaders of different NRI organizations in the Kingdom came together to celebrate the landslide win of the the grand secular alliance (Mahagathbandhan), during the weekend in Riyadh.

The Bihar International Society for Welfare and Solidarity (BISWAS) and the Bihar Foundation hosted functions separately, which were attended by a cross-section of NRIs in the Saudi capital.

BISWAS hosted a brainstorming session on Saturday, entitled “Formation of new government in Bihar and our future course of action,” which was attended by the representatives of voluntary organizations and community members.

They, however, maintained that the new government would be ultimately judged by its performance in terms of improving the quality of life of the common people including security, implementing policies that reduce the gulf between the haves and have-nots, effective literacy, pro-farmer land reforms, sanitation facilities, free health facilities and improving infrastructure like electricity.

The session was presided over by Mohammed Quaiser, president of Tanzeem Hum Hindustani, while among community representatives who spoke on the occasion were BISWAS president Mukhtar Khan and general secretary Akhtar-ul-Islam Siddiqui, India Islamic culture center convener Murshid Kamal, Bihar Anjuman president Syed Muneer, Jamia Millia Alumni Association President Ghizal Mahdi, Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association general secretary Arshad Khan, Islamic Reserach Foundation (IRF) representative Salim Zubaidi, senior Alig Tariq Masood.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/840131

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Arab World

 

Gov't Forces Score More Victories against Militants South of Syria's Aleppo

Nov 24, 2015

The Syrian army, National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah fighters attacked the positions of al-Nusra Front and other Takfiri groups in the villages of Khan Touman, Kherbet Ma’rata, al-Ameriyeh and Karm Azeeza, and killed many of them.

The pro-government forces' attacks were so heavy that did not permit the militants to carry out counter-attack operation.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940903000487

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‘No extremist teaching at Al-Imam university’

24 November 2015

RIYADH: Al-Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University’s administration has rejected accusations that its staff teaches a religious curriculum promoting extremism.

“This is totally untrue,” Fawzan Al-Fawzan, acting rector of the university, was quoted as saying to a local publication. “The university is an integral part of this community. If one or two students hold extremist views that does not mean all 200,000 male and female students also do so.”

“On the contrary, this is one of the universities in the Kingdom at the forefront of fighting the spread of destructive views.” He said the university was opposed to Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other groups trying to destabilize Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries by using young people to carry out their violent agendas.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/840196

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Russia Starts 2nd Round of Military Operations against ISIL in Syria

Nov 24, 2015

The Russian army is also targeting the terrorists' positions with its long-range cruise missiles fired from the Mediterranean and Caspian seas while 37 new fighter jets joined the Russian fleet of warplanes in the second round of military operations against the ISIL.

The second phase of Russian airstrikes against the ISIL positions comes 50 days after the first airstrike was launched on the Takfiri militants in Syria.

The Arabic-language Al-Mayadeen TV reported that Russia's strategic warplanes will start pounding ISIL targets with 40 tons of bombs in each mission.

The Russian fighter jets usually target the command centers, gatherings and military camps of the ISIL terrorists.

Oil tankers and logistical routes of the ISIL terrorist group are among other targets of the Russian fighter jets.

The Russian warplanes will now start firing more powerful missiles and drop bombs on ISIL targets weighing 500 kilograms each.

On November 17, groups of Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear), Tu-22 (Blinder) and Tu-160 (Blackjack) long-range bombers took off from Russian airfields and returned to their base after striking the militants in Syria for the first time.

The decision to augment operation in Syria was taken after the Russian security service, the FSB, reported to President Vladimir Putin that the Russian passenger plane that crashed over Egypt’s Sinai was destroyed by a terrorist bomb.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to find and punish the culprits behind the Sinai plane attack. “Our military work in Syria must not only continue. It must be strengthened in such a way so that the terrorists will understand that retribution is inevitable,” he said.

The Russian defense ministry announced that the Russian Air Force has eliminated 472 terrorist targets in Syria only on Sunday and Monday, having 141 sorties in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir Ezzur, Hama, Homs, Idlib, Lattakia and Raqqa.

All Russian aircraft have successfully returned to the Khmeimim airbase near Lattakia, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said in a daily briefing.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940902001653

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Terrorists' Military Equipment Destroyed in Damascus

Nov 24, 2015

The army destroyed an explosive devices workshop, mortar launch pad and several vehicles of terrorists in Eastern Ghouta.

There were no more details available.

On Monday, the Syrian army won control over several key buildings in Harasta area in Damascus Countryside after defeating terrorists of Jeish al-Islam, leaving dozens of them dead.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940903000510

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U.S. to boost attacks on ISIS global network

24 November 2015

The United States on Monday sought to rally greater cooperation among allies seeking to crush ISIS group’s “global network,” on the heels of attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad.

Special envoy Brett McGurk urged allies to “increase pressure on ISIL at its core,” the State Department said.

“We need to do more as a coalition to coordinate our efforts and pressure ISIL across its global network,” it added, using another acronym for the group.

McGurk was speaking during a meeting he and Vice President Joe Biden had with top representatives of the 65 coalition members at the State Department -- including French, Italian, Turkish and Lebanese officials -- who have been bombing ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq for more than a year.

The meeting follows a string of attacks claimed by the self-proclaimed ISIS group, including in Ankara, Baghdad, Beirut and Paris, in Ankara, and against a Russian jet blown up over Egypt.

“The coalition is united in our determination to end the scourge that ISIL has brought to the region and the larger global community,” the State Department said.

“We will continue to find strength in our diversity and reject ISIL’s goal of using terror to divide us.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/24/U-S-to-boost-attacks-on-ISIS-global-network-.html

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KSA anti-terror policy ‘praised globally’

4 November 2015

DAMMAM: The Kingdom’s successful antiterrorism policy has been praised worldwide, according to an official at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS).

Jamaan bin Rashid bin Raqoush, rector of the university, said recently at a seminar that the Kingdom was one of the first countries to develop an antiterrorism strategy because of attacks domestically by radical groups.

“The Kingdom has spared no efforts in combating terrorism on a global level, including its decision to establish the International Center for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT), with a donation of $110 million.”

Raqoush said the Kingdom was tackling terrorism physically out in the field and at the level of education and awareness. This includes criminalizing the support and membership of extremist groups.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/840181

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Daesh considers South Asians not men enough to fight

24 November 2015

DUBAI: Daesh does not consider South Asians, including Indians, good enough to fight in the conflict zones of Iraq and Syria and treated them as inferior to Arab fighters. However, it often tricks them into launching suicide attacks.

According to an intelligence report prepared by foreign agencies, fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as certain countries like Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters.

There appears to be clear hierarchy wherein the Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries.

“The fighters from South Asia are usually housed in groups in small barracks and are paid less than the Arab fighters and are provided inferior equipment,” the input says.

There are reports that the so-called inferior fighters are also, at times, tricked into suicide attacks. Usually they are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a certain number, who would purportedly come and meet them to explain the mission. However, as soon as the number is dialed, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying a specific target.

The intelligence report suggests that there is a disproportionately high level of casualty among the South Asian and African foreign terrorists since they are forced to the front lines of battle as foot soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/840201

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Car bomb kills four at hotel housing election judges in Egypt's Sinai

Nov 24, 2015

CAIRO: A car bomb exploded outside a hotel housing election judges in Egypt's North Sinai on Tuesday, killing at least four policemen and injuring 12 people, security and medical sources said.

The blasts in the provincial capital of al-Arish came a day after the second round of a parliamentary election closed. Egyptian state television also reported the incident.

A suicide bomber tried to drive a car bomb into the hotel before security forces opened fire on him, causing the car to explode, security sources said. At least two judges were among the injured, authorities added.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221942/car-bomb-kills-four-at-hotel-housing-election-judges-in-egypts-sinai

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Syrian Forces Gain Ground in Damascus Countryside

Nov 24, 2015

On Monday, the Syrian troops regained control of a number of buildings in Harasta area, killing tens of Jeish al-Islam terrorists and destroying their strongholds and weaponry.

The army also destroyed a tunnel used by the terrorists and the military engineering units dismantled a number of explosive devices that were planted by the terrorists before they flee the area.

Earlier on Monday, the Syrian army troops heavily clashed with Takfiri militants in Damascus province.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940903000385

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Syrian Army Clashes with ISIL Northeast of Aleppo, Kills Groups of Terrorists

Nov 24, 2015

The pro-government forces stormed the ISIL defense line near Shamer village and Talet al-Shawaya and killed or wounded scores of them in fierce clashes, the sources said.

A middle-size stockpile of the ISIL ammunition and weapons was also destroyed in the army attack.

On Monday, the Syrian army repelled a large-scale attack by the Takfiri militants on Bashkoy town in the Northern Province of Aleppo.

The terrorists launched an attack on the town from four directions but the Syrian forces managed to thwart it.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940903000421

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Qatar’s ruler Emir Tamim visits Mexico

24 November 2015

Qatar’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, arrived on Monday in Mexico City for talks with President Enrique Pena Nieto, a first by an emir since ties were established in 1975.

The emir will visit the National Palace on Tuesday for an official ceremony and a meeting with Pena Nieto to take stock of bilateral relations, the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/24/Qatar-s-ruler-Emir-Tamim-visits-Mexico.html

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince receives Yemeni tribal chiefs

24 November 2015

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Monday received the leaders of Yemen's Marib tribes.

The Yemeni delegtion was headed by Marib Governor Sultan bin Ali Al Arrada and accompanied by Brigadier Mussalam Al Rashedi, Commander of Marib Liberation Force

The crown prince, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that the people of Yemen “are capable of facing all challenges and re-building their state on a purely Yemeni and Arab foundation,” according to official Emirati news agency WAM.

He added that the Saudi-led Arab coalition, which the UAE is part of and has been fighting Houthi militias in Yemen since March, has “contributed significantly in helping Yemen regain its sovereignty, under a vision that serves the aspirations of the Yemeni people for stability and development.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/24/Abu-Dhabi-Crown-Prince-receives-Yemeni-tribal-chiefs-.html

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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar Al-Faisal passes away

24 November 2015

Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar Al-Faisal, the son of King Faisal, has passed away at the age of 72. Funeral prayers will be held for him at Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh today, the Royal Court announced in a statement.

Prince Bandar, brother of late Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Prince Mohammed Al-Faisal, Prince Turki Al-Faisal and others, was born in 1943.

He had his secondary education in the U.S. and had graduated from the British Royal Air Force College (RAFC) in Cranwell. He joined the Saudi Royal Air Forces until he reached the rank of a General. He worked for 15 years as senior adviser at the office of the Minister of Defense and Aviation until his retirement in 2007.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/24/Saudi-Arabia-s-Prince-Bandar-Al-Faisal-passes-away.html

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France uses its newly-deployed carrier, Russia, U.S. strike ISIS

23 November 2015

France launched air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq on Monday in the first sorties from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, newly deployed in the eastern Mediterranean, France’s armed forces chief of staff said.

“We carried out strikes in Ramadi and Mosul in support of ground forces that were pushing against Daesh troops,” General Pierre de Villiers said aboard the carrier, referring to ISIS with its Arabic acronym.

Meanwhile, Moscow said on Monday its warplanes had hit 472 targets in war-torn Syria in the past two days, including tanker trucks and oil infrastructure in territory controlled by ISIS.

“In 141 combat sorties in the past two days, warplanes of the Russian airforce struck 472 terrorist targets in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Raqa and Deir Ezzor,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

The military said that the latest strikes had destroyed 80 tanker trucks near ISIS stronghold of Raqa, as well as a large oil storage tank and an oil refinery south of the city.

Fuel reserves some 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Deir Ezzor were also destroyed in the strikes, the defence ministry said.

Russia hunting ISIS oil

The Russian defence ministry said last week that it was “hunting” oil transporters in a bid to cut ISIS financing and claimed that in the past five days some 1,000 fuel trucks had been destroyed.

The Russian military claimed that “terrorists” had suffered “serious losses” in Saraqib, a city in the northwestern province of Idlib province, and in the town of Qalaat al-Madiq in the Hama province.

President Vladimir Putin last week ordered the intensification of Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria after confirming that the Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai last month, killing all 224 people on board, had been brought down by a bomb.

Russia says its air strikes target ISIS and other “terrorists,” but the West has previously said that Russia is targeting moderate opposition factions fighting the Moscow-backed regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The defence ministry on Monday dismissed as “unfounded” the United States’ claim its strikes were not targeting ISIS.

“As always these (claims) are unfounded, without concrete details or facts, citing unnamed sources,” the defence ministry said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/23/France-launches-missions-over-Syria-Iraq-from-newly-deployed-carrier-military.html

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SNC: Russia air strikes on ISIS doesn’t go beyond 6% of its targets

23 November 2015

Russia air strikes against the notorious ISIS group does not go beyond six percent of its total targets in Syria, head of the main opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) group said Monday in a press conference in Turkey.

Instead, Khaled Khoja accused Russia of targeting moderate rebels and civilians while avoiding ISIS-held sites. He said Russia is prioritizing its support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army.

With the help of Russia’s air strikes, the Syrian army was able to recapture a town and village in the central province of Homs from ISIS on Monday, state media and a monitoring group said.

Khoja, meanwhile, called on the Al-Qaeda-affiliate in Syria Al-Nusra Front to officially cut its ties with ISIS and to spare the country the “scourge of destruction and terrorism.”

“We do not see all who took up arms against Assad as true revolutionaries, nor do we accept transforming Syria into cantons ruled by warlords,” he said. “It is vital, therefore, to put the revolution back on track and lay out labels to make a distinction between revolutionary and criminal acts.”

He made his statement after a new political coalition was announced officially Sunday which included more Alawites.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/23/Syrian-opposition-Russia-air-strikes-on-ISIS-doesn-t-go-beyond-6-of-its-targets-.html

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Southeast Asia

 

PAS ‘extremists’ gunning for us because of our Islamic ideology, Amanah veep claims

BY YAP TZU GING

November 24, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) claimed today their members were being targeted by religious extremists due to their stand on Islam.

Party vice-president Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the tendency to champion an "absolute truth" in Islam in Malaysia has caused some Muslims to be intolerant against those who held different ideals.

“Among the extremist ideology that infects Malaysia is the idea of absolute truth thus allowing labels such as ‘munafik’ and accusing fellow Muslims with different thinking as heathens," the Parit Buntar MP told a news conference at the Parliament lobby here.

Such people, he added, shared characteristics similar to Islamic State (IS) terrorists.

Also present at the same news conference was Datuk Raja Kamarul Baharin who said threats have been received by three members over the last two weeks, with one purportedly threatened in his own house over the weekend.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/extremists-gunning-for-us-because-of-our-islamic-ideology-amanah-veep-claim

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IS should be called Daesh so as not to tarnish Islam, says DPM

November 24, 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 24 — The so-called Islamic State (IS) tarnishes Islam and the terror group should be referred to as Daesh, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said: “They are fighters and should be called Daesh.”

Daesh is the acronym of al-Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa al-Sham, the group’s Arabic name which has been loosely translated into English as Islamic State.

Zahid’s comments came on the heels of calls by several world leaders not to link the terrorists to Islam.

“They (the militants) think fighting for Daesh is a shortcut to heaven. I hope they will go somewhere else (when they die).”

He dismissed the notion many Malaysians were supporters of the rebel group involved in a series of deadly attacks including the massacre of 130 people in Paris on November 13.

A recent study by Pew Research Centre showed 11 per cent of Malaysians sympathised with the group’s ideology.

“I don’t think it (the study) is truly reflective of the real situation here,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said efforts were underway to combat insurgents from southern Philippines causing havoc in East Malaysia, mainly Sabah.

Members of another Islamic terror group Abu Sayyaf beheaded Sarawakian engineer Bernard Then Ted Fen last week after he was kidnapped from a seafood restaurant in Sandakan on May 14.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/is-should-be-called-daesh-so-as-not-to-tarnish-islam-says-dpm

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US Survey Says 1 In 10 Malaysians Support Islamic State

24 November 2015

In a recent survey carried out by US-based pollster, Pew Research Centre, 11 percent of Malaysians still exhibit some form of support or empathy for the militant terrorist organization Islamic State (IS).

Despite widespread publicity and regular public denouncements by our nation's leaders about the cowardice and false notion of religion propagated by IS, there exist a percentage of Malaysians who still have a problem with rejecting IS.

From the survey results, Malaysia shared second place together with Senegal as Muslim-majority countries in terms of support level and attitudes towards IS.

Pic: Pew ResearchPic: Pew Research

As part of its 2015 Global Attitudes survey, Pew Research had collected data in 11 countries with significant Muslim populations and found that most of these nations overwhelmingly reject IS without hesitation.

People from Nigeria to Jordan to Indonesia overwhelmingly expressed negative views of IS. One exception was Pakistan, where a majority offered no definite opinion of IS.

In no country surveyed did more than 15% of the population show favorable attitudes toward Islamic State. And in those countries with mixed religious and ethnic populations, negative views of IS cut across these lines, Pew Research reports.

Full report at:

http://malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/580662-us-survey-says-1-in-10-malaysians-support-islamic-state.html

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Thailand indicts two people over Bangkok shrine bomb attack

Nov 24, 2015

A military court in Thailand has indicted two men for involvement in a deadly bomb attack at a shrine in the capital, Bangkok, in August.

Thai officials said on Tuesday that the two, identified as Bilal Mohammad and Mieraili Yusufu, were indicted on 10 charges over the bombing at the Erawan Hindu Shrine.

Officials say there was no religious or political motive for the attack and that the bombing was carried out as an act of revenge against Thai authorities, who had broken up a human-smuggling group.

The two men have been held at an army base since their arrests following the blast. Cases of national security have been handled at the country’s military court since the Thai army gained power in a coup last May.

At least 20 people, mostly Asian tourists, were killed and 120 others wounded in the bombing attack in downtown Bangkok on August 17. A 27-year-old Chinese national, identified as Abudureheman Abudusataer, was arrested following the bombing and is thought to have masterminded the attack.

A number of other foreign nationals have been detained for suspected involvement in the explosion.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/11/24/438913/Thailand-Bangkok-Erawan-Hindu-Yusufu

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Malaysian Islamic department should focus on urban poverty, says ex-MP

Nov 24, 2015

PETALING JAYA: G25 member and former Umno MP Tawfik Ismail (pic) has called for the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to be redeployed to handle urban poverty for Muslims.

Tawfik, whose father was Malaysia's second deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, has maintained his strong stance against the religious body despite reports of a sedition probe against him.

"Isn't urban poverty and increasing spread of high rise ghetto a problem for the religious authorities to tackle as it involves mainly urban Muslims?

"A billion ringgit a year can go very far in arresting all the urban problems faced by Muslim youths and prevent them from being Mat Rempits and potential recruits for mischief at home and abroad, and give dignity to their lives," he said on Tuesday.

"Let the Malay Rulers and their religious councils and advisers handle the religious issues in their respective states, as they were constitutionally entitled to do as Heads of Religion," he added.

Maintaining that his views were personal and not shared by G25, Tawfik also suggested changing the focus of the existing minister, deputy minister in charge of religious affairs and the director-general of Jakim to focus on matters of urban redevelopment among Muslims.

He further reiterated his stand against Jakim, criticising its relevance and the reach it has in the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims in the country, adding that Islam is already enshrined in the Constitution as the official religion of the country, and it can only be undermined when the rights of the Malay Rulers are trampled upon.

"What law, divine or secular, empowers Jakim to proclaim its version of Islam is the only path Muslims can take, when Malaysia endorsed the Amman Message to accept all eight schools of Islam as legitimate?" said Tawfik, referring to 2004 global statement that declared what Islam is and is not and what strains of the religion should be recognised.

"Jakim and its supporters need to answer to the public, especially Muslims, why it is usurping the powers of the Sultans in the matter of religion.

"We are aware that attempts to erode the powers of the Malay Rulers have been ongoing since 1993 and the existence of Jakim is a reminder that the struggle continues till today," he said.

Full report at:

http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/malaysian-islamic-department-should-focus-urban-poverty-says-ex-mp

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Ex-ISA detainee has jihad experience, military training in Afghanistan, witness tells High Court

November 24, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 ― A witness told the High Court here today that former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat had experience in jihad, military training in Afghanistan and met Osama Bin Laden.

Muhamad Razin Sharhan Mustafa Kamal, 24, who had previously been detained in Beirut, Lebanon on suspicion of involvement with Al-Qaeda, said he met Yazid, 51, for the first time at Hotel D'Palma Ampang in May, 2012.

“When we met, he related to me his jihad experience, including climbing mountains and undergoing various challenges during military training in Afghanistan.

“He told me he met Osama but did not divulge the location,” said Muhamad Razin at Yazid and cafeteria assistant Muhammad Hilmi Hasim's trial.

Yazid is facing two charges of promoting terrorism to incite the public in Syria, and being a member of the Tanzim Al Qaeda Malaysia, while Muhammad Hilmi, 35, is accused of abetting him.

They allegedly committed the offences at a house in Taman Bukit Ampang, Lorong Mutiara 2, Lembah Jaya, Ampang near here between August 1, 2012 and February 7, 2013.

The witness said his meeting with Yazid was conducted publicly with others whom he did not recognise including Halimah Hussein, around.

Halimah was acquitted of a charge of conspiring with Yazid after she went missing.

Mohamad Razin who was the prosecution's 25th witness said he became familiar with Yazid after browsing the internet and locating his Facebook account.

“I was looking for Yazid because I wanted to know him and about his jihad experience and to get some connections with people in Syria,” he said.

Asked by deputy public prosecutor Ishak Mohd Yusof whether he and Yazid met again, the witness said they did. He said Yazid invited him for usrah (gathering for religious activities) at his house in Ampang on July 7, 2012.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ex-isa-detainee-has-jihad-experience-military-training-in-afghanistan-witne

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Islamic State’s Rise Risks Sparking Indonesia Terror Revival

By BEN OTTO

Nov. 23, 2015

JAKARTA, Indonesia—The rise of Islamic State in the Middle East is increasing the risk that long-subdued terrorist networks here may undergo a dangerous revival, security experts said Monday.

The group’s emergence in Syria and Iraq and the potential spread of foreign-trained militants pose a “serious challenge to Indonesia,” said Andy Rachmianto, director for international security and disarmament at Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry.

“A number of foreign terrorist fighters have come to our backyard,” he said. “They want to fight, they want to do jihad…in Indonesia.”

Hundreds of Indonesians have gone to Syria to support Islamic State, government security officials have said, and authorities have been trying to anticipate the effect of returnees as well as other Islamic State supporters traveling to Southeast Asia.

In July, Indonesia convicted four ethnic Uighurs of trying to link up with one of Indonesia’s most-wanted terror suspects, a militant leader known as Santoso.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, was racked by terrorism in the early 2000s committed by offshoots of al Qaeda, including the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists. Police have mostly destroyed the main networks since then.

The terror cells that still exist in scattered pockets have less capacity and fewer technical skills and have largely been reduced to attacking isolated police officers, security experts and Indonesian antiterrorism officials say.

But the Indonesians who have gone to Syria are aiming much higher, said Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

“We have now in Syria some Indonesians that think bigger [than] their counterparts in Indonesia,” Ms. Jones said, describing one radical who circulated a set of “lessons learned” from the recent Paris attacks, urging Indonesian militants to study the methods used. Another publication that calls for attacks on foreigners is generating increasing interest in Indonesia, she said.

Full report at:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/islamic-states-rise-risks-sparking-indonesia-terror-revival-1448293991

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Indonesia inching closer to becoming global Islamic fashion capital

24 November 2015

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, the worlds largest Muslim population, needs creativity to support its ambition to become a global Islamic fashion capital, particularly for Muslim women.

Indonesia has a population of over 250 million, of which 85 percent are Muslims.

Increasingly more Indonesian Muslim women, including young girls, are opting to wear Islamic clothing as they are fashionable, decent, practical, comfortable, and alluring.

Deputy Minister of Cooperatives and SMEs Emilia Suhaimi is even convinced that Indonesia deserves to become the global Islamic fashion capital by 2020.

"We know that Indonesia has been designated (to become) the worlds Islamic fashion capital by 2020, and the country is nearing that target from time to time," Suhaimi said here on Monday.

Besides being the largest Muslim populated country in the world, Indonesias Islamic culture is open to modernization, tolerance, pluralism and diversity, she added.

"Indonesias hijabs are very unique and varied, compared to those in other countries," she noted.

Furthermore, Indonesia has ample human resources who are creative, thanks to the nations rich cultural heritage, she remarked.

Traditional dresses in Aceh, Minang (West Sumatra) and other regions cover womens bodies well and are close to the Muslim sense of fashion, she added.

Since 1990, the Muslim fashion industry in Indonesia has progressed rapidly.

"This has convinced us that Indonesia has the potential to become one of the worlds fashion centers, particularly when it comes to Muslim fashion, because the country has creative human resources and a rich cultural heritage," she said.

Indonesia also has talented fashion designers and good fabrics that could support the garment industry.

She said the designs of Indonesian Muslim dresses are beautiful because they follow the latest trends while still maintaining the local cultural elements.

Besides covering womens bodies, Indonesian Muslim dresses are comfortable, elegant, fashionable, and have ethnic elements.

Malls and shops specializing in selling Islamic clothing are mushrooming in Jakarta and other cities, including Thamrin City, Tanah Abang, and Cempaka Mas Malls.

Specific shops offering high-quality Islamic fashion are the Shafira, Al-Fira, Al-Misa, Kisa, Zara, Zahra, and Rabbani, among others.

Online Muslim shops are also on the rise. They include Hijabenka HijUp, Saqina, Muslimarket, Zoya, Zalora, Elzatta, Idhijab, Rahma o-shop, Artizara, Inayah, and Modanisa.

Islamic fashion shows are organized every year in Jakarta and other cities to help promote the domestic Islamic fashion at the international level.

The events included Indonesian Muslim Fashion Week (IMFW) which was organized in Bandung, West Java, on July 18-20, 2014, featuring the latest works of 28 Indonesian Muslim fashion designers.

"The theme of IMFW 2014 was "From Indonesia to the World." IMFW is expected to become a world Muslim fashion hub in the future," IMFW coordinating committee chairman Pradito Rukmana said.

"This is an opportune moment because it coincides with Ramadan fasting month. Now, we see that hijab has become a lifestyle," Rukmana said.

The 28 designers participating in the fashion week include Dian Pelangi, Jenahara, Ria Miranda, Ria Baraba, Ghaida, Acha Septriasa, Irfan Hakim, Zaskia Adya Meca, and Nuri Maulida.

In September 2015, the annual International Indonesian Islamic Fashion Fair was organized at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) by the Indonesia Islamic Fashion Consortium (IIFC), a collective of Indonesian fashion designers, industry associations, government agencies, media, and other fashion-related entities, which harbor the mutual goal of developing the potential of Indonesias modest fashion industry.

In addition, the government had encouraged Muslim fashion designers to participate in overseas exhibitions.

Full report at:

http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/101666/indonesia-inching-closer-to-becoming-global-islamic-fashion-capital

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Europe

 

Hate crimes against UK Muslims soar after Paris attacks

November 23, 2015

There has been a 300 per cent spike in Islamophobic hate crimes in Britain since ISIS’ horrific Paris attacks with most victims being Muslim women wearing traditional Islamic dress.

A report to the British government’s working group on anti-Muslim hatred shows a spike in Islamophobic hate crime of more than 300 per cent, to 115, in the week following the killings on November 13 in France, The Independent reported.

Muslims living in Britain have suffered more than 100 racial attacks since the terrorist atrocities in Paris, the daily said citing figures prepared for ministers.

Most victims of the UK hate crimes were Muslim girls and women aged from 14 to 45 in traditional Islamic dress. The perpetrators were mainly white males aged from 15 to 35, it said.

The figures were compiled by the Tell Mama helpline, which records incidents of verbal and physical attacks on Muslims and mosques in the UK.

They are likely to be a significant underestimate of the total, as many victims are too frightened to contact police or community groups, the report said.

The report said a large number of the reported attacks were in public places, including on buses and trains. Thirty-four victims were women wearing the hijab, while eight involved young children.

“Many of the victims have suggested that no one came to their assistance or even consoled them, meaning that they felt victimised, embarrassed, alone and angry about what had taken place against them. Sixteen of the victims even mentioned that they would be fearful of going out in the future and that the experiences had affected their confidence,” the report to the government’s working group states.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/hate-crimes-against-uk-muslims-soar-after-paris-attacks/

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France boosts IS fight as Brussels locked down

November 24, 2015

BRUSSELS - France launched military missions over Islamic State areas in Syria and Iraq Monday from a newly-deployed aircraft carrier as Brussels was locked down for a third day amid fears of a repeat of the Paris terror attacks.

President Francois Hollande met British Premier David Cameron in Paris in an effort to widen an international alliance against the militant group as the Charles de Gaulle, stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, went into action.

David Cameron will pledge an extra £12 billion ($18.2 billion, 17.1 billion euros) for the military Monday as he pushes Britain's parliament towards a vote on joining air strikes in Syria within days.

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will map out Britain's defence strategy for the next five years after this month's Paris attacks which killed 130 people showed the Islamic State (IS) group's ability to strike in the heart of Europe.

Cameron will announce measures including the creation of two new 5,000-strong rapid reaction strike brigades which will be available for global deployment at short notice by 2025, Downing Street said.

In Europe's institutional capital, police in Brussels arrested five more people but Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam remained at large. Schools, public buildings and the metro were closed, with armed police and troops out in force on quiet streets. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warned late Sunday as he extended the security alert that the city faced a "serious and imminent" threat of attacks similar to those claimed by IS which left 130 people dead across Paris.

Hollande told Cameron that Britain and France had a "joint obligation" to strike at the militant group blamed for a series of bloody attacks, including the downing of a Russian airliner in Egypt with the loss of 224 lives.

Top-line French Rafale jets loaded with bombs were catapulted from the flight deck of the 42,500-tonne nuclear-powered carrier as Cameron and Hollande spoke, an AFP reporter onboard saw.

"We will intensify our strikes, choosing targets that will do the most damage possible to this army of terrorists," Hollande said.

The British premier, who earlier laid a wreath at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris where 90 people including a British man died on November 13, offered France the use of a British airbase in Cyprus.

Cameron said that he firmly supported France's actions against IS in Syria, adding that "it's my firm conviction that Britain should do so too."

Britain has joined in US-led attacks on IS in Iraq but so far Cameron has failed to get parliamentary support for sorties into Syria although it appears he may win approval shortly.

The web of fear from the Paris attacks has spread across Europe, especially to Belgium where some of the assailants had lived before the violence.

Belgian prosecutors said police had arrested another five people in fresh raids Monday, bringing to 21 the number held since Sunday.

Abdeslam, Europe's most wanted role for his alleged role in the attacks, is believed to remain on the run after officials said he was not among those arrested. Abdeslam's elder brother Brahim blew himself up outside a Paris bar in the November 13 attacks. Interior Minister Jan Jambon told Belgian media: "The operation is not finished. We will continue until we clean up this mess."

With residents struggling to get to work by bus and bike, Jambon conceded the level four security alert had clear costs and was disruptive but warned it must "continue as long as necessary."

"Yes there are consequences; but if there was an attack like in Paris, think what would be the consequences of that!"

Officials were due to complete a fresh threat assessment later Monday, with an announcement to follow.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2015/france-boosts-is-fight-as-brussels-locked-down

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French Muslims fear deeper divide after Paris attacks

November 24, 2015

Serene ASSIR - A fireman of Algerian origin, Faisal helped evacuate thousands from the Stade de France during the Paris attacks, guiding panicked football fans to safety as suicide bombers blew themselves up outside.

Now he fears the November 13 massacre across the French capital will deepen a dangerous "them and us" schism between France's five-million-strong Muslim population and the rest of society.

The militants behind the attacks appear to be Europeans of Arab origin, and the 40-year-old fireman worries that French Muslims may suffer greater discrimination as a result. "If you have a Muslim name, they stop seeing you as a French person and they start to see you as an Arab, a potential terrorist," Faisal said.

The attacks will also exacerbate an existing problem, he fears - that many Muslims don't feel part of France, and even resent it. And that resentment is precisely what the Islamic State group seeks to exploit.

Like others around Boulevard Barbes, a bustling microcosm of Paris' second and third-generation ethnic communities, Faisal condemned the attacks outright.

"I was working inside the Stade de France Friday night when we got the call on the radio to evacuate everyone. But when this kind of attack happens, it deepens the separation between us and the rest of society," the fireman said.

France's Muslim community - the largest in Europe - is as diverse as the country itself. But there are many who voice anxiety about their place in a country with a bloody colonial history in North Africa and a commitment to secularism that some see as contradictory with Islamic traditions.

This anxiety spiked as politicians such as ex-prime minister Alain Juppe calling on Muslims to publicly "say they have nothing to do with this barbarism".

"Muslims do not have to justify themselves... Are they guilty by association?" responded an opinion piece writer, Hatem Nafti, in left-leaning daily Liberation.

Alienation

French-born Mohammad, a 30-year-old Algerian CD and DVD shop owner in Barbes, and his friend Samir did some painful soul-searching.

"The problem is with how they treated immigrants to begin with (40-50 years ago). They put the Arabs in (sprawling suburban areas) far from everyone else," Mohammad said, nervously puffing at a Marlboro cigarette.

Decades after the first major waves of migration in the 1960s, many thousands of people still live in low-cost housing projects in Paris' downtrodden banlieue (suburbs), where petty crime is rife and life is completely different from the glittering city centre.

Jobs are harder to come by, with unemployment estimated in 2013 at 23 percent in contrast with nine percent elsewhere in the city.

The suburbs - and also parts of the 18th district, where Barbes is located - saw major riots in 2005 that emphasised the alienation.

It is this feeling of disenfranchisement that can be exploited by IS, warn researchers, with people on the fringes drawn to a movement that can give misguided aims to directionless youth.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2015/french-muslims-fear-deeper-divide-after-paris-attacks

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Brussels extends terror alert,US issues travel warning

24 November 2015

Brussels will stay at the highest security threat level for another week over fears of an imminent attack, the Belgian government said Monday, as the US issued a worldwide terror alert for its citizens.

On the third day of an unprecedented security lockdown in the Belgian capital, Prime Minister Charles Michel warned the threat of a coordinated attack in the institutional capital of Europe "remains serious and imminent".

Belgian authorities charged a fourth person in connection with the bloodshed in Paris, when gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in an attack claimed by the ISIL group, as an international manhunt continued for key suspect Salah Abdeslam.

French police sources said Monday they had found a suspected explosives belt in a suburb near the French capital where the 26-year-old was thought to have been on the night of the killings.

The item was found in a dustbin in Montrouge, south of Paris, where a person close to the enquiry said telephone data placed Belgian-born Abdeslam on the night of November 13.

Another police source said the belt appeared to have "the same configuration" as those used by the jihadists who carried out the killings in the French capital, the country's worst such attacks.

Washington and Paris, meanwhile, stepped up their fight against IS, with France launching its first strikes from a newly deployed aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and the US calling for more international cooperation against the group.

Underlining heightened global fears of attacks after rebels killed scores in Mali, Turkey and Nigeria in recent weeks, the US issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of "increased terrorist threats".

"Current information suggests that ISIL (another term for ISIL), Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," said a State Department travel advisory.

'As long as necessary'

In Brussels, an eerie atmosphere hung over the city for a third day with soldiers in camouflage patrolling everywhere, from railway stations to EU institutions.

The army and armed police will remain on the streets in coming days, Michel said, but schools and the metro system would reopen from Wednesday.

In the normally bustling historic Grand Place, a few bars and restaurants were open for business but they were struggling to find customers.

The European Union and NATO, which both have their headquarters in Brussels, said they would bolster security and urged non-essential staff to work from home.

As residents in Brussels struggled to get to work by bus and bike, Interior Minister Jan Jambon conceded alert had clear costs and was disruptive, but said it would "continue as long as necessary." It will be reviewed again next Monday.

Meanwhile the federal prosecutor's office announced that a man who was arrested during a large police operation in Belgium late Sunday has been charged with involvement in the November 13 Paris attacks, the fourth so far.

"He is charged with participating in activities of a terrorist group and with a terrorist attack," the office said in a statement.

Mohammed Amri, 27, and Hamza Attou, 20, were charged last Monday on suspicion of helping Abdeslam escape to Brussels after the attacks, while a third unnamed person faces charges of aiding him when he reached the city.

Abeslam's brother Mohamed on Sunday told Belgian television he thought Salah had decided at the very last moment not to go through with his attack mission.

 'Army of terrorists' 

French President Francois Hollande said his country was "at war" with ISIL following the attacks, and on Monday planes based on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier launched their first attacks against the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

Hollande met British Prime Minister David Cameron in Paris in an effort to widen an international alliance against the extremist group.

"We will intensify our strikes, choosing targets that will do the most damage possible to this army of terrorists," Hollande said, adding that NATO allies Britain and France had a "joint obligation" to strike at ISIL.

Cameron, who earlier laid a wreath at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris where 90 people died, said he supported France's actions and added that "it's my firm conviction that Britain should do so too."

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/166647/imf-russias-economy-stabilizing

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Sweden indicts two over Daesh links and terror charges

Nov 23, 2015

Sweden has indicted two men on terrorism charges, accusing them of having links to the Daesh Takfiri group in Syria.

Swedish anti-terror prosecutors said on Monday that the two men will be tried for terrorism charges as they have been involved in a crime which was intended to “damage the state of Syria and instill fear in the people.”

Chief Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnstrom said in a statement that the suspects, 30 and 32, are accused of slitting the throats of two men in Syria in 2013.

“The two men charged in Gothenburg District Court are Swedish nationals who went to Syria to fight,” Qvarnstrom said.

She added that photographic and video evidence shows the decapitations by the men who “both expressed joy over the deeds.”

Qvarnstrom said the two could also be linked to Daesh, the terror group which controls areas in Syria, including territories around Aleppo.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/11/23/438859/Sweden-court--terrorism-Daesh-Syria-Aleppo

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Pakistan

 

PM appreciates PAF role in eliminating terrorism

November 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at PM House here on Monday. The prime minister appreciated the role of Pakistan Airforce in eliminating terrorism in Pakistan.

The prime minister said that officers of Pakistan airforce have set high standards of professional competence. There is no room for intolerance and extremism in Pakistan. He said that terrorism will be rooted out from every nook and corner of Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/24-Nov-2015/pm-appreciates-paf-role-in-eliminating-terrorism

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Elements in Pakistan, Afghanistan major sources of terrorist financing: US report

ANWAR IQBAL

Nov 24, 2015

WASHINGTON: Unidentified elements in Pakistan and Afghanistan are major sources of terrorist financing, says a report by the US Treasury Department.

“There is evidence that recently some funding via donations has been diverted from Afghanistan and Pakistan to terrorist groups operating in Syria,” claims a similar report by the British government.

Terrorist financing was the focus of discussions at a White House meeting last week between US security officials and Pakistani defence team headed by Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif.

Take a look: Hot pursuit of terror funds

The report — “Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment, 2015, — notes that the Haqqani Network generates funds by a wide range of sources including businesses and proceeds derived from criminal activities such as smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping for ransom in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The report claims that Lashkar-e-Taiba receives the majority of its funds from within Pakistan, including by using its charitable front organisations, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF), to solicit donations.

LeT generates additional funds from private donations and commercial ventures. The report notes that the group’s two largest financial hauls come from private donations during Ramazan and profits associated with the collection and sale of animal hides during the Eid-ul-Azha, each of which nets the group millions of dollars.

The report also points out that Faisal Shahzad, who tried to blow New York’s Times Square on May 1, 2010, received about $4,900 in cash from a TTP supporter in Pakistan in February 2010. He picked the money from a gas station attendant, Aftab Ali Khan, in Massachusetts.

The report identifies Khan as an unlicensed money transmitter. Six weeks later, Shahzad received another $7,000 in cash, sent by the same source in Pakistan, in Ronkonkoma, New York, from a Pakistani businessman named Mohammed Younis who was also acting as an unlicensed money transmitter.

The report names another Pakistani national, Saifullah Anjum Ranjha, who pleaded guilty to laundering money and to concealing terrorist financing. He ran an unlicensed money remitter business in the District of Columbia.

Over the course of four years, a cooperating witness gave Ranjha and his associates a total of $2,208,000 to transfer abroad, explaining that the funds were the proceeds of, and related to, his involvement in international drug trafficking, international smuggling of counterfeit cigarettes and weapons.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221855/elements-in-pakistan-afghanistan-major-sources-of-terrorist-financing-us-report

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Pakistani Shia man jailed for 13 years for Facebook 'hate speech'

Nov 24, 2015

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has jailed a Shia man for 13 years after he posted what it deemed sectarian hate speech on Facebook, officials said on Monday, with rights activists condemning the ruling as “extremely concerning”.

Saqlain Haider, 32, who ran a small hotel in Chiniot district south of Islamabad, was also fined Rs250,000 rupees for “posting hateful material”, an official of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) told AFP, requesting anonymity.

"The accused has been convicted and fined Rs250,000 for his offense," added SSP Attaur Rahman of CTD.

Abdul Majeed, a senior local counter-terrorism official, confirmed the incident.

“The convict was arrested on October 27 after locals complained about him and he was charged for spreading sectarian hatred under various clauses of the anti-terrorism act,” he told AFP.

Majeed said the accused was released on bail a day later, then arrested and imprisoned on November 21 after the court convicted him.

Bytes for All, a human rights group, said it had not been able to verify the details of Saqlain's case, but added: “We are extremely concerned that an anti-terrorism court has been used to hear a case apparently related to online speech rather than to any violent activities.“

A spokesman pointed out that banned militant groups including the Pakistani Taliban and sectarian groups such Lashkar-i-Jhangvi have a significant social media presence in Pakistan and “appear to be operating freely under the eyes of authorities”.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked hundreds of militant and sectarian websites and social media accounts in the past but they often pop up anew under different names.

Bytes for All said Saqlain Haider's case was the first it knew of in which someone was convicted for posting sectarian material on Facebook, but that blasphemy charges were often brought against social media users.

ATC hands over five-year jail term

In a separate incident in Faisalabad, an ATC on Monday handed down a five-year jail term to a man for airing “hate material” on social media.

According to the prosecution, Rajhana police had booked Zeeshan in two separate cases under sections 9 and 11-W of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) over publishing material on social media to incite sectarian hatred.

After observing evidences and hearing witnesses, the ATC Judge awarded the accused five years imprisonment in each case.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221725/pakistani-shia-man-jailed-for-13-years-for-facebook-hate-speech

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Disabled man to be hanged as Pakistan nears 300th execution

Nov 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Abdul Basit, a paraplegic who developed tubercular (TB) meningitis while on death row, and was convicted of murder in 2009, is scheduled for execution tomorrow (Nov 25).

Amnesty International claims it has recorded 299 executions since the death penalty was controversially reinstated following a Taliban mass killing at a school in Peshawar last year that was the country's deadliest ever extremist attack.

Basit's hanging has already been postponed several times after rights groups raised concerns about how a wheelchair-bound man would mount the scaffold.

Amnesty International slammed Islamabad Tuesday for “shamefully sealing its place among the world's worst executioners.”

Forty-five people were executed in October alone, Amnesty said, making it the deadliest month since the moratorium was lifted.

No official figures are available.

“Pakistan's ongoing zeal for executions is an affront to human rights and the global trend against the death penalty,” David Griffiths, the group's South Asia research director, said in the statement.

“Even if the authorities stay the execution of Abdul Basit, a man with paraplegia, Pakistan is still executing people at a rate of almost one a day.”

There was no evidence the “relentless” executions have done anything to counter extremism in the country, he added.

Also read: Execution of paralysed death row convict postponed.

The rights group also alleged that many of the executions come after court proceedings that “do not meet international fair trial standards”.

Pakistan ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty last year as part of a crackdown after Taliban militants gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221938/disabled-man-to-be-hanged-as-pakistan-nears-300th-execution

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Brazil army chief hails Pak army's achievements in meeting with Gen Raheel

Nov 24, 2015

BRASILIA: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif on Monday met Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces of Brazil Gen José Carlos de Nardi, who hailed the Pakistan Army's professionalism and operational achievements especially in ongoing counter-terrorism operations.

According to a series of tweets posted by Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa, Gen Raheel was presented a guard of honour and a 19-gun salute on his arrival at the Brazil Army headquarters.

In his meeting with Gen Nardi, the army chief discussed matters concerning regional security and the emerging challenges faced by the region. Tactical Reconnaissance Group (TRG) exchanges were also discussed.

At the Brazilian army headquarters, Gen Raheel discussed with the Brazil Army Command matters of mutual professional interest and military-to-military relations, said the ISPR spokesman.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221930/brazil-army-chief-hails-pak-armys-achievements-in-meeting-with-gen-raheel

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EU agrees to address Pakistan's deportation concerns

IFTIKHAR A. KHAN

Nov 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The European Union has agreed to address Pakis­tan’s concerns which have led to suspension of Pak-EU readmission agreement on migrants.

The visiting Commissioner Migration of the EU, Dimitris Avramopoulos, during a meeting with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Monday assured him that deportees from Europe would now be sent to Pakistan under a clearly defined standard operating procedure.

They also agreed to the need for curbing Islamophobia and combating terrorism and human smuggling.

According to informed sources, Chaudhry Nisar insisted that no deportees should be sent (to Pakistan) without verification of their nationality by the interior ministry and informing it about the charge and evidence against them.

The minister had adopted a tough stance when some Pakistani nationals were deported recently from Europe on unsubstantiated charges of terrorism. Italy deported a Pakistani national and claimed that he was involved in the Army Public School attack in Peshawar. But after interrogation, the local authorities found him innocent and having nothing to do with terrorism.

On Nov 6, Chaudhry Nisar had said that Pakistan could not allow any country to label its innocent citizens as terrorists and announced that the readmission agreement signed with the EU in 2010 had been suspended.

The agreement was meant to establish, on the basis of reciprocity, rapid and effective procedures for identifying and deporting people staying illegally in a country. “We will not allow (landing of) any plane carrying deportees (under the agreement) unless we verify their nationality and get details about the charge and evidence against them,” the minister said.

“Those who give lectures on fundamental human rights to us should also respect rights of Pakistanis,” he said. He deplored the mindset of treating anyone with an Islamic name or sporting beard or a woman wearing a veil as a potential terrorist. “This one-way traffic should stop now.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221844/eu-agrees-to-address-pakistans-deportation-concerns

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South Asia

 

200 university students linked with ISIS and Taliban in Nangarhar

Nov 24 2015

Around 200 university students are affiliated with the anti-government armed militant groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province, it has been reported.

Other militant groups the students are affiliated with includes the Taliban group and Hezb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The distressing report was emerged during a visit by presidential advisor Qamaruddin Shenwari who was leading a delegation to Nangahrar province.

He told BBC that their findings shows the university students are linked with the enemy circles which also includes a number of the university lecturers.

This comes a large group of the students organized a rally in Jalalabad, the capital city of Nangarhar few days earlier and carried flags belonging to Taliban, ISIS and Hezb-e-Islami party.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/200-university-students-linked-with-isis-and-taliban-in-nangarhar-1720

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Afghan Taliban name new political head in peace talks boost

November 24, 2015

KANDAHAR - The Afghan Taliban have named a new head for their political office in Qatar, with a militant source telling AFP Monday he is a supporter of peace talks with Kabul.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a former anti-Soviet fighter, and his deputy Abdul Salam Hanafi were appointed by the insurgents’ leader Mulla Akhtar Mansour, a member of the Quetta Shura ruling council told AFP Monday.

Stanekzai is a senior Taliban leader who served as Afghanistan’s deputy health minister during the militants’ 1996-2001 time in power.

“They are in favour of peace talks, and were selected to reach to an understanding with the Afghan government and the international community,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The Qatar office was established in 2013 to facilitate such talks.

An historic first round of talks between Taliban leaders and the Afghan government was held in July, but a second round was derailed after the announcement of long-time Taliban leader Mulla Omar’s death.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/24-Nov-2015/afghan-taliban-name-new-political-head-in-peace-talks-boost

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Claims of ISIS leaders living in Kabul baseless, MoI says

Nov 23 2015

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) dismissed lawmaker Haji Zahir Qadir’s claims regarding the presence of leaders of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIs) terrorist group in capital Kabul.

A statement by MoI said it strongly rejects remarks by a lawmaker regarding the presence of ISIS leaders in Kabul and the support they receive from certain circles within the system, calling such remarks against the national interests of the country.

MoI also added that such remarks would not harm the bravery and self-devotion of the Afghan security forces who are fighting the terrorist groups.

Calling the remarks dedicated for the interest of certain individuals and groups, MoI said the terrorists would receive moral boosts from such comments to expand their terrorist activities that would only harm the national morale.

MoI also added that no justifications would be acceptable to the government of Afghanistan to launch militia forces since hundreds of thousands of security and defense forces are serving with the current system.

The statement by MoI followed by MP Zahir Qadir’s remarks during a general session of the lower house of the parliament, claiming that the leaders of ISIS terrorist group are living in Kabul.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/claims-of-isis-leaders-living-in-kabul-baseless-moi-says-1719

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Dhaka summons Pakistani envoy, lodges protest over FO statement

Nov 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh received another blow when Bangladeshi government summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner Shuja Alam and lodged strong protest over the statement made by Foreign Office, terming it an interference into internal matters of Bangladesh.

Alam was summoned at the Bangladeshi foreign ministry in Dhaka on Monday to register protest against the statement issued by Islamabad over the executions of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader and Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general — who were both charged with 1971 war crimes.

"Yes, High Commissioner Shuja Alam was called at the foreign ministry," an official at Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka told Dawn.com via phone.

Read: Pakistan deeply disturbed by Bangladesh executions: FO

The official further said that Alam was conveyed displeasure of the Bangladeshi government by acting foreign secretary Meezan-ur-Rehman who said executions in connection with 1971 is the internal matter of Bangladesh.

The protest note handed over to Pakistani envoy said that by openly taking the side of those convicted, Pakistan had once again acknowledged its direct involvement and complicity in the mass crimes committed during the separation.

It said the comments were nothing less than brazen interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh, which was unacceptable.

“Pakistan should no way make biased, borrowed and unfounded comments about the independent judiciary of a sovereign country,” the note stated.

Bangladesh Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Shahriar Alam said a “strongly worded protest note” was handed to Pakistan's envoy saying the criticism was unacceptable.

Islamabad earlier said the men's trials were flawed and that it was “deeply disturbed” by their executions on Sunday.

Pakistani high commissioner assured the Bangladeshi foreign secretary that he would convey the reaction to foreign ministry in Islamabad.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid were hanged at Dhaka Central Jail in the nation's capital on Sunday.

Chowdhury had been convicted on of charges of torture, rape and genocide during the 1971 war, while Mujahid was found guilty on charges of genocide, conspiracy in killing intellectuals, torture and abduction.

"We have noted with deep concern and anguish the unfortunate executions of the Bangladesh National Party Leader, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mujahid," Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement.

The spokesman said Pakistan also took notice of the international community's reaction to the flawed trials in Bangladesh related to the events of 1971.

Jamaat-e-Islami and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party say the trials were politically motivated. Bangaldeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has denied the allegations, but acknowledged that she faced international pressure for trying opposition figures for war crimes.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221715/dhaka-summons-pakistani-envoy-lodges-protest-over-fo-statement

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Shocking as sick horses meat sold to Afghan police in Balkh

Nov 24 2015

A shocking report has emerged from the northern Balkh province of Afghanistan revealing a slaughterhouse where weak and sick horses were slaughtered to sell their meat to Afghan police.

According to the local government officials, the contractor was cheating the authorities and was selling the meat to public order police forces, saying they were selling beef and mutton.

Provincial police chief Syed Kamal Sadat confirmed that the meat of weak and sick horses were sold to the public order police forces.

He said a suspect has been arrested in connection to the deceitful act but the authorities in 3rd brigade of the public order forces denied the allegations.

The authorities further added that they are carefully examining the meat before purchasing.

This comes as at least two people were jailed for a period of 13 years each after they were found guilty of selling dog meat to open market in western Herat province.

Another individual was also jailed for three years after he was found guilty of cooperating with the two men.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/shocking-as-sick-horses-meat-sold-to-afghan-police-in-balkh-1723

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ARG Palace oppose with the creation of militia forces in Afghanistan

Nov 24 2015

The Presidential Palace (ARG) has opposed with the creation of militia forces, calling on former commanders and those behind the plan, to halt the process.

Insisting on the outcome of creating such forces, the Palace said the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces have proved to be effective only within the framework of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), which is currently being implemented with the set mechanism.

The statement by ARG Palace was released amid concerns regarding plans to create militia forces, with the government officials, lawmakers and other political figures calling for an immediate halt of it.

A number of tribal elders and former Mujahideen commanders have already started the process of creating militia forces to fight the anti-government armed militants amid deteriorating security situation across the country.

Concerns regarding the establishment of militia forces further heightened after reports emerged regarding an agreement reached between Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor, vice president Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and deputy CEO Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq.

However, the statement by ARG said the government is calling on former commanders to encourage their people and supporters to join the Afghan national security forces.

The statement further added joining the Afghan security forces ranks and supporting them is the only effective way to maintain security and defend the country’s sovereignty and freedom.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/arg-palace-oppose-with-the-creation-of-militia-forces-in-afghanistan-1721

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US lauds Bangladesh’s progress on GSP action plan

November 24, 2015

The United States has appreciated Bangladesh’s progress on sustainability compact and GSP plan of action, a press release of Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC said.

During the second annual council meeting of the Bangladesh-US Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) in Washington DC yesterday, the US side also recognised the huge potential Bangladesh possess, and expressed hope that US investors will come forward to explore the potential.

The Bangladesh delegation, led by Senior Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, delineated the huge transformation Bangladesh has undergone over the years making it a coveted destination for foreign investment.

The meeting also discussed wide range of issues including progress on workers’ rights and GSP action plan, investment climate in Bangladesh, market access and responsible business conduct, TPP, blue economy, infrastructure, etc.

The meeting decided to hold the next meeting of TICFA in Dhaka at a convenient time next year, it mentioned.

The US side was headed by Michel Delany, assistant US trade representative.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/business/us-lauds-bangladeshs-progress-gsp-action-plan-177292

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Apex court hears witnesses' statements in Nizami's appeal against death sentence

November 24, 2015

The Supreme Court yesterday heard statements of prosecution witnesses about three crimes against humanity charges brought against war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami.

The charges are related to torture, murder and rape at Physical Training Institute in Dhaka's Mohammadpur and Karamja village in Pabna and to the killing of 22 unarmed civilians at Dhulaura village in Pabna during the country's Liberation War in 1971.

Yesterday, Nizami's lawyer SM Shahjahan read out the statements of prosecution witnesses about the charges before the Appellate Division of the SC during the fourth day's hearing on the appeal filed by Nizami challenging the International Crimes Tribunal-1 verdict that sentenced him to death.

The prosecution witnesses made the statements before the ICT-1 during the proceedings of the case filed on charges of committing crimes against humanity in 1971. 

The ICT-1 had sentenced Nizami to life imprisonment on charges of torture, murder and rape at Physical Training Institute and sentenced him to death on charges of offences committed at Karamja and Dhulaura.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/apex-court-hears-witnesses-statements-nizamis-appeal-against-death-sentence-177148

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Myanmar government rebuffs calls for Rohingya citizenship

Nov 24, 2015

Myanmar's military-backed government has rejected calls for granting citizenship to the country’s most persecuted ethnic Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmar’s presidential spokesman and Information Minister Ye Htut said on Saturday that the administration would not grant the right of citizenship to the Rohingya Muslim community.

“Our government’s stance is that we wholly reject use of the term Rohingya,” the minister wrote on his Facebook page, rejecting calls that the Muslims be granted a path to citizenship.

The comments came in the wake of the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review, which examines the human rights situation in all UN member states.

Myanmar’s government snubbed over half of the review’s 281 recommendations, including all those related to civil and political rights of the Southeast Asian country’s Rohingya Muslims.

Myanmarese officials categorize most of the 1.3 million Rohingyas as Bengalis, implying they are illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/11/24/438900/Myanmar-Rohingya-Rakhine-Muslim-citizenship

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North America

 

US issues global travel alert for Americans

24 November 2015

The U.S. is warning all of its nationals who are or are planning to travel abroad of an increased threat to their safety from extremist groups.

The rare worldwide travel warning cites "current information" indicating that ISIL, al-Qaeda and Nigeria’s Boko Haram are plotting to target U.S. nationals in multiple regions.

"These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests," the State Department said in the written alert.

The department warned that the return of ISIL fighters to their home countries from Iraq and Syria will increase the likelihood of terror attacks, while lone wolf terrorists continue to be a threat.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/166653/us-issues-global-travel-alert-for-americans

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Carson joins Trump in claiming U.S. Muslims cheered 9/11

24 November 2015

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson followed rival Donald Trump's lead Monday in saying he too saw a video of Arab Americans cheering as New York's twin towers collapsed on September 11, 2001.

Within days of the 9/11 attacks, police, fact-checkers and U.S. media had debunked the rumors that people were cheering from rooftops of Jersey City, across the river from Manhattan.

But Trump, the billionaire frontrunner for the Republican nomination, suddenly revived the story on the campaign trail Saturday, eight days after deadly attacks in Paris.

"I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down," Trump told a rally in Alabama.

Carson, who is currently Trump's top rival in the race, told reporters a similar story Monday.

Asked whether he had seen footage of American Muslims in New Jersey cheering on 9/11, Carson said "I saw the film of it, yes." Pressed which footage he saw, he said "the newsreels."

ABC News published a video of Carson's remarks in Nevada.

"There are going to be people who respond inappropriately to virtually everything. I think that was an inappropriate response," Carson said of the cheering.

"I don't know if on the basis of that you can say all Muslims are bad people. I really think that would be a stretch."

The remarks, particularly by Trump, that there were large groups of Muslims cheering on the day of unprecedented terrorist attacks on the United States drew sweeping condemnation, including from George Pataki, who was New York's Republican governor during the attacks and is currently running for president.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/24/Carson-joins-Trump-in-claiming-U-S-Muslims-cheered-9-11-.html

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Mother Of Muslim 9/11 First Responder Says Republicans Are Insulting Son’s Memory

11/23/2015

WASHINGTON -- The mother of an American Muslim first responder who died on 9/11 is calling out Republican presidential candidates for drumming up hatred and fear against Muslims in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

"Capitalizing on fear and the considerable ignorance about the Muslim faith among many of our citizens, they are in a rush to the bottom, driving a stampede of prejudicial proposals," Talat Hamdani writes in a Monday op-ed in the New York Daily News.

"Perhaps the worst of all," she adds, "is Donald Trump's recent openness to the idea of having all Muslims registered in a database, along with his suggestion that it might be necessary to shut down mosques and force all who share my faith to carry a special ID card."

VIDEO NO LONGER AVAILABLEWe're sorry, but the video you are trying to watch is no longer available.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/muslim-american-fear-mongering-trump_56534b46e4b0258edb323e85?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592&section=india&adsSiteOverride=in

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US Muslim teen accused of clock bomb seeks $15 million

Nov 24, 2015

The Muslim teenager arrested when a teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb threatened to sue his school and the town of Irving, Texas for $15 million, his lawyer said Monday.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, became an overnight sensation in September after his sister tweeted a photo of the aspiring inventor standing in handcuffs while wearing a t-shirt with the US space agency NASA’s logo.

President Barack Obama joined a surge of public support by congratulating the teen on his skills and inviting him to bring the clock to the White House in what was seen as a pointed rebuke to school and police officials amid accusations of Islamophobia.

Invitations poured in from Facebook, Google, the United Nations and Mohamed later tweeted photos of visits to Mecca, New York, Sudan and Qatar.

But his lawyer insists there was a dark side to his fame, which caused “severe psychological trauma,” according to a letter notifying the city and school district of his demands.

The son of Sudanese immigrants who lived in a Dallas suburb, the young robotics fan brought in a homemade clock to impress a new teacher at MacArthur High School.

Instead, Mohamed was accused of trying to scare people with a hoax bomb and escorted from the school in handcuffs.

His lawyers insist that the school, police force and city officials violated Mohamed’s rights by wrongfully accusing and detaining him and then decided to “trash” him when the media got wind of the story.

“Ahmed clearly was singled out because of his race, national origin and religion,” attorney Kelly Hollingsworth wrote.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world/us-muslim-teen-accused-of-clock-bomb-seeks-15-million/story-dF03n8sonGkOz906KQejtO.html

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Mideast

 

Iran, Russia against ‘external attempts’ to dump Assad

November 24, 2015

TEHRAN - Russia and Iran jointly oppose “external attempts” to bring regime change in Syria, a Kremlin official said Monday in Tehran after President Vladimir Putin met supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The comments were a direct rebuff of repeated demands from the United States, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia that President Bashar al-Assad step down and play no future role in war-torn Syria.

On his first trip to Iran in eight years, Putin, accompanied by his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, went straight into a meeting with Khamenei, the Islamic republic’s ultimate authority.

Describing the 90-minute encounter as “quite constructive” and longer than planned, a Kremlin spokesman said the two countries had “unity of views” on Syria.

Russia and Iran are against “external attempts to dictate scenarios of political settlement” in the conflict-wracked state, and only Syria’s people could decide to dump Assad in elections following a ceasefire.

Khamenei said the US had a “long-term plan” to dominate Syria and the Middle East which would “disadvantage all countries, especially Iran and Russia”. “This threat should be neutralised wisely and with closer interaction,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

Putin and Khamenei met before the Russian leader headed to a major summit of gas exporting countries in the Iranian capital.

Iran and Russia have become increasingly allied in Syria providing support that has propped up Assad’s government and forces since an uprising erupted in 2011.

What began as a conflict between Assad’s army and Western- and Gulf-backed rebels has since spiralled into a multi-faceted war that has killed more than 250,000.

Attention is currently focused on stopping Islamic State group jihadists, who last year seized large parts of Syria before surging into Iraq.

The threat from IS has taken on new potency and spread into Europe since the jihadists committed coordinated gun and bomb attacks in Paris on November 13, killing 130 people.

For Russia, defending Assad and confronting IS has become more important since the militants blew up a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 on board.

Russia had one month earlier launched a wave of air strikes in support of Assad. Both Iran and Russia, which has a major sea port base in Syria, are seeking to limit US leverage in the Middle East. This shared goal has seen Iran send commanders from its elite Revolutionary Guards to support and advise Assad’s forces, with Tehran coordinating a collection of militias on the ground. On the economy, Russia and Iran are also looking at bigger deals once sanctions are lifted under the July 14 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, including Moscow.

Putin stood alongside Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani at the opening of the gas summit, attended also by counterparts Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Russia is emerging as a long-term arms partner for Iran, despite the countries having a complicated history over territory, oil, business and communism.

The former Soviet Union was the first state to recognise Iran as an Islamic republic after the 1979 revolution. Moscow, however, later provided Saddam Hussein with weapons during the Iran-Iraq war. A long-delayed delivery of an advanced missile defence system, the S-300, is due from Russia by the end of 2015.

During Putin’s visit the Kremlin announced it had lifted a ban on Russian firms working on uranium enrichment at Iran’s atomic sites, following the nuclear deal.

Putin’s trip was planned before the UN Security Council on Friday authorised countries to “take all necessary measures” to fight IS in a France-sponsored resolution one week after the Paris attacks.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2015/iran-russia-against-external-attempts-to-dump-assad

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Iran to Export 9 Tons of Enriched Uranium to Russia, Import 140 Tons of Ore

Nov 24, 2015

"We will sell the Russians 9 tons of enriched uranium, and we will be paid for enrichment services through receiving raw material and import 140 tons of natural uranium which is a large amount," Salehi said in an interview with the state TV on Monday night.

"The relevant agreement has been signed and we will adopt the needed action in this regard," he added.

The Russian media have also reported that President Vladimir Putin has ordered adoption of the necessary measures and some good news will be announced about exchange of nuclear fuel in coming days, Salehi said.

In relevant remarks in October, Salehi announced that Iran was conducting final negotiations with Russians in a bid to exchange its enriched uranium in return for natural uranium.

The AEOI chief said that according to the provisions of the accorded nuclear agreement with the six world powers on July 14, an Iranian delegation is in Moscow to finalize nuclear fuel exchange with Russia.

"We have about 9 metric tons of enriched uranium, and we opted to sell this amount in global markets in choosing from two options of deluding or selling; this is a strong advantage of JCPOA for Iran,” he added, estimating that the fuel exchange would be possible by next two months after necessary arrangements.

“A second obligation of the nuclear agreement is drafting the official document of reconstructing Arak Heavy Water Complex which would be crystalized in three papers; the first of these three was drafted few weeks ago in Vienna and Iran, the US, and China signed and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) approved it. The first document identifies obligations of Iran and the Sextet and a general process of implementation,” Salehi added.

"The second paper which is called ‘understanding document,’ has a work division mechanism among 5+1 in reconstruction of Arak Heavy Water Complex. A third and final paper was discussed in Vienna by Iran’s nuclear negotiators, and is a parent paper which should be signed; the bill approved by the Parliament as well addresses this issue, emphasizing that at least an official paper should be drafted on Arak Heavy Water Complex and be approved by authorities,” he told the program.

About centrifuges, Salehi said that 5,000 centrifuges would produce about 100kg of uranium (5.3 per cent purity), which he provisioned to be used in other sectors or prepared for sale in global markets.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940903000391

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Refugee crisis to persist if terrorism not tackled: Iran

Nov 24, 2015

Iran’s envoy to the United Nations (UN) has described terror threats in the Middle East as the root cause of the ongoing refugee crisis in the world, saying the crisis will not be settled as long as countries fail to effectively root out terrorism and extremism.

Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the world body, made the remarks on Monday during a UN General Assembly meeting on “global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers.”

He said, “The issue of the displaced and refugees should be resolved fundamentally, since refugees are signs that a problem exists, they are not the problem itself.”

The Iranian diplomat added that the refugees in the Mediterranean region are fleeing violence in their home countries. Most of that violence, he said, is caused by terrorist groups and extremists.

“If we fail to effectively confront terrorist and extremist groups and to eradicate them by discrediting the radical ideologies and the countries that feed them, the refugee crisis will not end,” the Iranian ambassador to the UN said.

Europe is struggling to cope with its biggest refugee crisis since World War II, with over 850,000 people having crossed the Mediterranean in order to reach the continent while escaping violence, persecution, and poverty.

Migrants and refugees enter a registration camp after crossing the Greek-Macedonian border, November 17, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Khoshroo further said, “Now, almost the entire world knows that military intervention in some of the Middle Eastern countries over the past decade has, to a large extent, contributed to the creation of the evil that is extremism and that is fed by Takfiri ideologies.”

Addressing the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2013, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani presented a set of proposals for a World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE). In December 2013, the Assembly overwhelmingly voted to approve a resolution based on WAVE, which calls on all nations across the globe to denounce violence and extremism.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/11/24/438922/Iran-UN-GholamAli-Khoshroo-refugee-crisis--

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Extremism distorting true face of Islam

Nov 24, 2015

 Iran’s Javad Zarif has told Nigerian counterpart close collaboration of Islamic countries would help fight Boko Haram, ISIL, and other extremists.

Mohammad Javad Zarif received Mr. Godffrey Onyema, Nigerian counterpart on Monday who is visiting Tehran. The meeting discussed ways to boost bilateral relations and the latest developments in the region.

Zarif highlighted potentials of Iran and Nigeria in economics and technology, especially in renewable energies; “Iran and Nigeria have great opportunities to cooperate in new technologies and establishment of private technology firms and electricity companies in framework of regional enterprises within the Islamic world; great unexplored markets lie ahead of us which would help Iran and Nigeria provide their businessmen with opportunities to work,” Zarif told Onyema. “In times post-JCPOA, we will new situations in the upcoming December with sanctions no longer stifling Iran’s banking and financial system; Nigeria could establish itself the African main hub of regional cooperation,” Zarif added.

Zarif also turned to Boko Haram, ISIL, and Al-Shabab terrorist groups; “the ever-increasing threat of extremism have roots in the misconceived interpretation of the scriptures, and the incompetence in part of us to understanding their major sources of support; their abominable acts had defiled the true face of Islam,” he emphasized. “They had presented a blurred image of the Muslims’ highly principled beliefs through their atrocities and utter savagery in Syria, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, and elsewhere across the world; any effective fight against these extremists entails close collaboration of all Islamic countries,” Zarif demanded.

Full report at:

http://en.mehrnews.com/news/112211/Extremism-distorting-true-face-of-Islam

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Russia Begins S-300 Missile Deliveries to Iran

Nov 24, 2015

On November 9, Russia signed a new contract with Iran on the delivery of "about 300" S-300 air defenсe systems, according to Russia’s state technologies corporation Rostec.

Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanayee announced that the contract to deliver the Russian S-300 missile defense system to Tehran has been finalized and its implementation is underway.

"As our defense minister and the Russian side have announced, the contract has been finalized and both sides have reached a definite agreement in this regard," Sanayee told FNA.

"The implementation of the contract is moving on its natural course," he added.

In September, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov announced that the contract between Moscow and Tehran on the delivery of S-300 missile defense systems to Iran will be signed in the near future.

"The negotiations are continuing, the contract will be signed in the near future. All political decisions have been made, there are no obstacles there," Ryabkov said.

In 2007, Iran signed a contract worth $800mln to buy five Russian S300 missile defense systems.

But the deal was scrapped in 2010 by the then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev under the pretext of the UN Security Council sanctions, although the UN embargoes did not include defensive military systems.

Iran filed a $4bln lawsuit against Russia in the international arbitration court in Geneva.

Moscow then struggled to have the lawsuit dropped, including by offering the Tor anti-aircraft systems as replacement, media reported in August, adding that the offer was rejected by Tehran.

Yet, some reports said the Antei-2500 could be a better solution. The system does not formally fall under the existing sanctions against Iran while still being useful for the Middle-Eastern country.

While the S-300 was developed for the use by missile defense forces, the Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force.

Later, Iran rejected the offer, stressing that it would not change its order.

The S-300 is a series of Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, all based on the initial S-300P version. The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.

The S-300 system was first deployed by the Soviet Union in 1979, designed for the air defense of large industrial and administrative facilities, military bases, and control of airspace against enemy strike aircraft.

In the meantime, Iran designed and developed its own version of the S-300 missile shield, known as Bavar (Belief) 373. The Iranian version has superior features over the original Russian model as it enjoys increased mobility and reduced launch-preparation time.

In April, President Putin removed the ban on the delivery of the missile shield to Iran.

Following the announcement, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said "the decree came as an interpretation of the will of the two countries' political leaders to develop and promote cooperation in all fields".

Putin's decision was announced hours after relevant reports said the Kremlin also plans to supply China with the advanced S-400 air defense system.

Putin said during a meeting with Iran's Admiral Shamkhani that his decision to deliver the sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems to Tehran set a role model at global class that every nation should remain loyal to its undertakings.

"The decision which was taken today bears this clear message that all countries are necessitated to remain committed to their undertakings," Putin said at the meeting in Moscow.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940902001676

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Turkish F-16s shoot down warplane near Syrian border: military official

Nov 24, 2015

ANKARA: Turkish fighter jets shot down a warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkey's airspace on Tuesday, a Turkish military official said, but the nationality of the downed aircraft was not immediately clear.

Turkish F16s warned the jet over the airspace violations before shooting it down, the military official told Reuters.

Footage from private broadcaster Haberturk TV showed a warplane going down in flames in a woodland area, a long plume of smoke trailing behind it. The plane went down in area known by Turks as “Turkmen Mountain” in northern Syria near the Turkish border, Haberturk said.

Separate footage from Turkey's Anadolu Agency showed two pilots parachuting out of the jet before it crashed.

Russia has repeatedly carried out air strikes in Syria in defence of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia's defence ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Turkey called this week for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighbouring Syria, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the bombing of their villages.

Ankara has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221943/turkish-f-16s-shoot-down-warplane-near-syrian-border-military-official

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Violence flares as Kerry arrives in Israel

Nov 24, 2015

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian motorist rammed his vehicle into a group of Israeli soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint on Tuesday, wounding three, the military said, as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived for his first visit in more than a year on a mission to try and calm two months of deadly violence.

Kerry touched down amid a new rash of deadly attacks that have dampened any lingering hopes of renewed peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians during the Obama administration's final year.

Kerry conceded his visit had none of the ambitious agendas of past trips and was primarily focused on stemming the violence.

The violence erupted in mid-September over tensions surrounding a sensitive Jerusalem holy site and quickly spread across Israel and into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Over this period, 19 Israelis have been killed, mostly in stabbings, while 89 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Of them, 57 are said by Israel to be attackers and the rest were killed in clashes.

The past week has been the deadliest thus far.

Know more: Three Palestinians killed, Israeli woman stabbed to death

A Palestinian fatally stabbed an Israeli soldier at a West Bank gas station Monday before being killed along with two other Palestinian attackers. Five people were killed in stabbing and shooting attacks last Thursday, including Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old American from Kerry's home state of Massachusetts.

Kerry lamented Schwartz's death as “another young life cut short.”

“It happens almost every day over there and it's terrible, and too many Israelis have been killed and stabbed, and too many Palestinians,” he told reporters traveling with him in the Middle East on Monday. “And there's no excuse for any of the violence. There's just no rationale.”

Amid so much violence, Kerry said “there's no highfalutin, grandiose, hidden agenda here.”

He said he sought steps “that could calm things down a little bit so people aren't living in absolute, daily terror that they might be stabbed or driven into or shot trying to walk around their city.”

The attacks renewed Tuesday as Kerry landed in Israel.

The Israeli military said a Palestinian motorist rammed the soldiers at a West Bank checkpoint, lightly wounding three of them. It said the attacker was shot and wounded at the scene.

Kerry will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials before traveling to the West Bank for discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The script is well-trodden, with Kerry likely to ask both sides to avoid provocative actions. For the Israelis, that means holding off on construction of new settlements in lands the Palestinians seek for their future state. For the Palestinians, it means ending incitement to violence.

Kerry has visited Israel and the Palestinian territories only once since the collapse in April 2014 of a nine-month peace process he led. He traveled back three months later during warfare between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

In recent months, Kerry and other US officials have suggested a renewed peace push might be possible. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton took unsuccessful stabs at a two-state solution during their final months in office. But the rising death toll seems, for now, to have created an environment that makes a similar commitment by President Barack Obama unlikely.

Kerry said the US was prepared to re-engage in a serious peace effort, and “we have ideas for how things could proceed.”

“But this street violence doesn't provide any leader with a framework within which they can look their people in the eye and say, 'There's a reason to be sitting down and talking about this or that,' ” he said. “People aren't in the mood for concessions. They're in the mood for being tough.”

On a visit to the West Bank on Monday, Netanyahu didn't suggest he was adopting a softer approach. Israel, he vowed, would enter “villages, communities and homes” and carry out “widespread arrests.”

Abbas, for his part, has provided no indication that he wants to restart direct peace talks with the Israelis anytime soon.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1221944/violence-flares-as-kerry-arrives-in-israel

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Israeli soldier, three Palestinian attackers killed

November 24, 2015

JERUSALEM - An Israeli soldier and three Palestinian attackers were killed in another day of violence Monday, on the eve of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit in a bid to ease the bloodshed.

The soldier was stabbed to death while another was seriously wounded in the same attack at a petrol station on the edge of the occupied West Bank.

“A Palestinian murdered an Israeli and wounded another in an attack at a gas station on route 443,” the Israeli army said, referring to a main road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that passes in part though the West Bank.

Later, a military spokeswoman revealed that one of the soldiers, a man, had died while the other, a female officer, had been wounded. “The victim that died was a soldier and the injured was an officer,” she told AFP. The slain solider was named as Ziv Mizrahi, 18. The assailant was shot dead at the scene, while the officer was evacuated for medical treatment.

The death came only a few hours after a stabbing in Jerusalem - the first in the city for nearly two weeks - when two teenage girls attacked an elderly man, police said. A security camera footage appeared to show the girls - aged 14 and 16 - in school uniform chasing a man with scissors before being shot by a member of the security forces.

He then appears to shoot one of them again while already collapsed on the ground.

One of the two girls, who were apparently cousins, died while the other was in critical condition.

The man they targeted was identified as a 70-year-old Palestinian, possibly confused for an Israeli Jew, who suffered light injuries.

One of the girls’ brothers had died two years ago during clashes with Israeli security forces, Palestinian security sources said. In another attack, a Palestinian was shot dead when trying to stab an Israeli soldier near Huwara to the south of Nablus.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the assailant as 16-year-old Khalil Hashash. An 18-year-old Palestinian woman, identified by medical sources as Samah Abdullah, was shot and severely wounded in the same attack, apparently by accident.

The stabbings were the latest in a wave of violence since October 1 that has left 92 Palestinians dead, including one Arab Israeli, as well as 17 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.

More than half of the Palestinians killed have been alleged attackers, while others were shot during demonstrations and clashes with Israeli security forces, including along the Gaza border.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2015/israeli-soldier-three-palestinian-attackers-killed

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Iran, Russia Sign 7 Cooperation MoUs

Nov 24, 2015

One of the documents endorsed by Iranian and Russian top diplomats Mohammad Javad Zarif and Sergei Lavrov on Monday evening eases visa requirements for reciprocal visits by the two countries' nationals.

Also other documents and MoUs are related to the health, railway, banking, insurance, electricity, power plant, water and energy sectors.

Putin arrived in Tehran on Monday to meet Iran's top officials and participate in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) conference.

Upon arrival in Iran, he rushed to meet Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei whose meeting lasted for two hours.

Earlier this month, Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi and President of Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina in a meeting in Moscow discussed broadening of economic cooperation, specially establishing a joint bank.

During the meeting in Moscow, Vaezi proposed setting up a joint bank between the two countries bank to ease bilateral trade through using their national currencies and conducting trade exchanges in the two countries' national currencies.

In February, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanayee said that Tehran and Moscow plan to start a considerable boost in their trade exchanges in the current year by utilizing all their economic capacities and potentials.

"Iran and Russia signed many agreements in 2014, and 2015 is the year for implementing these agreements," Sanayee told FNA.

In December, Sanayee announced that Tehran and Moscow planned to boost their trade exchanges to $70 billion in the near future.

"The two countries (Iran and Russia) are serious about implementing an economic memorandum of understanding (MoU) which has been recently signed at the joint economic commission which amounts to $70 billion," Sanayee said, addressing a conference in Moscow.

He noted that Iran and Russia signed a major economic, trade and energy agreement in August 2014 which could pave the way for multiplying the two countries' trade exchanges.

In March, Iran and Russia signed an MoU on the supervision of their central banks over the financial operations of the two countries' banks.

"The MoU was signed by the deputy governors of the Iranian and Russian central banks during a visit to Moscow by a high-ranking Iranian banking and financial delegation from March 10 to 12," Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanayee said at the time.

He noted that Iran's banking delegation also visited Russia's central bank and other major banks during its stay in Moscow.

In May, Tehran and Moscow started implementation of a recently signed MoU banking, including establishment of a joint bank to ease bilateral trade through using their national currencies.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940903000272

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Kremlin hails Iran, Russia ‘unity’ on Syria after Putin’s visit to Tehran

23 November 2015

Russia and Iran have "unity of views" on Syria, a spokesman for the Kremlin said Monday after President Vladimir Putin held talks in Tehran with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Describing the meeting as "quite constructive", the spokesman said Iran and Russia were against "external attempts to dictate scenarios of political settlement in Syria" and any change in leadership should come through elections.

The visit comes as Russia, the United States, France and others are talking about possible joint action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group following the terror attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt. Putin’s trip also comes on the heels of agreement on an incomplete peace plan that calls for talks between Assad and his foes.

Moscow and Tehran have been the key backers of Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout his nation’s civil war, which has killed over 250,000 people and turned millions into refugees.

Russia has shielded Syria from international sanctions, and on Sept. 30 it launched an air campaign against ISIS and other insurgents, while Tehran has sent military advisers to shore up Assad.

The peace plan put forward by 17 nations a day after the Paris terror attacks sets a Jan. 1 deadline for the start of negotiations between Assad and the opposition.

The proposal, which seems to draw heavily on a recently circulated Russian initiative, states that “free and fair elections” would be held according to a new constitution within 18 months. To clarify the timeline, the State Department said last week that the clock starts once Assad’s representatives and opposition figures begin talks on a constitution. The vote would determine a new parliament, though not necessarily a new president.

The plan says nothing about Assad’s fate, and does not say which of Syria’s many opposition factions would take part in the negotiations.

Russia and Iran both have bristled at demands for Assad to step down, saying his future must be decided by the Syrians as part of the peace process. But some have speculated that Moscow could be prepared to see Assad phased out of power as part of a deal that would guarantee stability in Syria and protect Russia’s interests there. Tehran is widely seen as taking a more rigid stance.

Shiite Iran has staunchly backed Assad, who belongs to Syria’s Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, seeing him as a bulwark against its archrival, Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni monarchies of the Gulf. Tehran has sent more advisers to Syria in recent weeks, reportedly including Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who heads the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard. Iran says it has sent advisers but no combat forces.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/11/23/Russia-s-Putin-in-Iran-for-talks-set-to-focus-on-Syria.html

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Africa

 

Coalitions claiming to fight terror unreliable: Leader

Nov 23, 2015

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the international coalitions that purport to be fighting terrorism cannot be trusted as their members are sponsoring terrorist groups.

The Leader made the remarks in a Monday meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the Iranian capital, Tehran, where Buhari is to take part in the third summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

“International coalitions claiming to fight terrorist currents are by no means trustworthy, since the very destructive elements such as the US are behind the scenes of creating or supporting terrorists like Daesh,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader said “Islam’s open enemies” and “foes that bear enmity with Islam in the name of Islam” are the “two blades of the same scissors.”

“Islamic countries must safeguard their identity and interests against these dangerous enemies by stepping up their cooperation,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader warned against pinning hopes on the West, particularly the US, in the fight against terrorist groups such as Daesh and Boko Haram, saying, “According to accurate intelligence, the US and some reactionary regional countries are directly helping Daesh in Iraq and are playing a destructive role.”

Ayatollah Khamenei welcomed the election of Buhari, “a committed Muslim,” as the president of Nigeria and called for the identification and exploitation of the capacities for interaction and cooperation between Iran and Nigeria.

The Nigerian president, for his part, described the relations between Iran and Nigeria as solid and long-lasting, saying, “Iran is a major and advanced country and enjoys many capacities for cooperation.”

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (L), in the Iranian capital, Tehran, November 23, 2015. (Photo by leader.ir)

The Leader separately met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday.

During the meeting with Maduro, Ayatollah Khamenei said said resistance is the sole way for independent countries to progress.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/11/23/438803/Leader-Ayatollah-Khamenei-Venezuela-Maduro

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Sultan: Terrorism has no place in Islam

November 22, 2015

THE Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, said yesterday in Ado Ekiti that Muslim youths must begin to shun membership of terror groups as violence has no place in Islam.

Besides, Muslims should make it a point of duty to fish out the bad elements in their midst.

The spiritual head of the Nigerian Muslim community spoke at the turbaning of the Grand Imam of Ekiti State, Sheikh Jamiu Kewulere Bello, as the President General of the League of Imams and Alfas in Southwest, Edo and Delta states.

Abubakar urged Sheikh Kewulere to galvanize other Islamic clerics to work together to preach against terror which is giving Islam a bad name.

The Sultan said, “We know what Islam is presently facing most especially the issue of terrorism, we know this is not an Islamic agenda and the biggest challenge facing the (new) President General is to bring all Imams, Alfas and Ulamas to brainstorm on how we can stop our children from participating in anti-Islamic activities.

“As teachers in Islamic studies, we want you to teach our children what Islam is and what Islam is not. Imagine a 10-year-old involved in suicide bombing and killing, this has no place in Islam and has no basis in our religion.

“Fish out bad elements among Muslims and have them dealt with as criminals, we have to educate our children what Islam is and what Islam is not.

“If we know any bad person among us, let us fish them out. It is a big task no doubt, we must be united as Ummah because what binds us together is Islam.

“We must work together to bring our clerics together to tackle terrorism and extremism because this is unIslamic not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world.”

The Sultan was particularly delighted at the presence at the event of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, who is a Christian.

Speaking shortly after his installation, Sheikh Kewulere paid tributes to all his predecessors and expressed gratitude to his colleagues in the League in all the eight states under his domain.

Full report at:

http://thenationonlineng.net/sultan-terrorism-has-no-place-in-islam/

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Somali pirates hijack Iranian fishing vessel with 15 crew

November 24, 2015

BOSASSO - Somali pirates have hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel with 15 crew members, a Somali official and a maritime expert said on Monday amid warnings that piracy might be making a comeback in the Indian Ocean.

Although there are still occasional cases of sea attacks, piracy near Somalia’s coast had largely subsided in the past three years, mainly due to shipping firms hiring private security details and the presence of international warships.

The Iranian ship was taken on Sunday evening in waters off northern Somali city of Eyl, said Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, director of the anti-piracy and seaport ministry in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region in Somalia.

“Pirates hijacked an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel with its 15 crew from near Eyl,” Dirir told Reuters.

John Steed, East Africa region manager for the Oceans Beyond Piracy group, confirmed the hijacking and said the vessel was called Muhammidi. Two other Iranian fishing ships were captured by suspected pirates in March.

The 16 crew from one boat managed to raise anchor and escape in August, but the other ship and 26 crew remain in captivity.

Steed said there were three other unsuccessful sea attacks by Somali pirates in the past week, including one last night.

“This indicates that the level of illegal fishing is bringing the threat of return of Somali piracy ever closer,” added Kenya-based Steed.

Somali officials say the decline in piracy in recent years has emboldened foreign-flagged illegal fishing vessels to plunder Somalia’s fish stocks closer to shore, bringing them within reach of pirate gangs.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/24-Nov-2015/somali-pirates-hijack-iranian-fishing-vessel-with-15-crew

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Tense Christian-Muslim relations provide backdrop to Pope’s Africa trip

24 November 2015

Pope Francis’ first Africa trip will highlight the problems of building dialogue between Christianity and Islam as both religions grow fast on the continent, threatening to widen an already volatile fault line there between them.

The three countries on the pope’s Nov. 25-30 itinerary – Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic – have been scarred by radical Islamist attacks or Muslim-Christian sectarian strife and security concerns have meant the trip has been kept relatively short.

With the backdrop, too, of the bloody attacks by Islamist militants in France and Mali, the pope’s top advisers readily acknowledge the difficulties of conducting dialogue between Catholics and other Christian churches and Muslims.

“How can you dialogue with this mentality? … There is no dialogue with extremists. Look at what they do,” said Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is from Guinea in West Africa and one of the highest-ranking African officials at the Vatican.

Bishops in Sudan, which for decades was divided between the mostly Muslim north and the south where there are many Christians, have often said Christians there are considered “less than a dog … firewood to be a burned”, said Sarah, speaking in Rome on Friday.

Francis has sought to heal relations between the faiths by saying that Christians would be wrong to equate Islam with violence. But the potential for collision between the two dominant faiths in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase along with the population in coming decades.

Christianity and Islam in the Sub-Saharan region are both expected to have more than twice as many adherents in 2050 as they did in 2010, according to a study this year by the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public life.

Christianity is projected to remain the region’s largest religious group, up from 517 million adherents in 2010 to more than 1.1  billion in 2050. The Muslim population is expected to grow at a faster rate, rising from 248 million to 670 million, it said. ISLAMIST ATTACKS

According to a study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, the number of Catholics in all of Africa could more than double to 460 million by 2040.

Security concerns mean the pope’s movements will be confined to the capitals. All the same, the Vatican says he will for the most part travel in an open popemobile or a small car, eschewing bulletproof vehicles. A spokesman denied a report that Francis would wear a bulletproof vest.

Kenya, his first stop, has seen some of the worst violence. Two years ago, gunmen from the Somali militant group al Shabaab massacred at least 67 people inside Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall and held out for four days as security forces laid siege to the complex.

In Uganda, al Shabaab bombed sports bars where people were watching soccer’s World Cup on television in 2010.

But potentially his most hazardous stop is Nov. 28-29 in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, where dozens of people have been killed since September in violence between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian anti-balaka militias.

His trip is scheduled to include a visit to a mosque in one of Bangui’s most dangerous districts. French officials have hinted heavily that the Vatican should consider scrapping the Bangui leg of his trip or at least scaling it back.

“We’ve informed the Vatican authorities that Pope Francis’ visit carries risks for himself and for hundreds of thousands of believers who could be there to see him,” a French defence ministry source said in Paris.

Full report at:

https://citizentv.co.ke/news/tense-christian-muslim-relations-provide-backdrop-to-popes-africa-trip-107035/

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Leaked Emails Show UAE Ships Weapons to Libya, Violates UN Resolution

Nov 24, 2015

According to leaked Emirati emails shared with the New York Times, the emails also make it clear that the United Nations was aware of a potential conflict of interest between its envoy to Libya and the Persian Gulf country.

Earlier this month, the Middleasteye (MEE) news and analysis website published another email showing that Bernadino Leon, the UN envoy to Libya, was covertly working for the Persian Gulf country to support one side in the war even while mediating between the two parties.

Another leaked email, reported by The Guardian earlier this month, showed that Leon received an offer for a $50,000-a-month job training diplomats in the UAE in June. After negotiating the job's housing allowance details throughout the summer while concurrently conducting negotiations, he is thought to be starting as the director general of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in December.

The new emails show that the country's diplomats were aware that their activities violated a UN embargo, outlining in the correspondence how they might hide what they were doing from a UN monitoring panel.

"The fact of the matter is that the UAE violated the UN Security Council Resolution on Libya and continues to do so," Ahmed al-Qasimi, a senior Emirati diplomat, wrote in a 4 August email to Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's ambassador to the UN.

If the diplomats had complied with the procedures outlined by the UN resolution, Qasimi wrote, it would "expose how deeply we are involved in Libya ... We should try to provide a cover to lessen the damage".

Libya is in the midst of a civil war to determine control of Africa’s largest oil reserves.

On one side, there is the Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC), which is backed militarily by the Misratan-led Alliance of Libya Dawn, and is also said to receive support from Qatar and Turkey.

On the other, the House of Representatives (HoR) was elected in June last year to replace the GNC, but it was forced to move east from Tripoli after Libya Dawn seized control of the capital in September. The HoR is allied with the Libyan National Army, which is headed by veteran general Khalifa Haftar - both have been heavily backed by the UAE, including militarily when Abu Dhabi began bombing Libya Dawn positions in Tripoli last year.

Officially, Leon has been attempting to broker a peace agreement between the HoR and GNC to form a unity government and end an ongoing civil war that has killed over 4,000 people in 18 months.

But the email published earlier this month shows that Leon, in consultation with the UAE, planned to make the GNC "disappear".

Instead, he planned to unite the HoR, which was ridden with infighting at the time, and gain international backing for Haftar, whose anti-Islamist forces are presumably among recipients of the UAE's arms shipments which the latest emails indicate ran at least through August.

Other emails referenced in the New York Times piece show that there were already tensions between US and UAE officials over Emirati arm shipments.

As early as February, the US officials were reportedly complaining that an Emirati shipment of 40 UAE-made drones to Egypt had violated international missile control agreements and would have triggered a mandatory review under US law that could lead to sanctions, according to a 30 September email sent from Ethan Goldrich, the deputy chief of the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Goldrich also reportedly said in the email that the State Department would need to disclose its findings to Congress. It was not immediately clear on Thursday what the State Department had found, nor why a mandatory sanctions review was not set in motion. A summary included in emails between the US and UAE officials reported in the New York Times showed the Americans protesting that Emirates-based Morrison Commodities, possibly in collaboration with a Saudi firm called Saudi International Military Services, was violating the Libyan arms Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940902001368

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-body-goes-online-to-counter-‘misinterpretation-of-islam’-by-is/d/105407

 

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