New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 07:06 PM

Islamic World News ( 27 May 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim Organisations to Divide Muslim Votes On The Basis Of Cult (Maslak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: TEHRAN (FNA)- Intelligence sources disclosed that the Turkish army, in close cooperation with the terrorist groups, has been transferring militants, arms and ammunition from Idlib to Aleppo and vice versa via Turkey's Southeastern territories.

 

Iranian Students Threw a Graduation Dance Party, It Cost Them 99 Lashes Each

Texas Men Train to Shoot Muslims and Dip Bullets in Pig Blood So Victims ‘Go Straight to Hell’

Pakistan Cannot Accept China's Rejection of Islam Says Hafeez Sayeed

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India

Muslim Organisations to Divide Muslim Votes On The Basis Of Cult (Maslak)

Two Muslim Youth Held For Insulting Goddess Kali on Facebook

Indian army: 6 Rebels, 1 soldier killed in Kashmir fighting

Andhra Pradesh engineering student in Texas identified in Islamic State video, says report

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Arab World

Iranian Students Threw a Graduation Dance Party, It Cost Them 99 Lashes Each

Notorious ISIL Militant Caught in Women’s Clothes Trying to Flee Iraq

Terrorist Groups Use Turkish Territories to Transfer Forces, Arms from Idlib to Aleppo

3 ISIL Commanders Killed in Mosul

Tens of Syrian Families Return to Aleppo

Trucks Carrying Weapons for Al-Nusra Front Arrive from Turkey Daily

Syria: More T90 Tanks Arrive in Aleppo to Join Army's Imminent Anti-Terrorism Operation

ISIL on Verge of Collapse in Fallujah

Iraq: Volunteer Forces Discover ISIL's Longest Tunnel near Fallujah

SDF Win back Control over Vital Road North of Aleppo

ISIL Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Operations in Homs Province

ISIL Plans to Hit Euro 2016

Syrian Army Seizes Large Cargo of ISIL Weapons, Ammunition in Hama

ISIL Fails to Take Control over Ithriya-Raqqa Road

Source: Over 2,500 Pro-Hadi Militias Killed in Yemen War

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North America

Texas Men Train to Shoot Muslims and Dip Bullets in Pig Blood So Victims ‘Go Straight to Hell’

Amid Growing Tension, Muslim Convention Aims To Dispel 'Destructive Myths' About Islam

BBC Silences Discussion of Islamic Terrorism and Rape of Young Girls

White in America vs. White among American Muslims

US plays down rift with Turkey over support for YPG

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Pakistan

Pakistan Cannot Accept China's Rejection of Islam Says Hafeez Sayeed

Jamaat ud Dawa Offers Funeral Prayer for Mullah Mansour in Peshawar

N-programme made country's defence impregnable: PM on Youm-i-Takbeer

Pakistan can help US destabilise Taliban, says Senator Corker

‘Targeted killings put question mark over efficacy of NAP’

Pak may link Gwadar with Chabahar: Sartaj Aziz

KP IGP concerned over decision to terminate 12,500 police officials

Modi conveys well wishes to PM Nawaz before heart surgery

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Southeast Asia

Outrage in Multi-Ethnic Malaysia as Government Backs Islamic Law

Indonesia Stresses Harmony among Adherents of Different Faiths

Ranjit honoured for outstanding contribution to Islamic capital devt

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Mideast

Turkish Army Hits ISIL Targets in Syria, Says 104 Rebels Killed

Istanbulites to Mark Ottoman Conquest of City With Grand Ceremony

Defense lawyer requests time to respond to claims against Reza Zarrab

Turkey calls on EU countries to rethink PYD bureaus

Israel favours gas exports through Turkey

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South Asia

Taliban Suffer Heavy Casualties in South, 52 Killed, 29 Wounded

Drone Strikes Played Key Role in Suppressing ISIS Activities In Achin

Taliban kidnap senior police official in Kunduz province

5 rebels killed in Kunar airstrike

2 Taliban leaders killed in an airstrike in north of Afghanistan

Haqyar released after offering apology to call Mansoor a ‘martyr’

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Africa

Why Africa Can’t Afford To Give Up On Somalia’s Peacekeeping Force Yet

Salih Muslim praises US soldiers for wearing YPG insignia

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Europe

Islam Should Be Taught In All German Schools - Bavarian Bishop

Islamic State moves its terror threat to the West

 ‘Moderate’ Minneapolis Muslims Suspicious of FBI after Dozens Flee to Islamic State

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-organisations-to-divide-muslim-votes-on-the-basis-of-cult-(maslak)/d/107456

 

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Terrorist Groups Use Turkish Territories to Transfer Forces, Arms from Idlib to Aleppo

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Intelligence sources disclosed that the Turkish army, in close cooperation with the terrorist groups, has been transferring rebels, arms and ammunition from Idlib to Aleppo and vice versa via Turkey's Southeastern territories.

"Camps near the small town of Atimeh in the Western part of Idlib province and the Turkish border checkpoint of Bukulmez have been continuously used to dispatch terrorists and military equipment from Idlib to Aleppo through the Southeastern territories of Turkey," the sources said.

"Our agents have recently detected a 15-vehicle convoy of Jeish al-Fatah near Atimeh heading towards Bukulmez border to go to Aleppo province via Turkey," the sources said, adding, "Atmieh and Bukulmez have been used recently as the main passage for sending hundreds of terrorists and their military equipment from Idlib to the Northern battlefields of Aleppo."

Also earlier this month, informed sources disclosed that the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front continues to use the Turkish borders to send fresh fighters to Syria's Northern province of Aleppo to join their comrades in the battlefields.

"The terrorists, who enter Syria via Turkish Southern border, stay several days in al-Nusra military training camps to be trained by the experienced terrorists of the group," the sources said, adding, "As soon as getting ready, the fresh recruits will be dispatched to the battlefields."

"Most of the fresh recruits do not have any war experience and need more military training in order to be a real fighter," the sources added.

Since escalation of crisis in Syria, Turkish borders have been the main sources of infiltration of terrorists into Syria. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000425

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Iranian students threw a graduation dance party. It cost them 99 lashes each

May 27, 2016

It happens behind closed doors in Iran all the time: Young people get together to play music, flirt and generally relax, hidden away from hard-liners who definitely would not approve. Mostly, the parties wrap up without incident: the guys cleaning up any incriminating clues, the girls putting their headscarves back on. Then they all go their separate ways.

This time, however, someone tipped off authorities that a group of students was throwing a bash to celebrate graduation. More than 30 were taken into custody. Their punishment: 99 lashes each.

The report by Iran’s Mizan News Agency gave no details about the students, their ages, their school, or when the arrests took place. But it noted that lashings were carried out with almost unprecedented swiftness: within less than 24 hours after officials raided the villa on the outskirts of Qazvin, a small city about 80 miles northwest of Tehran.

Such sentences have been an issue before — in October, two Iranian poets were sentenced to lashes and prison terms for shaking hands with the opposite sex at a literary event in Sweden — yet the speed of the students’ punishment suggests that authorities are being given even more leeway to enforce hard-line codes and send messages intended to put liberals on notice.

For decades, Iran has been engaged in a such seesaw political duels.

At times, the voices of reformists and others seeking better terms with the West seem to be on the rise — most recently with the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani in 2013. The real power, however, has always rested with the ruling clerics and the guardians of the status quo. They include the powerful judiciary and the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls citizen-militia forces known as the Basij that often double as a morality police.

Hard-liners now seem to be reasserting their stamp on affairs after last year's landmark nuclear deal with world powers. It can come in big doses, as occurred Thursday when Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on the Revolutionary Guard and other pillars of the establishment to stand against the “soft war” of Western political values and culture.

On Tuesday, an arch-conservative and outspoken critic of the West, Ahmad Jannati, was elected to lead an 88-seat body, the Assembly of Experts, which will select the next supreme leader in the event of Khamenei’s death.

But smaller-level crackdowns, such as the party bust, can matter more to liberal Iranians who are constantly testing the boundaries of tolerance.

Police have stepped up their scold-and-shame campaigns against women whose headscarves drift back too far. Last week, Iran’s judiciary announced the arrest of eight people involved in online modeling (sans headscarf) and questioned a former model on state television. Tehran’s public prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, said the real villain was not the Iranian women who posed online, but the infiltration of lifestyles from “the enemy” — shorthand for the West.

In the party case, prosecutor Ismaeil Sadeqi Niaraki was quoted by a news agency as saying that the women were “half naked” — suggesting that they were without headscarves and the typical loose cloaks or tunics worn in public. There was "dancing and jubilating" among the mixed-gender grads.

The prosecutor said authorities would not tolerate “law-breakers who use excuses such as freedom and having fun in birthday parties and graduation ceremonies," the Mizan News Agency reported. Other parties and unspecified "polluted" activities have been targeted around the country in the past week, Iranian media have reported.

Yet amid all the official West-bashing, movie fans Friday gave a hero's welcome to the cast and crew of “The Salesman,” an Iranian film that won two prizes at the Cannes film festival. The plot is based on a Western classic: Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”

washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/27/iranian-students-threw-a-graduation-dance-party-it-cost-them-99-lashes-each/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_wv

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Texas Men Train to Shoot Muslims and Dip Bullets in Pig Blood So Victims ‘Go Straight to Hell’

5/27/2016

A group of white men in Texas are training to shoot Muslims in case of an “uprising” and are dipping their bullets in pig's blood or bacon grease so victims would “go straight to hell”.

“The next step in Jihad does not involve random, sporadic attacks. They started killing people. They started slaughtering people wholesale,” said so-called Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR) spokesperson David Wright.

“Do you really expect me to stand here and wait until we get to that point? I’m not going to wait until we get to that point. I’m going to start doing something about it now.”

The group fears that thousands of Muslim refugees would lead to an “uprising”.

BAIR is based in Irving, the same town where “clock boy” Ahmed Mohammed was arrested after bringing to school a home-made clock which the teacher thought was a bomb.

In a video from AJ+ news, BAIR members of the group stand over railway tracks and do target practice with an array of weapons.

“A lot of us here are using either pig’s blood or bacon grease on our bullets, packing it in the middle, so that when you shoot a Muslim, they go straight to hell. That’s what they believe in their religion,” said Mr Wright.

BAIR members have recently staged armed protests outside mosques to “stop the Islamization of America”.

Recent fear and distrust has long existed in the US but has been exacerbated due to racist rhetoric during the 2016 US election campaign, including Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslims.

Mr Wright named one “radical” as Mohamed Elibiary, a former top aide to President Obama and a member of the Department of Homeland Security advisor, who was accused of leaking secret documents in an attempt to smear then-presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry as Islamophobic.

The claims were unfounded, said the DHS, yet Texas politician Louie Gohmert then accused him of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The mayor of Irving, Beth Van Duyne, also led the city council to support a state bill aimed at blocking Muslim influence in the US courts.

To counter BAIR, people of all religions and background have staged anti-BAIR protests and have created their own anti-BAIR Facebook page.

independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/texas-men-train-to-shoot-muslims-and-dip-bullets-in-pig-blood-so-victims-go-straight-to-hell-a7053086.html

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Pakistan cannot accept China's rejection of Islam says Hafeez Sayeed

May 28, 2016

Pakistan's hardline leader and the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD ), Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed, has rejected China's call to stop the practice of Islam which was made by the Chinese leadership at the recently held Second National Conference on Religion in Beijing.

Speaking to his congregation of hardline Islamists in Lahore, Sayeed said that it was true that China is Pakistan's all weather friend, but "any comment that hurts our religion, Islam, is not acceptable and we urge the Chinese leadership to take it back."

"By uttering such statements, China is hurting its time-tested relations with the people of Pakistan," said Sayeed.

Sayeed's unusual statement directed at China comes amid a strong reaction in Pakistan to China's crackdown on the practice of Islam.

While guarded in his use of language against China, Sayeed made it clear that Beijing must not take Islamabad for granted by telling its people to desist from practicing Islam.

Sayeed said that this statement by the Chinese leadership was a "challenge to the Islamic way of life" and, he called upon the Pakistan Government to "show some courage and direct China to stay away from hurting Islamic sentiments ".

The hardline leader told his followers that he plans to meet the Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad to lodge his protest.

Sayeed's counter to the Chinese leadership comes in the wake of the latter warning its people, especially those living in Xinjiang province to shun Islam and to stick to China's state policy of "Marxist Atheism".

Large parts of the Chinese population living in Xinjiang province are said have become radicalised and Beijing is desperately looking at ways to de-radicalise them.

Xinjiang borders Pakistan from where China says the hardline Islamic teachings flow. China has also been subtly warning Pakistan to stop the flow of Islamic messaging to Xinjiang but to no avail.

Communist Party Officials had strongly backed President Xi's statements and cautioned citizens to be vigilant against Islamic tendencies like Halal products. They made it clear that Halal products will remain banned in China as these "promote religious segregation."

China has already declared 2016 as the "Year of Ethnic Unity and Progress", a move aimed squarely at ridding the nation of Islamic influences.

President Xi Jinping is making efforts to tighten control over religious practices, as it is his belief that religion, especially Islam, could emerge as a competing force in society unless it is nipped in the bud now.

Making China's State policy of intolerance towards Pan-islamic tendencies very clear, President Xi warned Chinese citizens "not to confuse themselves with non-CCP approved tendencies" and to "never find their values and beliefs in this religion or any religion."

Other senior Communist Party Officials who spoke on this occasion highlighted the dangers that Islam is assuming in some parts of China, making the nation vulnerable to extremist infiltration.

Communist Party Officials strongly backed President Xi's statements and cautioned citizens to be vigilant against Islamic tendencies. While coming out strongly against Islam and Islamic traditions, the Second National Work Conference on Religion also promoted a number of articles that expressed support for the new policies.

President Xi has now made it clear that these policies will be reinforced with renewed vigour, as China is looking at Pakistan-sponsored Islamic radicalism as the number one threat to its society.

business-standard.com/article/news-ani/pakistan-cannot-accept-china-s-rejection-of-islam-says-hafeez-sayeed-116052800085_1.html

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India

Muslim Organisations to Divide Muslim Votes On The Basis Of Cult (Maslak)

May 28, 2016

Number of votes has great significance in democracy. Political parties show their performance to get large number of votes; they try to lure voters by their election promises and developmental plans but 2014 general elections has changed this notion and the democratic system of the country has been rotating on the axis of political conspiracies. Although promises are made to voters regarding developmental plans, corruption free rule, equality, equal opportunities to all sections but people have lost faith in the promises as a result now focus is on split of votes rather than gaining votes.

The practice of vote-splitting was common in Hyderabad, Lucknow and Mumbai and in some parliamentary constituencies of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. But this trend is fast gaining popularity in politics across the country. If the plan prepared in Nagpur becomes successful in Uttar Pradesh, the same will also be implemented in 2019 general elections. Vote splitting political parties will be paid amount up to the tune of 5000 Cr in 2019 general elections and will be asked to field candidates on more than 50 parliamentary seats so that Muslim votes could be split and secular forces can be kept away from power.

BJP has now understood that Narendra Modi charisma will no longer be useful nor it has confidence that it would get votes on the basis of its performance hence it is planning to use Utter Pradesh as experimental laboratory in 2017 so that the same strategy could be applied in 2019 general elections.

In the Uttar Pradesh assembly comprising of 403 seats, BJP has planned to take help of vote splitting parties to divide 20 percent Muslim votes. It is paving way for such political parties who can ensure victory of BJP by sowing the seed of communalism. BJP would not only use Muslim parties to split 20 pc Muslim vote but would also use its allied Muslim organisations to divide Muslim votes on the basis of cult (Maslak). The job of Muslim political party in Uttar Pradesh would be to divide Muslim votes. The provocative speeches made during the election campaign would greatly benefit BJP as the provocation would help uniting majority votes. Efforts are also on to use some elements belonging to Hyderabad who have expertise in fanning sectarian (Maslaki) differences.

siasat.com/news/muslim-parties-sympathizers-vote-splitters-963779/

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Two Muslim Youth Held For Insulting Goddess Kali on Facebook

Saturday, May 28, 2016

New Delhi: Following a complaint against two people who had allegedly ‘liked’ an offensive post against goddess Kali on a social site, two Muslim youth were arrested from Maharashtra’s Antop Hill.

This was done following a demand by several activists in Bhopal who approached the police on May 10 and asked for action to be taken against the people who, they alleged, had liked an offensive post against goddess Kali on a Facebook group called Naadan Parinday.

(Also Read: Facebook users customise their religious faith)

According to the police, one of the accused had created the image while the other had circulated it.

The two Muslim youth were booked under Section 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs) and Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony).

The Bhopal police, in joint operation with the Mumbai police, have taken the accused persons into custody and transferred them to Madhya Pradesh.

Bajrang Dal leader Chandrashekhar Tiwari claimed that a Muslim youth from Bhopal first liked the post, followed by several others, which drew the attention of the activists who then approached several police stations with their complaint.

newsx.com/national/30143-two-muslim-youth-held-for-insulting-goddess-kali-on-facebook

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Indian army: 6 Rebels, 1 soldier killed in Kashmir fighting

27 May 2016

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Six suspected Rebels and a soldier have been killed in two separate gunbattles in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the Indian army said Friday.

Army spokesman Col. Nitin N. Joshi said Friday that four rebels and a soldier were killed in two days of fierce fighting near the heavily militarized line of control dividing the disputed Himalayan region between India and Pakistan.

Joshi said the soldier and a militant were killed on Friday while three rebels were killed Thursday after they were intercepted as they entered the Indian side from Pakistani Kashmir

There was no independent confirmation. No rebel group fighting Indian rule immediately issued a statement.

Joshi said two other Rebels were killed in western Khonshipora village Friday after soldiers and police launched a joint operation on a specific tip, leading to exchange of gunfire.

Anti-India protests erupted in the adjoining villages as locals tried to rally in support of the rebels. Raising pro-freedom slogans, some protesters clashed with police who lobbed tear gas to quell the protests.

No one was immediately reported injured.

Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since 1989. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and Indian military crackdown.

dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3612574/Indian-army-6-Rebels-1-soldier-killed-Kashmir-fighting.html

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Andhra Pradesh engineering student in Texas identified in Islamic State video, says report

Sat, 28 May 2016

An engineering student from Andhra Pradesh who was studying in Texas, USA, has been identified in the video released by terror outfit Islamic State (ISIS).

The Intelligence agencies and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a through investigation into the 22-minute footage released on May 19, have identified most of the Indians in the video, reported Deccan Chronicle.

Mohd Sajid alias Bada Sajid, Farooq Al Hindi alias Abu Rashid (both from Azamgarh, UP), Abu Salha al Hindi, Fahad Sheikh alias Abu Ammar al Hindi (from Kalyan, Maharashra), and Aman Tandel alias Abu Salman al Hindi and Shaheem Tanki (from Thane), are among those who have been identified, said report.

The intelligence agencies were also surprised to find the AP engineering student in the video.

The video, which is mainly in Arabic, says 'Jihadis' from 'Hind' wal 'Sindh' (India and Pakistan) "will soon take revenge" for the demolition of Babri Mosque and atrocities on Muslims in Kashmir and during Muzaffarnagar riots.

Several IM cadres are believed to have joined ISIS since 2014 after they rejected the leadership of its Karnataka-born Riyaz Bhatkal.

Meanwhile, the NIA has contacted anti-terror squads of various states including Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh to help identify the Indian youths who featured in the ISIS video in which they threatened to launch terror strikes in the country.

NIA is also likely to question Abdul Wahid Siddibapa, one of the founders of banned terror group Indian Mujahideen who was arrested at the airport on Friday after he landed from a gulf country, soon about IM cadres who joined the Islamic State, official sources said.

dnaindia.com/india/report-ap-engineering-student-in-texas-found-in-isis-video-2217394

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Arab World

Iranian students threw a graduation dance party. It cost them 99 lashes each

May 27, 2016

It happens behind closed doors in Iran all the time: Young people get together to play music, flirt and generally relax, hidden away from hard-liners who definitely would not approve. Mostly, the parties wrap up without incident: the guys cleaning up any incriminating clues, the girls putting their headscarves back on. Then they all go their separate ways.

This time, however, someone tipped off authorities that a group of students was throwing a bash to celebrate graduation. More than 30 were taken into custody. Their punishment: 99 lashes each.

The report by Iran’s Mizan News Agency gave no details about the students, their ages, their school, or when the arrests took place. But it noted that lashings were carried out with almost unprecedented swiftness: within less than 24 hours after officials raided the villa on the outskirts of Qazvin, a small city about 80 miles northwest of Tehran.

Such sentences have been an issue before — in October, two Iranian poets were sentenced to lashes and prison terms for shaking hands with the opposite sex at a literary event in Sweden — yet the speed of the students’ punishment suggests that authorities are being given even more leeway to enforce hard-line codes and send messages intended to put liberals on notice.

For decades, Iran has been engaged in a such seesaw political duels.

At times, the voices of reformists and others seeking better terms with the West seem to be on the rise — most recently with the election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani in 2013. The real power, however, has always rested with the ruling clerics and the guardians of the status quo. They include the powerful judiciary and the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls citizen-militia forces known as the Basij that often double as a morality police.

Hard-liners now seem to be reasserting their stamp on affairs after last year's landmark nuclear deal with world powers. It can come in big doses, as occurred Thursday when Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on the Revolutionary Guard and other pillars of the establishment to stand against the “soft war” of Western political values and culture.

On Tuesday, an arch-conservative and outspoken critic of the West, Ahmad Jannati, was elected to lead an 88-seat body, the Assembly of Experts, which will select the next supreme leader in the event of Khamenei’s death.

But smaller-level crackdowns, such as the party bust, can matter more to liberal Iranians who are constantly testing the boundaries of tolerance.

Police have stepped up their scold-and-shame campaigns against women whose headscarves drift back too far. Last week, Iran’s judiciary announced the arrest of eight people involved in online modeling (sans headscarf) and questioned a former model on state television. Tehran’s public prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi, said the real villain was not the Iranian women who posed online, but the infiltration of lifestyles from “the enemy” — shorthand for the West.

In the party case, prosecutor Ismaeil Sadeqi Niaraki was quoted by a news agency as saying that the women were “half naked” — suggesting that they were without headscarves and the typical loose cloaks or tunics worn in public. There was "dancing and jubilating" among the mixed-gender grads.

The prosecutor said authorities would not tolerate “law-breakers who use excuses such as freedom and having fun in birthday parties and graduation ceremonies," the Mizan News Agency reported. Other parties and unspecified "polluted" activities have been targeted around the country in the past week, Iranian media have reported.

Yet amid all the official West-bashing, movie fans Friday gave a hero's welcome to the cast and crew of “The Salesman,” an Iranian film that won two prizes at the Cannes film festival. The plot is based on a Western classic: Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”

washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/27/iranian-students-threw-a-graduation-dance-party-it-cost-them-99-lashes-each/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_wv

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Notorious ISIL Militant Caught in Women’s Clothes Trying to Flee Iraq

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- An infamous ISIL Takfiri terrorist was caught dressed in women’s clothes in an attempt to flee the Iraqi territories.

The notorious Takfiri terrorist appeared in a video on Youtube, talking about the price of kidnapped Yazidi girls for the customers who were also members of militant group.

The Takfiri militant alongside another terrorist companion were attempting to go through the Iraqi Security Forces in disguise.

According to sources, Iraqi soldiers managed to arrest both of them.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000504

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Terrorist Groups Use Turkish Territories to Transfer Forces, Arms from Idlib to Aleppo

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Intelligence sources disclosed that the Turkish army, in close cooperation with the terrorist groups, has been transferring militants, arms and ammunition from Idlib to Aleppo and vice versa via Turkey's Southeastern territories.

"Camps near the small town of Atimeh in the Western part of Idlib province and the Turkish border checkpoint of Bukulmez have been continuously used to dispatch terrorists and military equipment from Idlib to Aleppo through the Southeastern territories of Turkey," the sources said.

"Our agents have recently detected a 15-vehicle convoy of Jeish al-Fatah near Atimeh heading towards Bukulmez border to go to Aleppo province via Turkey," the sources said, adding, "Atmieh and Bukulmez have been used recently as the main passage for sending hundreds of terrorists and their military equipment from Idlib to the Northern battlefields of Aleppo."

Also earlier this month, informed sources disclosed that the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front continues to use the Turkish borders to send fresh fighters to Syria's Northern province of Aleppo to join their comrades in the battlefields.

"The terrorists, who enter Syria via Turkish Southern border, stay several days in al-Nusra military training camps to be trained by the experienced terrorists of the group," the sources said, adding, "As soon as getting ready, the fresh recruits will be dispatched to the battlefields."

"Most of the fresh recruits do not have any war experience and need more military training in order to be a real fighter," the sources added.

Since escalation of crisis in Syria, Turkish borders have been the main sources of infiltration of terrorists into Syria. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000425

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3 ISIL Commanders Killed in Mosul

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Three high-ranking commanders of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group were killed in airstrikes conducted by Iraqi Air Force in Mosul.

The Iraqi Joint Operations Command announced in a statement on Friday that the airstrikes also killed at least 11 Takfiri terrorists and destroyed two of their vehicles, Arabic-language al-Sumaria news website reported.

The statement also advised people in ISIL-held Mosul to keep safe distance from the group’s headquarters lest they fall victim to the air raids.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000453

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Tens of Syrian Families Return to Aleppo

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 100 families returned to the Eastern countryside of al-Sfeira town in Aleppo province after the Syrian army restored security and stability to the strategic town.

The families thanked soldiers of the army for restoring stability to their home town, reiterating their support to it against the Takfiri terrorism and their commitment to this land which was watered by the blood of the martyrs.

Aleppo governorate welcomed the families who were displaced by the Takfiri terrorist ogroups in the Eastern countryside of Assafira, providing them with all basic needs.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000664

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Trucks Carrying Weapons For Al-Nusra Front Arrive from Turkey Daily

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of the Russian General Staff told journalists that trucks carrying weapons for the al-Nusra Front cross from Turkey into Syria daily.

Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said in his press briefing on Friday that weapons and ammunitions are continuously being delivered to the al-Nusra Front terrorists in Syria, allowing them to engage Syrian government forces and hindering the fight against ISIL in the country, Sputnik reported.

"The never-ending flow of large trucks from Turkey carrying weapons and ammunition crosses the Turkish-Syrian border. This constant feed of live forces and weapons allows terrorists from the Nusra Front to continue their provocative shelling and make advances on Syrian government forces, which diminishes [government military] activity against ISIL terrorists in other areas," Rudskoy said during a briefing.

Rudskoy also added that the US has acknowledged that the heaviest fighting is centered around areas where the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front is most active.

"Everyone knows, and our US partners admit that the biggest hot spots of active military operations are those parts of the Syrian Republic where the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists from the al-Nusra Front run rampant."

So far, according to Rudskoy, the US has refused to conduct joint operations against terrorist groups in Syria, which has led to an escalation of the conflict.

The al-Nusra Front terrorist group hampers the ceasefire efforts in Northern areas of Syria, the Russian General Staff said Friday.

"It is very clear that the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra, active in the regions of Aleppo and Idlib, is the main obstacle to expanding the ceasefire regime to Northern areas of Syria," Sergey Rudskoy, chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, said.

Moreover, the Al-Nusra Front has used the 'period of silence' to partly restore its combat capability.

Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu offered to conduct joint air strikes against terrorist groups in Syria, but the Pentagon declined the offer. However, The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry says Moscow hasn't ruled out a possible joint operation in the future.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000608

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Syria: More T90 Tanks Arrive in Aleppo to Join Army's Imminent Anti-Terrorism Operation

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources announced on Saturday that the Syrian Army has dispatched a number of the Russian-made T-90 Tanks to Northwestern Aleppo province for imminent operation there.

"More anti-TOW T90 Tanks, which have given the Syrian army the upper hand in battles against the militant groups across Aleppo province, have been sent to the Northwestern battlefields of the province to join a large-scale operation against the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front," the sources said.

Sources said on Friday that the Syrian Army troops and popular forces, deployed in the villages of Ratyan and al-Zahra, were expected to launch a large-scale attack against the strongholds of al-Nusra Front in the strategic Anadan plain Northwest of Aleppo province.

"Ratyan and al-Zahra are strategically situated at the Northern and Eastern sides of the terrorist-controlled ‘Anadan Plains," the sources said, adding, "The Syrian government forces are resolved to use their strategic upper hand against the terrorist groups and put an end to the presence of militants in Northwest Aleppo."

"The offensive in Northern Aleppo is coming soon; however, no further details have thus far be given," they added.

"Should the Syrian Armed Forces seize the ‘Anadan Plains, they will have effectively encircled the remaining militants in Western Aleppo," the sources underscored.

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ISIL on Verge of Collapse in Fallujah

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi army and popular forces took control of more districts near Fallujah in the province of Anbar from ISIL militants, getting ready to enter the key town.

Iraqi army troops and volunteer forces are ready to start the new phase of the military operation against the ISIL to take back the key town from the Takfiri terrorists.

According to Iraqi Federal Police Forces Commander Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat, the security forces have so far managed to evacuate 760 people, mostly women and children, from the Northern outskirts of the embattled city of Fallujah and moved them to a safe place away from the battlefield.

On Friday, the Iraqi military said that it had managed to evacuate 65 families, mostly women and children, from the eastern outskirts of the city.

ISIL Takfiri terrorists, who took control of Fallujah in early 2014, have prevented people from leaving the city.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government have deployed at least 20,000 troops to fight against the terrorists in the ISIL-held city of Fallujah.

Iraqi forces on Monday began a military campaign to retake the ISIL stronghold of Fallujah and made considerable advances gainst Takfiri terrorists in recent days.

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Iraq: Volunteer Forces Discover ISIL's Longest Tunnel Near Fallujah

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) discovered ISIL's largest tunnel near the city of Fallujah in Anbar province in Western Iraq.

"The Iraqi volunteer forces found ISIL's very long tunnel in the surrounding areas of a brick factory near Fallujah city which linked a large number of regions," Adi al-Khadran, a Hashd al-Shaabi commander, said on Saturday.

Al-Khadran said that the ISIL had used the tunnel to approach and appear in the frontline in order to reduce its casualties.

On Friday, the Iraqi volunteer forces discovered another ISIL workshop used for making bombs and road mines near Fallujah.

"The workshop's products were used by the ISIL terrorists in their attacks on civilians in the region," a Hashd al-Shaabi commander told FNA.

He noted that the bomb-making workshop was discovered in al-Moamel region located to the Northeast of Fallujah city, and said, "The Iraqi volunteer forces entered the bomb-making workshop after killing the snipers guarding the place."

On Thursday, the Iraqi Federal Police announced that the security forces have dismantled at least 37 improvised explosive devices in a key road to the Western city of Fallujah.

“The Iraqi Police Explosives Treatment Battalion and their allies are cleansing the road which links between the al-Ma’mal al-Azraq and the village of al-Lifiyah, Esat of Fallujah,” Iraqi Police Commander, Raed Shaker Jawdat said in a statement, Iraqi News reported.

He added that the battalion was able to dismantle 37 explosive devices in the key road leading to the city of Fallujah.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000500

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SDF Win back Control over Vital Road North of Aleppo

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stormed the terrorist groups' strongholds in the Northern territories of Aleppo province and pushed the militants back from a key road in the battlefield.

The SDF fighters, after hours of non-stop battle, opened the road connecting Sheikh Issa to Tal Rifat to transfer the trapped families from Marea to Tal Rifat and then move them towards Afrin.

In relevant development in the Northern part of Aleppo province on Friday, the fighters of Kurdish People's Protection Units, in a rapid operation, cut off the entire supply lines to an newly-captured region of the ISIL, battlefield sources said, adding that the ISIL terrorists are now under siege in the battlefield.

"The entire road to Afrin region have been cut off by the Kurdish fighters," the sources said, adding, "The ISIL terrorist, who pushed back rival terrorists of the Free Syrian Army and captured eights villages near Afrin, now are under the siege of the Kurdish fighters with no way out."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000481

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ISIL Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army Operations in Homs Province

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and air force pounded and destroyed the terrorist groups' military positions in Homs province, killing scores of the terrorists over the past 24 hours.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists sustained heavy losses in the Syrian fighter jets on their concentration centers in the Eastern part of Homs province.

The Syrian army also inflicted heavy losses on the terrorist groups in other key provinces across Syria.

Homs

The Syrian fighter jets carried out several combat flights over the ISIL strongholds in the energy-rich regions in Eastern Homs and targeted them heavily, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The Syrian bombers struck fortified positions of ISIL terrorists in surrounding the oil fields of Jazal and al-Sha'er, in which a convoy of vehicles, some of which equipped with machineguns, were destroyed and several ISIL fighters were killed.

The Syrian fighter jets also targeted al-Nusra Front's gatherings in al-Ghajar village, destroying a number of vehicles, fortified sites and mortar launchers.

Deir Ezzur

The Syrian army and tribal forces managed to purge the Southwestern part of the city of Deir Ezzur of Takfiri terrorists on Friday.

The government and tribal forces pushed back the terrorists from al-Filat region and al-Savaqeh school in the Southwestern part of Deir Ezzur city.

At least 36 terrorists were killed and many more were injured in the army's mop-up operations in Deir Ezzur city.

Also, the Syrian military forces, in a fresh round of attacks, hit the ISIL positions in the Southwestern part of Deir Ezzur heavily and drove the terrorists back from more lands.

The Syrian soldiers stormed the ISIL lines of defense near Panorama and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The ISIL left behind scores of the dead or wounded members and fled the battlefront to evade more casualties.

Meantime, the Syrian Army aircraft targeted the ISIL gatherings and concentration centers near Deir Ezzur city, inflicting heavy losses of the group's military vehicles and equipment.

The Syrian fighter jets bombed the ISIL positions near Panorama, Brouk Hill and the Western side of Deir Ezzur Airport, which left several vehicles destroyed, including machinegun-equipped ones.

Aleppo

The fighters of Kurdish People's Protection Units, in a rapid operation on Friday, cut off the entire supply lines to a newly-captured region of the ISIL, battlefield sources said, adding that the ISIL terrorists are under siege in the battlefield.

"The entire road to Afrin region have been cut off by the Kurdish fighters," the sources said, adding, "The ISIL terrorist, who pushed back rival terrorists of the Free Syrian Army and captured eights villages near Afrin, are under the siege of the Kurdish fighters with no way out."

Reports also said that several terrorists were killed in clashes between the ISIL and the coalition of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Shamiyeh Front in the Northern territories of Aleppo province near the border with Turkey.

"The ISIL terrorists stormed strongholds of al-Shamiyeh and FSA near the villages of Tal Hussein, Tatiyah, Baryshah and Janhat in the Eastern side of the town of Azaz a few kilometers South of Aleppo border with Turkey," the sources said.

"The ISIL pushed its rivals back from the villages," the sources said, adding, "Heavy death toll on both sides was reported."

Dara'a

The entire members of a group of ISIL terrorists were killed in the Syrian Army troops' surprise attack in the Northeastern parts of Dara'a province.

The Syrian army troops and the National Defense Forces stormed gathering center of a group of ISIL militants in the Southwester side of Asheihib hill, and killed the entire member of the group after hours of non-stop battle.

Sweida

The Syrian Army's artillery units opened heavy fire at a long convoy of ISIL vehicles in the Northeastern part of Sweida province, inflicting major damage on the military column.

The ISIL convoy of military vehicle near the village of Rajm al-Dawleh, some 70 km Northeast of Sweida city, came under the heavy artillery shelling of the army.

Four vehicles, including a truck loaded with weapons and ammunition, were destroyed and meantime several members of the ISIL were killed in the attacks.

Hama

The Syrian military forces repelled the al-Nusra Front's attack near the town of Ma'an and forced the terrorist group to pull its fighters back from the battlefield.

Terrorists carried out an approximate large-scale operation from three directions of Atshan, Tal Skeik and Um Hartain to break through the pro-government forces' position in Ma'an, but their attacks were strongly defended by the Syrian soldiers.

Al-Nusra left behind at least 50 members dead and many more wounded and fled the battlefield under the heavy fire of the government forces.

The clashes ended in destruction of 9 of their vehicles, including two armored and machineguns-equipped ones.

Damascus

Syrian media sources announced that a large number of fresh recruits have been dispatched to Eastern Ghouta to join the government forces' anti-terrorism operations there.

"A large number of the Republican Guard's soldiers, who finished their trainings, have been sent to battlefronts to join the Syrian army and their allies' war on terrorism in the Eastern part of Damascus province," the sources said, adding, "The Syrian government forces are resolved to fortify their positions in the newly-liberated regions as much as possible."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950308000377

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ISIL Plans to Hit Euro 2016

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Germany's domestic intelligence agency warned that the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group is preparing for a terror attack it during the upcoming Euro 2016 soccer tournament to in France.

The head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maassen, made the remarks in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper on Friday, adding that he has no hard evidence on where or when the attack is set to happen.

“We know that Daesh has the European Championship in its sights,” Maassen further said, adding that "there was quite a lot of background noise, an elevated number of indications that Daesh, al-Qaeda terror group, or its Syrian affiliate Nusra Front wanted to launch terrorist acts against Western targets."

The comments came after France's spy chief said ISIL terrorists were planning a campaign of bomb attacks on large crowds in France.

It is expected that some 2.5 million spectators will gather for 51 soccer games involving 24 teams at the tournament, which is scheduled to begin on June 10 and will last for a month.

On November 13, ISIL launched a series of attacks in Paris killing some 130 people.

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Syrian Army Seizes Large Cargo of ISIL Weapons, Ammunition in Hama

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army identified and seized an ISIL vehicle carrying a large volume of arms and ammunition in the Northeastern part of Hama province.

The Syrian soldiers stopped a large truck on a road connecting Ithriya in Hama province to Raqqa city and discovered a large volume of ammunition and weapons. 

Several ISIL terrorists were killed in the clashes that erupted before the seizure.

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, the Syrian military forces repelled the al-Nusra Front's attack near the town of Ma'an and forced the terrorist group to pull its fighters back from the battlefield.

Terrorists carried out an approximate large-scale operation from three directions of Atshan, Tal Skeik and Um Hartain to break through the pro-government forces' position in Ma'an, but their attacks were strongly defended by the Syrian soldiers.

Al-Nusra left behind at least 50 members dead and many more wounded and fled the battlefield under the heavy fire of the government forces.

The clashes ended in destruction of 9 of their vehicles, including two armored and machineguns-equipped ones.

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ISIL Fails to Take Control over Ithriya-Raqqa Road

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and popular forces repelled ISIL's repeated offensives on government forces' positions along the strategic road of Ithriya to Raqqa in the Southeastern part of Aleppo province and inflicted a heavy death toll on the terrorists.

The Syrian soldiers and National Defense Forces fended off the ISIL attacks to take control of a strategic chunk of the road connecting Ithriya in Hama province to Raqqa capital of the ISIL self-proclaimed Caliphate via Aleppo.

At least 32 terrorists were killed and many more were wounded in the failed attacks.

The ISIL heavy machineguns, weapons and ammunition were also destroyed in the unsuccessful assaults.

In relevant developments in the Northern province on Friday, the Syrian Army troops and popular forces, deployed in the villages of Ratyan and al-Zahra, are expected to launch a large-scale attack against the strongholds of al-Nusra Front in the strategic Anadan plain Northwest of Aleppo province.

"Ratyan and al-Zahra are strategically situated at the Northern and Eastern sides of the terrorist-controlled ‘Anadan Plains," the sources said, adding, "The Syrian government forces are resolved to use their strategic upper hand against the terrorist groups and put an end to the presence of militants in Northwest Aleppo."

"The offensive in Northern Aleppo is coming soon; however, no further details have thus far be given," they added.

"Should the Syrian Armed Forces seize the ‘Anadan Plains, they will have effectively encircled the remaining militants in Western Aleppo," the sources underscored.

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Source: Over 2,500 Pro-Hadi Militias Killed in Yemen War

May 28, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA) - Hundreds of forces loyal to former fugitive President Mansour Hadi, including his senior commanders, have been killed during 13-month long Riyadh-led war against Yemen, pro-Hadi military sources disclosed on Saturday.

"Nearly 2,500 militias loyal to Hadi have been killed in clashes with Ansarullah fighters," the Arabic media outlets quoted an unnamed battlefield commander of Mansour Hadi as saying on Saturday.

His remarks came as Yemeni military commanders warned that the Riyadh government is preparing for full-fledged military operations against Yemen as it will enjoy Washington's support in the Southern parts of the Arab country.

"Saudi Arabia is planning to initiate a joint offensive on Yemeni army and popular forces with the US support," Senior Yemeni military commander Mohammad Salman al-Salman told FNA.

He pointed to the dispatch of 250 US soldiers to Yemen early May and their presence in al-Anad military airport in the Southern part of the Arab country, and said, "The presence of the US forces in Yemen has resulted in a rise in the number of pro-Hadi militias and Al-Qaeda terrorists in the neighbouring provinces."

Al-Salman underlined that Washington's decision to send soldiers to Yemen came after the war against the Yemeni resistance failed after 13 months.

Saudi Arabia has been waging a war on Yemen since late March 2015 in a bid to reinstate Hadi and undermine the Ansarullah movement, which took over state matters after Hadi resigned.

Over 9,400 Yemenis, including 4,000 women and children, have lost their lives in the Saudis' deadly military campaign.

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North America

Texas Men Train to Shoot Muslims and Dip Bullets in Pig Blood So Victims ‘Go Straight to Hell’

5/27/2016

A group of white men in Texas are training to shoot Muslims in case of an “uprising” and are dipping their bullets in pig's blood or bacon grease so victims would “go straight to hell”.

“The next step in Jihad does not involve random, sporadic attacks. They started killing people. They started slaughtering people wholesale,” said so-called Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR) spokesperson David Wright.

“Do you really expect me to stand here and wait until we get to that point? I’m not going to wait until we get to that point. I’m going to start doing something about it now.”

The group fears that thousands of Muslim refugees would lead to an “uprising”.

BAIR is based in Irving, the same town where “clock boy” Ahmed Mohammed was arrested after bringing to school a home-made clock which the teacher thought was a bomb.

In a video from AJ+ news, BAIR members of the group stand over railway tracks and do target practice with an array of weapons.

“A lot of us here are using either pig’s blood or bacon grease on our bullets, packing it in the middle, so that when you shoot a Muslim, they go straight to hell. That’s what they believe in their religion,” said Mr Wright.

BAIR members have recently staged armed protests outside mosques to “stop the Islamization of America”.

Recent fear and distrust has long existed in the US but has been exacerbated due to racist rhetoric during the 2016 US election campaign, including Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslims.

Mr Wright named one “radical” as Mohamed Elibiary, a former top aide to President Obama and a member of the Department of Homeland Security advisor, who was accused of leaking secret documents in an attempt to smear then-presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry as Islamophobic.

The claims were unfounded, said the DHS, yet Texas politician Louie Gohmert then accused him of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The mayor of Irving, Beth Van Duyne, also led the city council to support a state bill aimed at blocking Muslim influence in the US courts.

To counter BAIR, people of all religions and background have staged anti-BAIR protests and have created their own anti-BAIR Facebook page.

independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/texas-men-train-to-shoot-muslims-and-dip-bullets-in-pig-blood-so-victims-go-straight-to-hell-a7053086.html

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Amid growing tension, Muslim convention aims to dispel 'destructive myths' about Islam

5/27/2016

id a presidential campaign season that has seen increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, and in the wake of ISIS-inspired attacks in California and abroad, a national Muslim-American organization is bringing its annual convention to Baltimore this weekend. It expects to draw tens of thousands for programs aimed at "dispelling destructive myths about the Islamic faith and about Muslim Americans."

The 41st national conference of the Islamic Circle of North America comes as Muslim organizations and their allies say Muslim Americans are facing growing levels of suspicion and intolerance.

Muslim leaders and organizations in the United States have condemned attacks on Paris, San Bernardino, Calif., and Brussels. Still, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has catalogued an increase in anti-Muslim incidents and rhetoric in recent months.

"There is a lot of misinformation about the Quran and Muslims," said Naeem Baig, president of the Islamic Circle of North America. "Islamophobia has become alarmingly commonplace during this past year. Much of this is due to the current presidential campaign cycle, in which anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric has translated into increased campaign donations and a [larger] spotlight."

Scholars and professionals in fields such as finance, law and child psychology will deliver talks, lead workshops and organize breakout sessions related to Islam and Quranic values at the Baltimore Convention Center on each of the three days of the Memorial Day weekend.

Their common goal, Baig said, will be to affirm and communicate the essential values of the faith, including the importance of generosity, social justice, equality and the need to foster strong families.

The convention will feature a bazaar, a Quran recitation contest, children's activities, and dawah workshops — efforts at communicating Islamic values through dialogue — as well as talks by Islamic scholars and imams from across the United States.

The majority of attendees will be Muslim Americans, organizers say, but all activities are open to the public. Organizers plan for three workshops aimed at educating non-Muslims about the faith.

Entry costs are $69 for an adult for one day, $105 for all three days. Discounts will be considered based on financial need, a spokesman said.

This will be the third straight year the group has held its convention in Baltimore.

Imam Hassan Amin, an imam at the Johns Hopkins University and a chaplain with the Baltimore Police Department, said the event spreads positive messages in two directions.

He said it helps familiarize Muslims from across the nation with the "beauties of Baltimore, not just the negative things people see on TV shows like 'The Wire,'" while also familiarizing local residents with the essence of a religion that, like the city, is often misunderstood.

Amin said the Islamic Circle's willingness to hold its convention here after the Freddie Gray riots last spring is a testament to the values of the organization — and the faith.

Convention organizers worked with the Muslim Social Services Agency, a local group Amin heads, to distribute soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other items to seniors and homeless people affected by the rioting.

Hundreds of volunteers will do the same this year, Amin said, distributing "blessing bags" containing hygiene items to the homeless and elderly in low-income neighborhoods. Amin said their charitable acts should help dispel harmful stereotypes.

"The people of Baltimore learn so much from actually seeing and interacting with real Muslims," he said. "This is a diverse collection of people who are positive and kind, no different from Christians or Jews who have the spirit of helping people. They're not a bunch of terrorists ready to blow the city to bits."

The Islamic Circle, founded in 1968 as an offshoot of the Muslim Students Association, describes itself as a "grassroots umbrella organization" that organizes educational and other activities for Muslim Americans, sponsors charitable initiatives, works with interfaith groups and aims to educate non-Muslims about the faith.

Its annual convention has grown rapidly over the past decade, organizers say, with attendance expanding from an average of about 8,000 during the early 2000s, when it was held in Hartford, Conn., to its highest-ever attendance of about 20,000 in Baltimore last year.

Based on registrations, organizers say they expect attendance to jump by at least 30 percent this year, to 26,000 or more.

Officials chose Baltimore as the convention's new home in 2013 due in part to its central location on the East Coast and the proximity of hotels to the convention center, a setup that makes it easier for families with children to attend.

Attendees come from all over the United States, organizers say, with the majority traveling to the event from the Mid-Atlantic states. The Muslim American Society, another national outreach organization, will offer logistical support.

The two groups have attracted controversy over the years.

In 2011, the Anti-Defamation League accused the organizations of hosting speakers at a joint convention who "made anti-Semitic and conspiratorial remarks, portraying Jews as a privileged group with undue power" and who called for "the eradication of the state of Israel."

In response, the Islamic Circle said it and the Muslim American Society "categorically state that our organizations do not affirm any statements that reflect hatred of the Jewish people, or any other religious or ethnic community, or that call for the destruction of Israel."

When a convention hosts a large number of speakers, Baig said, it's hard to ensure that none will make statements that conflict with the organizers' views.

"When it comes to condemning terrorist attacks or any form of violence, yes, we stand against any terrorist attacks, any violence," he said. "We are for human rights and human dignity" for all people.

After the shooting attack that killed 14 people and injured 22 in San Bernardino in December, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

When Sen. Ted Cruz was still in the GOP primary race, he spoke of increasing police surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods.

Baig believes that those who "spread hatred and false rumors" about the Islamic faith — including politicians trying to draw attention in election years — fail to grasp or tell voters that violent extremists are not practicing the true religion, but seizing on isolated teachings of the faith and distorting them to promote a sociopolitical agenda.

Such extremists make up a minuscule slice of the world's 1.6 billion self-identified Muslims, he said, and their behavior is the opposite of the peaceful ways of the overwhelming majority.

"We want to bring to the Muslim community, and to the larger society, that your Muslim neighbor practices an Islam that teaches loving your neighbor — that if your neighbor has a hungry stomach, you will not enter paradise," he said.

In other instances, Baig said, critics confuse long-standing cultural practices with Quranic teachings — often citing, for example, the fact that women in women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive.

The practice is non-Islamic, he said, and is enforced in only one of the world's 57 Muslim countries.

Amin agreed that many politicians benefit by trafficking in harmful stereotypes about the faith.

"It's time to vote, so here we go: Politicians will be talking about crime, the economy and terrorism, and they'll say terrorism is synonymous with Muslims and Islam, and that's not true."

Baltimoreans will have a chance this weekend to see Muslims from across the country enjoying the same simple pleasures everyone does, he said — visiting local restaurants and enjoying the breezes coming off the Inner Harbor.

Amin had a word of advice for them.

"Don't listen to people talking about me, especially politicians," he said. "Ask me about me. Let's just get to know each other."

baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-muslim-convention-20160527-story.html

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BBC Silences Discussion Of Islamic Terrorism And Rape Of Young Girls

5/27/2016

BBC radio ended an interview with Ryan Girdusky, a writer for Red Alert Politics and a Donald Trump supporter, after he brought up Islamic terrorism and the rape of young women in England by Muslim men.

In an interview on BBC 5’s program Up All Night on Friday, host Dotun Adebayo said, “I’m assuming though that you will accept that [Trump’s] plan to ban all Muslims from America would be considered to be racist, if not sectarian.”

“No, no, no, I’m sorry you are misrepresenting him,” Girdusky retorted. Trump “did not say I’m going to ban all Muslims. He said he would have a halt on Muslim immigration until the visa system could be improved.”

“I’ll accept that, but most people, you must agree that if that’s not racist it’s at least it is sectarian,” the BBC host replied. “Will Trump soften on that position?”

dailycaller.com/2016/05/27/bbc-silences-discussion-of-islamic-terrorism-and-rape-of-young-girls-audio/

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White in America vs. White Among American Muslims

5/27/2016

When you’re white, conversion to Islam can be accompanied by excessive fanfare.

That was my experience as a recent convert. My coming to Islam seemed to be just as emotional for friends and strangers alike as it was for myself. I was often taken aback by the praise I received for my decision, and many often claimed that the act itself was proof that I was so much more pious than “natural born” Muslims. Of course, I knew myself better than others, and naturally disagreed.

My story is very different than my best friend’s, however, who converted to Islam just a few years prior. Aside from the customary embrace every convert receives after their shahada (declaration of faith), he was soon met with a sense of communal apathy towards his entering into faith. Instead of being praised for his conscious decision to accept Islam, he was instead questioned whether he had come to learn and embrace Islam while in prison.

His conversion was also not considered a surprise or anomaly — in fact, one Muslim expressed that “his people” had come to America as Muslims anyway, so he was really just returning to his tradition.

Within weeks of becoming Muslim, I was elected to an executive position in the Muslim Students Association, despite having no real knowledge of Islam and no true leadership experience. My friend rose through the ranks slowly and due to his overwhelming intelligence, his articulate manner of speaking, and sheer work ethic. While I coasted to the top despite lacking knowledge and skills, he struggled to the same heights despite being overqualified.

I was immediately given a position to speak on behalf of a community I barely knew, and he was never afforded the same opportunity to the same extent.

He was much more intelligent, articulate and knew more about the faith and the culture of the Muslim community. I would even go so far as to say he was better looking than myself! So what is it that allowed me to ascend in the community while he trudged along slowly?

Well, I’m white and he’s black, if that isn’t obvious by now.

The Politics of Privilege

I’m optimistic that most of our society is starting to grasp the concept of how some people, particularly white males, are afforded greater opportunities than other demographics. On a national scale, white men are overrepresented in media in a positive light, dominate many upper socioeconomic occupations and are capable of traversing any landscape without fear of harassment from others.

Within the Muslim community, I’ve learned that many privileges still exist for the white man. I was able to climb to positions of leadership without the necessary skills needed. I was the first to be introduced to the media. And even when I said something wrong, made a mistake, or developed an opinion with which the majority of Muslims didn’t agree, I was readily forgiven.

My friend certainly couldn’t say this for himself.

As with anyone who enjoys privilege, my advantages were often unseen to me. I didn’t see how radically different our situations were until I heard him tell his stories. But what truly opened my eyes was the moment I realized that the privilege I had benefited from in American society wouldn’t fully transfer to the Muslim community.

That was a much-needed lesson.

Being white in America is not exactly the same as being white in the Muslim community. Privilege is related to power, and power is a very fluid concept. In American society, white men have maintained power through a combination of means — from the seclusion of minorities from prominent political and economic positions to state-sponsored policies that contribute to and even promote discrimination.

Within the last few decades, we’ve witnessed a major push back against entrenched privilege, and in response those in power have sought to create new institutions and narratives to reassert their power. With the successes of the civil rights movement came the mass incarceration policies and the creation of the welfare queen caricature.

As African Americans have risen up in protest against the excessive force used by authorities, which has led to the murder of numerous countless individuals, solidarity organizations calling for justice have been labeled as violent thugs attacking the American institution that is law enforcement. And as further progress is made, history tells us that resist will arise to combat racial progress. But just as some try to maintain white privilege in American society,a different sort of privilege is equally defended in Muslim communities

Privilege is dispersed in different ways and can often vary within each individual Muslim community. From speaking with others and from my own experiences, it seems that being white in the Muslim community does not equate the same privilege as being white in America. Knowing this to be a controversial statement, allow me to provide a few examples.

White in America vs. White Among American Muslims

Converts are often subject to requests for the abandonment of their former identities to ensure they conform to a supposed “Islamic” identity. This Islamic identity is itself an exercise of power and an attempt at controlling how the faith is interpreted and practiced. For example, converts are often told to adopt Arabic names. Within a masjid, converts may be encouraged to dress in a particular cultural garb that is deemed as Islamic by those providing the encouragement.

It can often go deeper than clothing and names, though. A convert that doesn’t “look the part” may not have their opinions considered to the same extent as someone who does conform to the supposed Islamic identity. Whereas certain cultural practices are pushed as the “Islamic way of life,” like the separation of sexes and conformity to community thought, American cultural ideas and norms are often seen as incompatible to the faith or blatantly corrupting to a believers faith.

Pressured conformity gets personal as well. Converts may have a harder time getting married to those who don’t belong to the same culture, and discrimination is often unapologetic. They are often subject to inflammatory speech about non-Muslims, who may constitute the majority or entirety of a convert’s family.

Of course these observations are coming from a white man, and therefore I can’t even begin to understand the struggles of a female convert.

Struggle comes with its own sense of wisdom, however. Despite feeling frustrated at the small amount of discrimination I’ve faced, my place in the Muslim community has allowed me to come to terms with the greater privilege I have in American society. Standing amongst a crowd in which I can’t understand the language being spoken has shown me what it must feel like to be a new immigrant in a foreign country.

Failing to push progress in the masjid because its leadership is of a different cultural and generation, and thoroughly entrenched in their positions, has opened my eyes to how the glass ceiling actually feels. And, acknowledging that my ideas are not immediately accepted because I was raised in a different context has shown just how easy it is for a white man to maneuver in American society.

Take no pity on my story though, for as soon as I walk out the doors of the masjid, the society is built for people like me: fair-skinned, blonde-haired, blue-eyed men from the middle class. My friend, however, never catches a break.

What I hope to impart is that privilege is fluid, and it exists to varying degrees for different peoples at different times and places. It does exist though, and in certain contexts it may exist for those who feel the most disenfranchised. Ultimately, privilege is something that must be acknowledged and power must be dispersed to all if we want to live in a more just society.

The political discourse of our nation (at least one strain of it) is now focusing on the moral imperative of raising up our country’s weakest: the poor, the uninsured, the sick, the subjects of systemic discrimination. As the Muslim community witnesses and engages in this national debate, we ought to remember we have our own issues with privilege and prejudice.

patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2016/05/white-in-america-vs-white-among-american-muslims/

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US plays down rift with Turkey over support for YPG

May 28, 2016

The United States sought to play down a diplomatic rift with Turkey on May 27 after U.S. commandos were caught on camera wearing badges of a Syrian Kurdish group.

Ankara reacted with fury after AFP published pictures of U.S. special forces working with the Kurdish PYG forces in northern Turkey and wearing their insignia.

Washington regards the PYG militia as a valuable ally in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, but Turkey sees the group as terrorists.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu declared the U.S. alliance with the group "unacceptable" but the State Department denied that relations are in crisis.

"We understand Turkey's concerns, let me make that clear, and we continue to discuss this as well as other concerns Turkey has," spokesman Mark Toner said.

Toner said that Washington does not regard the YPG, which operates in Syria, as part of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

"With respect to Turkey's comments about these photos we've been very clear... about our belief that the YPG is not connected to the PKK," Toner said.

"On the contrary, we believe the YPG as well as other forces in northern Syria are effectively taking the fight to ISIL," he added.

"And we're going to continue to support them with our assist and support operation."

Toner thanked Turkey for supporting the coalition against ISIL, which U.S. officials variously refer to as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh.

"Turkey's been an active member of the anti-Daesh coalition, continues to be an active member. We're grateful for Turkey's support," he said.

"The goal here is to destroy and degrade Daesh and to remove them from the battlefield," he said.     "Now, are there disagreements between members of the coalition as to how we proceed and with who we're cooperating on the ground?" he said.

"I'm not going to say that there aren't, and obviously Turkey's made very clear its feelings about the YPG."

hurriyetdailynews.com/us-plays-down-rift-with-turkey-over-support-for-ypg-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99779&NewsCatID=510

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Pakistan

Pakistan cannot accept China's rejection of Islam says Hafeez Sayeed

May 28, 2016

Pakistan's hardline leader and the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD ), Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed, has rejected China's call to stop the practice of Islam which was made by the Chinese leadership at the recently held Second National Conference on Religion in Beijing.

Speaking to his congregation of hardline Islamists in Lahore, Sayeed said that it was true that China is Pakistan's all weather friend, but "any comment that hurts our religion, Islam, is not acceptable and we urge the Chinese leadership to take it back."

"By uttering such statements, China is hurting its time-tested relations with the people of Pakistan," said Sayeed.

Sayeed's unusual statement directed at China comes amid a strong reaction in Pakistan to China's crackdown on the practice of Islam.

While guarded in his use of language against China, Sayeed made it clear that Beijing must not take Islamabad for granted by telling its people to desist from practicing Islam.

Sayeed said that this statement by the Chinese leadership was a "challenge to the Islamic way of life" and, he called upon the Pakistan Government to "show some courage and direct China to stay away from hurting Islamic sentiments ".

The hardline leader told his followers that he plans to meet the Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad to lodge his protest.

Sayeed's counter to the Chinese leadership comes in the wake of the latter warning its people, especially those living in Xinjiang province to shun Islam and to stick to China's state policy of "Marxist Atheism".

Large parts of the Chinese population living in Xinjiang province are said have become radicalised and Beijing is desperately looking at ways to de-radicalise them.

Xinjiang borders Pakistan from where China says the hardline Islamic teachings flow. China has also been subtly warning Pakistan to stop the flow of Islamic messaging to Xinjiang but to no avail.

Communist Party Officials had strongly backed President Xi's statements and cautioned citizens to be vigilant against Islamic tendencies like Halal products. They made it clear that Halal products will remain banned in China as these "promote religious segregation."

China has already declared 2016 as the "Year of Ethnic Unity and Progress", a move aimed squarely at ridding the nation of Islamic influences.

President Xi Jinping is making efforts to tighten control over religious practices, as it is his belief that religion, especially Islam, could emerge as a competing force in society unless it is nipped in the bud now.

Making China's State policy of intolerance towards Pan-islamic tendencies very clear, President Xi warned Chinese citizens "not to confuse themselves with non-CCP approved tendencies" and to "never find their values and beliefs in this religion or any religion."

Other senior Communist Party Officials who spoke on this occasion highlighted the dangers that Islam is assuming in some parts of China, making the nation vulnerable to extremist infiltration.

Communist Party Officials strongly backed President Xi's statements and cautioned citizens to be vigilant against Islamic tendencies. While coming out strongly against Islam and Islamic traditions, the Second National Work Conference on Religion also promoted a number of articles that expressed support for the new policies.

President Xi has now made it clear that these policies will be reinforced with renewed vigour, as China is looking at Pakistan-sponsored Islamic radicalism as the number one threat to its society.

business-standard.com/article/news-ani/pakistan-cannot-accept-china-s-rejection-of-islam-says-hafeez-sayeed-116052800085_1.html

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Jamaatud Dawa offers funeral prayer for Mullah Mansour in Peshawar

28 May 2016

PESHAWAR: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), a self-proclaimed charity working across Pakistan, on Friday held funeral prayers in absentia for the deceased Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in the provincial capital.

JuD provincial spokesperson Ghazi Inamullah told DawnNews that the funeral prayers in absentia were offered at Jamia Masjid Khyber Markaz in Peshawar and attended by hundreds of JuD activists and general public.

Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour was killed in a United States (US) drone strike in Balochistan.

After holding the funeral prayers, JuD activists marched from Fawara Chowk area to the Peshawar Press Club to protest against the US drone strike inside Pakistani territory and called it an attack on the national integrity and sovereignty.

Attendees of the rally chanted slogans against US government and later desecrated the American flag.

JuD leaders Hafiz Samiullah, Haji Mohammad Iqbal and ASWJ Peshawar chief Moulana Ismail addressed the gathering and said that US government is trying to cover-up its failures and drone strike in Balochistan is part of this campaign.

Jamaatud Dawa is a controversial organisation, which was added to the banned outfits list by Pakistani authorities at the start of the year, along with the Haqqani network.

The US State Department last year named JuD as a “foreign terrorist organisation,” a status that freezes any assets it has under US jurisdiction.

dawn.com/news/1261029/jamaatud-dawa-offers-funeral-prayer-for-mullah-mansour-in-peshawar

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N-programme made country's defence impregnable: PM on Youm-i-Takbeer

28 May 2016

ISLAMABAD: It is our national responsibility to be prepared to protect the country from internal and external threats, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his message on the occasion of 'Youm-i-Takbeer’, the day Pakistan became a nuclear power.

“Pakistan's atomic programme was developed to make country's defence impregnable. It is a guarantee to peace in South Asia. This programme created a balance of power, which was necessary to make this region safe,” said the message.

Youm-i-Takbeer is being observed on Saturday to mark the historic day when Pakistan tested its nuclear weapons on May 28, 1998 in Chagai, Balochistan, 17 days after India proclaimed nuclear power.

Congratulating the nation, the prime minister said Youm-i-Takbeer would always be remembered as an important milestone in the history of Pakistan, the first Muslim nuclear state.

The credit for making the country's defence secure goes to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, said the premier, adding that South Asian countries came out of instability due to Pakistan's nuclear programme.

“Our nuclear programme depicts the ability of the Pakistani nation; that they have the ability to face all challenges,” he added.

He said operation Zarb-i-Azb was the continuation of this pledge to make Pakistan's defence impregnable.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the entire nation was united on the issue of terrorism and the ongoing operations against terrorists were getting unprecedented successes.

He said the government was committed to making Pakistan an economic powerhouse, adding that various projects had been initiated under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project in this respect.

A sound economy is a prerequisite for invincible defence, the premier said.

dawn.com/news/1261229/n-programme-made-countrys-defence-impregnable-pm-on-youm-i-takbeer

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Pakistan can help US destabilise Taliban, says Senator Corker

28 May 2016

WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s support can help destabilise the Taliban far more rapidly than US military operations alone could, says Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In statements released to the media since last Saturday, when a US drone strike eliminated Taliban chief Mullah Mansour in Balochistan, US officials and lawmakers have repeatedly urged Pakistan to take immediate action against the militants reported to be hiding inside Pakistan.

At the State Department, spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing on Thursday afternoon that this was part of “an ongoing conversation” that the United States has had with authorities in Pakistan.

“They need to address all groups operating on their soil — Taliban groups that are operating on their soil and their territory,” he claimed. “We’ve urged them to do so in the past. We continue to urge them to do so and have worked with them on addressing the very real threat on their own soil.”

Another US official reminded Pakistan that the alleged “remaining terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan’s borders … afford extremists the ability to undermine Afghanistan’s stability and target US and coalition forces in Afghanistan”.

While US officials were careful not to directly blame Pakistan for the presence of militants in the region, US lawmakers were not. They directly blamed Pakistan for “hiding and protecting” the militants of Haqqani network who, they claimed, were targeting US and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.

Senator Corker said that while Mullah Mansour’s elimination was “an important victory in the fight against terror,” such strikes alone could not achieve the desired result of uprooting the Taliban movement.

“If Pakistan would play a more constructive role, we could destabilise the Taliban far more rapidly,” he added.

Mr Corker is the same senator who blocked US financing for the F-16 sale to Pakistan, and reflects the new negative mood on Capitol Hill where it is becoming increasingly difficult to lobby for Pakistan.

Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that the United States and Pakistan had conflicting interests. He claimed that while Pakistan continued to receive financial assistance from the US, it was not ready to root out those terrorists who allegedly used its soil for targeting American troops in Afghanistan.

“I think there’s certainly a growing impatience in Congress,” he said.

Congressman Schiff also noted that while Pakistan had objected to the strike, the response had been somewhat “muted,” likely because they knew the US action was right.

“I think that Pakistan must realise that they’ve got some serious problems in Congress, in terms of the relationship”, said Mr Schiff. The Pakistanis are “desperately eager to have the support and military aircraft and don’t want to jeopardise that”.

John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also urged stepped up coalition attacks on the Taliban but he did not criticise Pakistan for its alleged failure to do so.

“Our troops are in Afghanistan today for the same reason they deployed there in 2001 — to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for global terrorists,” he said.

Last week, Senator McCain moved a bill for setting up a new $800 million fund for reimbursing Pakistan for its efforts in the war against terrorists. This would replace the Coalition Support Fund, which expires in October.

dawn.com/news/1261201/pakistan-can-help-us-destabilise-taliban-says-senator-corker

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‘Targeted killings put question mark over efficacy of NAP’

28 May 2016

KARACHI: The Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen and Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Friday condemned the targeted killing of two young men, including a government official, near the Nad-i-Ali Imambargah roundabout in Jaffar-i-Tayyar Society late Thursday night.

“It was a targeted attack, but it is yet to be ascertained if the killings were carried out on sectarian or political grounds,” said Karachi-East DIG Dr Kamran Fazal Siddiqui.

The victims belonged to the Shia community and were MQM supporters. In separate statements, leaders of the MQM and the MWM said unabated attacks had put a question mark over the effectiveness and direction of the National Action Plan (NAP).

Amir Haider, 35, Asim Hussain, 38, and Hassan, 25, were sprayed with bullets by armed motorcyclists in Jaffar-i-Tayyar Society late Thursday night when the area was plunged into darkness by a power outage. All the three victims were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), where Haider and Hussain were pronounced dead on arrival, while Hassan was admitted for treatment.

Hussain was a businessman while Haider was a government servant who also used to drive taxi to earn his livelihood.On Friday, the MWM staged protest demonstrations at Malir Kala Board and Khoja mosque in Kharadar against the killing of the people belonging to the Shia sect and to show solidarity with their leader Allama Raja Nasir Abbas, who has been on hunger strike in Islamabad for the past three weeks against the sectarian killings.

Meanwhile, the funeral of Haider and Hussain was held at the Imambargah near Malir Kala Board. Among others, leaders of the MWM and the MQM attended the funeral.

MQM spokesperson Aminul Haq told Dawn that Hussain had been their party worker since 2004, while Haider and Hassan were their supporters. Demanding arrest of the killers, the spokesperson said that last week their party worker Fahad Zaki was shot dead, while their supporter Kamran was wounded in Saudabad.

MQM lawmaker from the area Sajid Ahmed said that the law-enforcers were arresting their workers despite the killing of their party workers in frequent targeted attacks.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday evening, MQM central leader Dr Farooq Sattar said this was the second murder of their party worker in the same area during the past one week. He said it was ‘surprising’ to note that these killings were being taken place at a time when law enforcement agencies were restoring peace to the city.

Dr Sattar said the killings were not only a “conspiracy” against the law enforcement agencies but also a move to push the MQM to the wall. He blamed their rival Mohajir Qaumi Movement for the frequent killing of Muttahida workers.

dawn.com/news/1261077/targeted-killings-put-question-mark-over-efficacy-of-nap

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Pak may link Gwadar with Chabahar: Sartaj Aziz

May 27, 2016

Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s top aide Sartaj Aziz has said that the country was considering linking Gwadar with Iranian harbour Chabahar.

Aziz said that Pakistan welcome projects of regional connectivity which have the potential to generate economic activity, reports Dawn.

The adviser hinted at a proposal of declaring Gwadar and Chabahar as ‘sister ports’ and said Pakistan was also constructing a road to the Iranian port being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.

Aziz added that Pakistan has suffered 60,000 casualties of which about 10,000 are those of security personnel.

Commenting on the implementation of Pakistan’s anti-terror programme, Aziz said it had been successfully implemented followed by the on-going National Action Plan (NAP)

He said being a nuclear power and a stable economy, Pakistan would sail smooth and move forward by overcoming the current issues.

siasat.com/news/pak-may-link-gwadar-chabahar-sartaj-aziz-963417/

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KP IGP concerned over decision to terminate 12,500 police officials

28 May 2016

PESHAWAR: Inspector-General (IG) Police of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Nasir Khan Durrani has expressed concern over the provincial government’s decision to terminate the service of 12,500 police officials, which include 10,000 reserve police and 2,500 ex-servicemen employed with the insurgency-hit province’s police force.

The provincial government’s decision will come into effect from June 30, 2016.

The province’s top cop stated a state of war still exists in the province – the province has bore the brunt of insurgent attacks which still continue, although are less frequent now – and the increase in overall threat level due to the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the cause for his concern over the decision.

“The security situation has not normalised and a state of war still exists in the province, the threat level has also increased with the construction of CPEC,” said Durrani while speaking to DawnNews.

He also added that the security of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) has also been entrusted to the province’s civilian law-enforcement agencies.

“The force already suffers from a shortage of equipment and other facilities, and we have to provide from our existing budget to provide security to KKH.”

Durrani has said he has talked with the chief minister of KP, and has also written a letter to the Home Department to extend the services of the police officials for an additional two years.

The matter is still under discussion with the relevant authorities and a decision has not been reached yet.

The former servicemen and reserve police officials were appointed in 2007, a time when the state’s war against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had gained momentum, and the extra numbers were used to augment the province’s existing force of 67,000 personnel.

During the last two years, with the start of the army’s Operation Zarb-i-Azb in the tribal areas against terrorists, urban districts of the province have been targeted, with a focus on civilian law enforcers as they remain a soft target.

dawn.com/news/1261226/kp-igp-concerned-over-decision-to-terminate-12500-police-officials

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Modi conveys well wishes to PM Nawaz before heart surgery

28 May 2016

ISLAMABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his "best wishes" to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who will undergo an open-heart surgery in London on Tuesday.

In a tweet posted on Saturday, Modi wished for the premier's "speedy recovery and good health".

The Indian premier tagged Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the prime minister, in his Twitter post.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London for medical check-up, will undergo open-heart surgery on Tuesday.

An influx of support and well wishes have been pouring out on the internet for the premier from notable personalities including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto.

A spokesman for the prime minister said the premier was likely to remain hospitalised for at least one week, adding that he would return home only after doctors’ permission.

The premier would be administered medicines for three days to be followed by the surgery.

In the prime minister's absence, all affairs of the state would continue as per the law of the land, said the spokesman, adding that Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar would be responsible for managing the routine matters of the government.

The premier's heart condition dates back to 2008.

His visit to London was his second this year. He was also in the British capital in April when he also received medical attention at the Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea.

The prime minister's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, also confirmed through Twitter that her father will undergo an open-heart surgery on Tuesday. She appealed to the citizens to pray for her father's health and recovery.

dawn.com/news/1261221/modi-conveys-well-wishes-to-pm-nawaz-before-heart-surgery

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Southeast Asia

Outrage in multi-ethnic Malaysia as government backs Islamic law

Sat May 28, 2016

Prime Minister Najib Razak's government threw its support in parliament this week behind an Islamic penal code that includes amputations and stoning, shocking some of his allies and stoking fears of further strains in the multi-ethnic country.

Critics believe the scandal-tainted prime minister is using 'hudud', the Islamic law, to shore up the backing of Muslim Malay voters and fend off attacks on his leadership ahead of critical by-elections next month and a general election in 2018.

The government on Thursday unexpectedly submitted to parliament a hudud bill that had been proposed by the Islamist group Parti Islam se-Malaysia's (PAS).

Although debate on the law was deferred to October by PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, its submission to parliament brought criticism from leaders across the political spectrum, including allies of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who represent the ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.

Najib sought to ease tensions with his allies on Friday, saying the bill was "misunderstood".

"It's not hudud, but what we refer to as enhanced punishment," he told a news conference after meeting leaders of his ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party.

"It applies only to certain offences and this comes under the jurisdiction of the Syariah court and is only applicable to the Muslims. It has nothing to do with non-Muslims."

He added that the punishments would be limited and canings meted out under the law would not injure or draw blood.

Earlier in the day, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a key party in the BN coalition, called the submission of the hudud bill to parliament "unconstitutional".

"As we repeatedly pointed out, the implementation of Hudud law is against the spirit of the Federal Constitution, and would ruin the inter-ethnic relationship in the country," MCA President Liow Tiong Lai said.

Arguments for and against the introduction of hudud have divided Malaysia for years. Most of the Southeast Asian country's states implement sharia, the Islamic legal system, but its reach is restricted by federal law.

Still, the hudud bill appears doomed as the UMNO-led coalition lacks the two-thirds majority needed to pass it into law.

The Islamist party PAS is pushing for a constitutional amendment that would allow hudud to be implemented in Kelantan, a northern state where nightclubs are banned and there are separate public benches for men and women.

Many fear such a move would open doors for other states to bring in the Islamic penal code. Hudud stipulates ancient religious punishments for Muslims who violate the law.

EYEING POLLS

Critics say that Najib, with an eye on by-elections for two parliamentary seats on June 18, is seeking to appease the majority Muslim votebank with his stand on hudud and to deflect attention from a multi-billion-dollar scandal at the state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

They allege Najib was a beneficiary of 1MDB's funds, after about $680 million was deposited in his bank account before a 2013 election. Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

Some political heavyweights in Najib's party have questioned whether he can lead them to victory in the 2018 general election. However, he has consolidated power by sacking dissenters within UMNO, which has ruled Malaysia since 1957, and using a controversial and repressive colonial-era sedition law to silence other critics.

Najib seized on the resounding victory of a coalition partner in a Borneo state election earlier month as evidence that he and his government remain popular. The by-elections in peninsula Malaysia are likely to be a closer contest.

"Najib did not want the 1MDB global scandal to become the issue in both by-elections," said Lim Kit Siang, parliamentary leader of the Democratic Action Party, adding that Najib has ensured the focus will now be on hudud.

reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-politics-idUSKCN0YJ04N

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Indonesia Stresses Harmony Among Adherents of Different Faiths

Sat May 28, 2016

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government, at the 7th World Islamic Forum held in Yazd, Iran, from May 24 to 25, underscored the importance of adherents of different faiths living in harmony, the Indonesian embassy in Tehran said.

In Indonesia`s experience, to maintain such harmony, the government, religious leaders and indigenous stakeholders must adopt a common stand to prevent any kind of social unrest, Indonesian Ambassador to Iran Octavino Alimudin stated in a press statement released on Friday.

"To ensure harmony among adherents of different faiths, we need a forum where adherents of different faiths can communicate, and come up with quick and integrated reaction to any incident," he pointed out.

In addition, transparent and impartial law enforcement is also needed to restore security, he added.

The ambassador observed that the media play an important role in creating a conducive situation in a country that has a variety of faiths and cultures through balanced and responsible reporting.

The embassy expressed the hope that such a forum will result in concrete benefits to the Islamic community in the future.

Meanwhile, Director General of Political and International Studies at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Mostafa Zahrani, hoped that the World Islamic Forum can infuse a new spirit to the efforts to create a symbol and a model useful to the Islamic world.

The World Islamic Forum is a platform aimed at studying various ideas related to the Islamic world and the future world civilizations, based on historic and strategic values.

The forum, which brought together 120 delegates from 40 countries, was themed, "Strategic Communication: Reference Values, Institutions and Individual."

en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/05/28/055774860/Indonesia-Stresses-Harmony-Among-Adherents-of-Different-Faiths

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Ranjit honoured for outstanding contribution to Islamic capital devt

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kuala Lumpur: Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Chairman Datuk Seri Ranjit Ajit Singh received the "Outstanding Contribution for the Development of the Islamic Capital Markets by a Regulator" award at the 2016 London Sukuk Summit on May 25, 2016.

In a statement Friday, Ranjit said the award was a strong recognition of the leading role played by the SC, especially in advancing the development of the Islamic capital markets internationally.

"The extensive initiatives taken by the SC includes creating a robust and facilitative regulatory plus Shariah framework which has contributed to the vibrancy of the Malaysian Islamic capital market.

"The SC is also developing the Islamic capital market standards with global standard setters, establishing the world's first Islamic fund management framework and the world's first sustainable and responsible investment sukuk framework," he added.

dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=110190

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Mideast

Turkish army hits ISIL targets in Syria, says 104 militants killed

May 28, 2016

Turkish military hit Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in northern Syria after six rockets fired by ISIL targeted a Turkish border town and two military posts, the General Staff said in a statement on May 28.

Five people were injured on May 27 when rockets fired from ISIL-controlled territory in northern Syria hit Turkey’s border province of Kilis, 20 days after the last such attack by the jihadist group targeting the province.

Three Katyusha rockets fired from the Bab region of Syria hit the Hürriyet neighborhood in the Elbeyli district of Kilis around 6 p.m. on May 27. The projectile hit the wall of a house and exploded, injuring five locals.

Two more rockets were fired early on May 28, with one hitting the garden of Gaziantep Airport's public housing unit. No injuries were reported.

The Turkish General Staff said in a written statement that the ISIL position were hit by 233 howitzers, 40 multiple rocket launcher systems and four tanks.

“Starting from five minutes after the attack, the ISIL positions have been hit multiple times, including 11 sorties by [U.S.-led anti-ISIL] coalition jets,” the statement read.

According to the statement, 104 ISIL militiants were killed in the retaliation, while four multiple rocket launchers, one howitzer, one mortar position and seven buildings used as headquarters by the ISIL were destroyed.

Rocket attacks from the ISIL-controlled Bab region have claimed the lives of 21 people, including eight Syrians, in Kilis since January.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-army-hits-isil-targets-in-syria-says-104-militants-killed.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99780&NewsCatID=510

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Istanbulites to mark Ottoman conquest of city with grand ceremony

May 28, 2016

Istanbul is set to mark the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul on its 563rd anniversary with a major event created by a grand team of 1,200, as expectations rise for the event, which is expected to attract 1 million spectators.

“A 563-men Mehter concert [an Ottoman military band], a show by the Turkish Air Force ‘Turkish Stars’ [the air force’s aerobatics team], special conquest celebration and a fireworks display will be performed for Istanbulites and the entire world through a live broadcast,” Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality said.

The celebration will feature Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on May 29.

In its statement, the municipality said a large crew of 520 who are “experts in their fields” had been working on preparations at the city’s seaside Yenikapı venue, which is being decorated with advanced technology.

The world’s largest 3D mapping stage will be employed to revive the conquest of Istanbul, then called Constantinople, by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II (“Mehmed the Conqueror”) on May 29, 1453.

Around 1 million people are expected to attend the celebrations using the 150 gates amid tight security measures, the municipality said.

The live broadcast will not only be in Turkish but also in English, Spanish, Arabic, French, Russian and sign language.

A number of roads, including Aksu Avenue in Bakırköy and the coastal road stretching between Fatih and Aksakal Street will be closed in Istanbul on March 29 between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Last year’s celebrations in Yenikapı Square were also a major political tour de force as hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the venue just a week before the general election of June 7, 2015.

A new ceremonial brigade, the 478-man “Conquest Unit” that was formed by the Turkish Armed Forces on Erdoğan’s order, was present at the event, dressed as Ottoman soldiers. They were joined by an 84-men Ottoman military band, known in Turkish as the “Mehter.”

A 4,709-square-meter poster at the square, featuring Erdoğan and then-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who also attended the event, entered the Guinness Book of World Records, according to Anadolu Agency.

hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbulites-to-mark-ottoman-conquest-of-city-with-grand-ceremony.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99765&NewsCatID=341

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Defense lawyer requests time to respond to claims against Reza Zarrab

May 28, 2016

The defense lawyer of Reza Zarrab, the shady Iranian-born Turkish businessman who was arrested in Miami in March for attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, has requested time from the court to respond to the claims concerning his client.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara on May 25 said Zarrab, 32, should not receive bail, citing the summary of proceedings of the investigation that was launched on Dec. 17, 2013 in Turkey, which targeted the government’s senior members.

“We will send additional information carrying critical significance regarding the issue,” said Zarrab’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman, adding that prosecutors opposed his client’s bail request with “wrong and flawed arguments.”

Brafman previously demanded that his client be granted house arrest on $50 million bail, $10 million of which would be in cash.

The defense lawyer requested until 12 p.m. on May 31 to respond to the accusations, adding that they do not want the bail hearing due on June 2 to be postponed.

Zarrab was accused of paying massive bribes to senior government figures in a scheme that allegedly involved the ministers in Turkey. The December 2013 corruption cases targeted figures close to the government and resulted in lasting enmity between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, as prosecutors close to the movement were said to have launched the probe.

Bharara said Zarrab has “significant incentive and ability to flee” due to his substantial family and business contacts abroad, adding that he had passports from three countries enabling him to easily travel to countries from which he cannot be extradited.

“The defendant has used his tremendous wealth not only to purchase several homes, yachts, and other assets, but also to buy access to corrupt politicians in Turkey. Zarrab was arrested in Turkey in 2013 for bribing Turkish officials. He was released after the charges were dropped. The Turkish prosecutor and the police officers responsible for the investigation were either suspended or arrested,” said the objection presented by Bharara.

In his objection to Zarrab’s bail request, Bharara presented the English translation of the summary of proceedings of Turkey’s 2013 graft probe, Zarrab’s statements in a TV show on April 19, 2014, e-mail exchanges, and a news article on his donation worth $5 million to an association founded by Emine Erdoğan, the wife of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Social Development Center of Education and Social Solidarity Association (Togem-Der). 

In his bail offer, Zarrab cited the donation, which he said proved that he is a “charitable businessman.”

Bhrara said he claimed that he had annual income of about $720,000, despite saying publicly on the TV show that he generates over $11 billion in annual exports, including about $3.5 billion in gold exports.

Photos of bars of gold, a gold-plated pistol, a yacht and a substantial amount of cash found in Zarrab’s phone were also presented by Bharara as evidence that his income statements were incorrect.

hurriyetdailynews.com/defense-lawyer-requests-time-to-respond-to-claims-against-reza-zarrab.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99751&NewsCatID=509

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Turkey calls on EU countries to rethink PYD bureaus

May 27, 2016

Turkey has called on the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany and France to rethink decisions to permit Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) to open bureaus on their soil, claiming such a move could encourage militants to target Turkey and Turkish people.

The warning was issued by Turkey’s top security board, the National Security Council (MGK), in a bi-monthly meeting under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and with the participation of Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and top military and intelligence officials late May 26.

Turkey considers the Syria-based PYD and its armed wing, People’s Protection Units (YPG), as affiliates of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and accuses the group of trying to establish an autonomous region in northern Syria. Turkey has long been calling its Western allies, including the United States, to distance themselves from the PYD and instead cooperate with putatively moderate Arab rebels in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

Despite Ankara’s messages, the U.S. and many of its European allies regard the PYD as a political entity and an efficient partner in the anti-ISIL fight as seen in the anti-ISIL coalition’s recent operations to liberate Raqqa from jihadists.

The PYD’s recent initiatives to open bureaus in some European capitals like Prague, Stockholm, Paris and Berlin increased Turkey’s reaction against the countries, as the MGK statement said the move would “encourage and give further opportunities for the bloody-handed terrorists that have created bloodshed in Turkey.”

The MGK also recalled that such a move was not in keeping with the idea of friendship and alliance and called on the countries to re-think their decision.

Turkey to call on NATO for deterrence

The MGK statement underlined once again that recent security problems posed by ISIL against Turkey raised the need to establish no-fly and secure zones inside Syria. It also stressed that NATO should take measures to boost deterrence and confidence-building measures for all allied countries in a summit that will take place in Warsaw on July 8 and 9.

Apart from security challenges outside Turkey, the MGK reiterated its determination to remove what it calls the pro-Gülenist “parallel structure,” something it has deemed a terrorist organization, from the state apparatus. The fight against the PKK will also continue with determination and with the emphasis that neither the PKK nor its political affiliations can be legitimate representatives of Turkish citizens of Kurdish decent.

The MGK also evaluated growing hate speech and racism toward Islam in European countries and the U.S. and discussed appropriate political, legal and social measures that can be taken in response.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-calls-on-eu-countries-to-rethink-pyd-bureaus-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99728&NewsCatID=510

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Israel favors gas exports through Turkey

May 28, 2016

The only route big enough for Israel’s gas exportation is a country like Turkey which is capable of providing infrastructure and further exportation to the West, Shai Cohen, the Consul-General of Israel in Istanbul has said.       

“An Israeli-Turkish deal is natural under the circumstances of the region, what is happening now in the region, our relations with our neighbors and  so on. This is real politics. The situation in the region right now demands this  kind of energy cooperation for Israel and Turkey,” Cohen told Anadolu Agency on May 26.       

Turkish and Israeli private sector companies are discussing a possible gas pipeline project between Israel and Turkey to transport natural gas supplies to Europe from the Leviathan gas field, which holds an estimated 500 billion cubic meters of gas.       

“From the geopolitical point of view, without Turkey as a hub for energy sources, and especially natural gas from east to west and from north to south, it will be very difficult to really diversify and be effective in the diversification of energy resources,” he said.       

According to Cohen, the supply of natural gas requires adequate infrastructure. Because of Turkey’s geopolitical location, it is very important that much of the natural gas transfers would be through Turkey and with Turkish involvement in infrastructure construction of pipelines and LNG stations.       

Cohen added that such a project would be costly and would require the goodwill of investors, construction companies and both governments.       

The pipeline infrastructure, the development of the gas fields and the pipeline to the Southern Turkish would cost about $4 billion alone, not counting further expenses which would be conducted afterwards, Cohen explained.       

“I would say that there is already goodwill at least from the private sector. It is only a matter of time for us to start moving on this project. It is a matter of time because everybody understands the need,” he asserted.       

Israel is currently preparing the legalities to export its natural gas. However, Israel’s High Court of Justice declined the government’s natural gas outline agreement with energy companies in March and sent it back to the national parliament for review.       

Cohen said the Israeli government submitted the new plan for energy and the development of natural gas fields which the Cabinet then approved.       

“There was a Supreme Court decision a few months ago to reject the plan that was presented by the government back then. But it has been newly approved by the Cabinet, and if there is no objections and if it doesn’t come again to the Supreme Court, it will be confirmed and the works will start,” he explained.      

“For the long run it will be beneficial because it will serve also to rebuild the confidence between both countries. In such an issue like energy it will be like a benchmark for confidence building measures for future relations,” he added.     

Turkey and Israel are continuing their reconciliation talks to fix bilateral relations which were strained in 2010 when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara, a humanitarian aid ship in international waters, killing 10 Turkish activists.

hurriyetdailynews.com/israel-favors-gas-exports-through-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99746&NewsCatID=348

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South Asia

Taliban suffer heavy casualties in south, 52 killed, 29 wounded

Sat May 28 2016

The Taliban insurgents have suffered heavy casualties during the clearance operations in southern parts of the country, the 205th Atal Corps of the Afghan National Army said.

According to a statement by 205th Atal Corps, at least 52 militants were killed and 29 others were wounded during the operations.

The statement further added that the operations were conducted in Gundu, chenarto Kariz, Koh Albak, Albak and Siya Oba villages in north of Shawali Kot in Kandahar and Kandahar-Uruzgan highway.

At least 4 Ford Ranger police vehicles and 25 motorcycles in custody of the militants were also destroyed during the operations, the statement added.

According to the 205th Atal Corps, the operations were conducted with the support of the Afghan Air Force and the artillery units of the Afghan National Army.

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

The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANSDF) have stepped up counter-terrorism operations across the country to suppress the insurgency activities of the militant groups.

The security officials have said they will continue to maintain pressure on the militant groups as they are attempting to step up attacks as part of their annual spring offensive.

khaama.com/taliban-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-south-52-killed-29-wounded-01085

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Drone strikes played key role in suppressing ISIS activities in Achin

Sat May 28 2016

The local officials in eastern Nangarhar province have said drone strikes have played a role in suppressing the activities of the loyalists of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in Achin district.

The district administrative chief Ghalib Mujahid has said the group has received major blows in this district during the recent months and their activities have become limited by a large extent.

He said the loyalists are the terror group are targeted on daily basis both the Afghan forces and the US forces.

Mujahid further added that the terror group loses around 5 to 10 militants on daily basis as a result of the counter-terrorism operations.

According to Mujahid, the drone strikes have mainly targeted the hideouts and centers of the terror group which they had established in this district.

Achin was once a stronghold of the loyalists of ISIS terrorist group from where they started their operations in the country.

The US forces stepped up airstrikes against the terror group after the Obama administration granted more authorities to the US forces in the country.

The increased airstrikes against the terror group followed amid concerns that the leaders of the group are attempting to expand foothold in the country and establish a regional operational base in Nangarhar.

khaama.com/drone-strikes-played-key-role-in-suppressing-isis-activities-in-achin-01083

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Taliban kidnap senior police official in Kunduz province

Sat May 28 2016

The administrative director of Kunduz police has been kidnapped by the anti-government armed militants in north of Afghanistan.

According to the local security officials, the administrative director of Kunduz police, was abducted as he was travelling on Kunduz-Takhar highway.

The officials further added that a policeman was also killed as the Taliban insurgents abducted the administrative director from the vicinity of Khanabad district.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the incident but the local security officials said an operation is underway for the release of Kunduz police administrative director.

This comes as the Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties during a military operation launched by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) which led to the opening of Kunduz-Takhar highway last week.

The highway going through Kunduz is considered as one of the main highways in northern Afghanistan which connects northeastern Takhar with Badakhshan and Kunduz provinces.

The anti-government armed militants are usually threatening the highway by conducting insurgency activities, mainly in Kunduz province where the Taliban insurgents are having a widespread presence.

khaama.com/taliban-kidnap-senior-police-official-in-kunduz-province-01087

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5 militants killed in Kunar airstrike

Sat May 28 2016

At least five militants were killed in an airstrike in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, the defense authorities said Saturday.

The airstrike was carried out in the restive Ghaziabad district targeting a hideout of the militants.

The Ministry of defense said five militants were killed and their hideout was destroyed while another terrorist was arrested in Khogyani district of Nangarhar.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the reports so far.

Kunar is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where anti-government armed militant groups are actively operating in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

Two top commanders of the anti-government armed militants were killed in an airstrike by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) in Ghanizabad district nearly ten days ago.

At least 17 militants were also killed in the same airstrike and mortar and rocket launcher along with 3 Ak-47 assault rifles and various other types of explosives belonging to the militants were destroyed.

The Afghan forces have stepped counter-terrorism operations to suppress the insurgency activities of the militant groups as the insurgents are attempting to increase terrorist attacks by launching their spring offensive.

The Afghan forces are vastly utilizing the newly-added state of the art equipment including the A-29 Super Tucano fixed-wing aircraft to suppress the anti-government armed militant groups.

khaama.com/5-militants-killed-in-kunar-airstrike-01086

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2 Taliban leaders killed in an airstrike in north of Afghanistan

Sat May 28 2016

At least 2 Taliban group leaders were killed in an airstrike in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan, local officials said.

The airstrike was carried out in Suzma Qala district of Sar-e-Pul targeting a gathering of the Taliban insurgents.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Zabiullah Amani said the Taliban insurgents had gathered to organize a funeral for the group’s chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

He said at least 6 Taliban insurgents were also wounded during the airstrike which was carried out in Kata Qala village.

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

Sar-e-Pul is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where the anti-government armed militant groups are active in a number of its districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

Mullah Mansoor was killed in a drone strike in the vicinity of Balochistan province of Pakistan last Saturday.

Mansoor succeeded Mullah Mohammad Omar in July last year and immediately stepped up insurgency activities across the country under his leadership.

The group elected Mawlavi Haibatulllah Akhundzada as the successor of Mullah Mansoor on Wednesday.

khaama.com/2-taliban-leaders-killed-in-an-airstrike-in-north-of-afghanistan-01084

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Haqyar released after offering apology to call Mansoor a ‘martyr’

Fri May 27 2016

An Afghan analyst who was arrested by the intelligence operatives has been released after an apology for his remarks to call the Taliban leader a martyr.

A spokesman for the National Security Council of Afghanistan, Tawab Ghorzang, has said Haqyar has been released on a guarantee that he will not support the Taliban group in the future.

Ghorzang has also added that Haqyar should not spread propaganda against the Afghan National Security and Defense (ANSDF) forces.

He said Haqyar was released after offering an apology to the Afghan government and specifically to the Afghan security forces for his remarks.

Haqyar was arrested shortly after calling the Taliban group leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor a martyr following his death in US drone strike in Pakistan.

Mansoor was killed in a drone strike carried out by teh US forces in Balochistan province of Pakistan on Saturday.

The Afghan government earlier said Mullah Mansoor sought refuge in the stranger’s soil and was repeatedly committing deception, concealing facts, killing innocent people and terrorizing people as well as smuggling drugs and preventing Afghanistan to gain development by emphasizing on continued war in the country.

khaama.com/haqyar-released-after-offering-apology-to-call-mansoor-a-martyr-01081

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Africa

Why Africa Can’t Afford To Give Up On Somalia’s Peacekeeping Force Yet

5/27/16

Later in 2016, Somalia looks to continue its recent progress by holding a successful parliamentary election. The election provides an opportunity to improve governance in the country and could illustrate the improvement Somalia has made to the donor community, international businesses, and the world. But enormous pitfalls remain and Somalia’s partners, including the United States, have expressed concerns about the process. This election could prove to be disastrous and set Somalia back if not handled correctly. To cope with these pitfalls, Somalia is forced to rely on an already strained African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to secure this election, but international support appears to be waning for the African Union (AU) force. The AU should reaffirm its commitment to Somalia and implore member and donor nations to not give up on AMISOM, and Somalia, yet.

As Somalia approaches the election, slated for September 2016, the most obvious sources of disruption will probably come from the terrorist group Al-Shabab and the self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group (ISIS). Both will likely try to play spoiler in this process as both have used politically or religiously important events to magnify the relevance of their attacks. Beyond typical security concerns, there are also humanitarian concerns that could mar the election. Somalia’s neighbor, Ethiopia is already in the grips of the worst drought in decades and reports have started to come in from Somalia of similar conditions. Further, El Nino may actually bring increased rainfall to Somalia this year, potentially causing flooding and washing away crops. As The Economist points out, the aid community is already stretched thin by situations in Yemen and Syria, and ongoing issues with refugees in Europe.

Foreseeing potential problems, the Somali government has already shied away from a true popular vote and opted for a more modest election. This all but ensures that an election will take place, but the positive effects that Somalia hopes to gain from a successful election may be overshadowed if it cannot mitigate the potential pitfalls. Despite a number of issues with AMISOM, including a lack of cohesion and not enough troops to completely extinguish Al-Shabab, the institution is currently the best suited to cope with this confluence of issues. As the only force that can counter Al-Shabab and hold territory it is, by far, the most effective institution in Somalia and is the biggest driver of stability. The government can and should depend on AMISOM to secure the election.

However, the AU must support and bolster AMISOM if it is to succeed. More troops and better communication are needed. Unfortunately, when the AU should be increasing support for AMISOM, it seems like it will be providing less. Earlier in May the BBC reported that Uganda is beginning a review of its troop force in Somalia and considering pulling them out. This is the largest contingent of soldiers in AMISOM and their departure would severely hamper the ability of AMISOM to support the federal government. This comes on the heels of recent reports that the European Union is going to cut AMISOM funding to try to force Burundi into peace talks. Although the internal strife gripping Burundi is troubling, soldiers from Burundi make up nearly a quarter of AMISOM forces, and this misguided effort would cripple an already hobbled AMISOM at a crucial moment.

European and African lawmakers should think carefully about the knock on effects of these decisions. Not only would the success of the election be in danger, it would also provide the space for Al-Shabab to reemerge, or ISIS to secure a base in Somalia. Although AMISOM cannot stay in Somalia forever, this is not the time to reduce its funding or decrease its troop size.

newsweek.com/al-shabaab-somalia-amisom-464231

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Salih Muslim praises US soldiers for wearing YPG insignia

5/27/16

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The leader of Kurdish forces in Syria praised US soldiers and advisors working alongside his troops, calling them “a sharp knife” against the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

Salih Muslim also said he was proud that US Special Forces in Syria were spotted wearing the logo of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the Syrian Democratic Union (PYD) which he leads.

"America has supported the Kurds on many occasions and events and they are a sharp knife against ISIS," Muslim was quoted as saying.

Commenting on American soldiers wearing YPG patches on their uniforms, Salih said: "it is a valuable and supportive model for us that a foreign force with (our) fighters is shoulder-to-shoulder on the same front, fighting the terrorists. We appreciate and thank them for using the YPG logo.”

Photographs taken by an AFP photographer and seen around the world depicted American Special Forces along with YPG fighters in a pickup truck near the village of Fatisah, some 48 kilometers north of Raqqa. At least one of the American soldiers was wearing a YPG patch.

The Special Forces are advising the Kurdish-led Syrian alliance and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that are fighting ISIS.

Turkey has objected to US soldiers displaying the Kurdish force’s logo, calling it “unacceptable.”

Turkey, a member of NATO, considers the YPG an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Muslim reacted to Turkey's anger at the USA for allowing its soldiers to wear YPG patches.

The Kurds "need assistance from the countries and it is very important for us to have the USA backing and supporting us," Muslim said.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he had relayed his displeasure to the United States. He rejected an explanation by American officials that wearing the patches provided a level of protection for the soldiers.

“In that case, we would recommend they use the patches of Daesh (Islamic State), al-Nusra and al-Qaeda when they go to other parts of Syria and of Boko Haram when they go to Africa,” he said, referring to terrorist organizations.

On Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that US forces wearing patches of local coalition partners is standard practice.

“Special Operations Forces, when they operate in certain areas, do what they can to, if you will, blend in with the community to enhance their own protection, their own security,” Cook said.

But in later comments Col. Steve Warren, the coalition’s spokesman in Baghdad, said that US soldiers were not authorized to wear the patches.

“Wearing those YPG patches was -- was unauthorized and it was inappropriate and corrective action has been taken, and we have communicated as much to our military partners and our military allies in the region,” Warren said in comments on Friday.

rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/280520161

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Europe

Islam should be taught in all German schools - Bavarian bishop

27 May, 2016

Islam must be taught in all German schools to help “immunize” pupils from radical leanings, Bavarian bishop of the Lutheran Church argues, calling on Muslim organizations to take responsibility for religious education.

Introduction of “extensive Islam classes” in all German schools would best safeguard young Muslims from “fundamentalists’ temptation” towards them, Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (EFD), Bavarian Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm said, Heilbronne Stimme newspaper reported on Friday.

Muslim schoolchildren must also have an opportunity to critically familiarize themselves with their religious traditions, the bishop believes.

“In the meantime, they can learn something new about Islam – and this is to be based on the Basic Law [the German Constitution],” he added.

Either the government or the religious communities should have a lead role in introducing Islam as a school subject, Bedford-Strohm said. “I wish that Muslims in Germany could have clear communication with the state. Then Islamic organizations may also take responsibility for the religious education in schools, like the Christian churches do.”

Public universities should establish Islamic theology faculties as well, the Bavarian bishop went on: “The Islamic tradition would therefore be approached critically based on scientific criteria.

“Tolerance, religious freedoms and freedom of consciousness must apply to all confessions. These rules could best be implemented when you have religion as part of public education.”

The bishop’s proposal adds to a heated debate on the role of Islam in German society, as the country struggles to find the right balance between multiculturalism and national identity. According to the latest statistical estimates, the number of Muslims is growing rapidly in Germany and beyond, with this process being fuelled by the ongoing refugee influx.

According to 2015 figures by Pew Research Center, the Muslim population has been growing throughout Europe, from four percent in 1990 to six percent in 2010. This trend is expected to continue through 2030, when Muslims are projected to make up eight percent of Europe’s population.

Hardliners, mostly represented by the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party (AfD) as well as far-right PEGIDA movement, claim that Islam is not, and will never be, part of Germany, advocating a ban on mosques to prevent what they call “a long-term land grab.”

That extreme is best reflected in “Germany abolishes itself,” a notorious book written by ex-head of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Thilo Sarrazin, in which he claimed that Muslims may well overwhelm the German population within a couple of generations at the current pace, and that Muslims’ intelligence is lower as well.

At the same time, there are voices in the establishment arguing that the government has to influence Muslims with the “German version of Islam,” based on democratic values, pluralism and the rule of law. Recent proposals also included training Imams and religious leaders locally, with all prayers in mosques to be offered exclusively in German.

Germany has the largest Muslim community in Western Europe after France, having roughly 3 to 3.5 million Muslims. Islamic education has been offered to children with Muslim backgrounds on a voluntary basis in various federal states, but these religious classes generate public controversy.

rt.com/news/344594-islam-classes-german-schools/

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Islamic State moves its terror threat to the West

MAY 28, 2016

Islamic State is increasingly ­focused on conducting deadly terrorist attacks in the West as the terrorist group compensates for the loss of territory, fighters and prestige in Iraq and Syria.

Australia’s intelligence agencies have issued a blunt warning about Islamic State’s strategic ­intentions, saying the organisation’s tactics are evolving in the wake of an increasingly successful military campaign that has seen the group deprived of land, money and fighters.

Nineteen months into the US-led military campaign, the consensus view among analysts is that Islamic State is well past the height of its power in Iraq and Syria.

Attorney-General George Brandis said Australia’s security agencies were concerned about the trend of blowback in the West, although he emphasised that the threat remained confined to ­Europe at this stage.

“As ISIL loses territory and suffers military defeats there is an expectation it will use attacks in the West, mainly Europe, to boost morale and maintain the perception of forward momentum,’’ Senator Brandis said.

“There is nothing, however, to suggest that Australia is being particularly targeted.’’

With Islamic State taking ­losses in Ramadi in Iraq and ­Kobane and Palmyra in Syria, analysts believe the group is desperate to maintain morale among its fighters, who have taken heavy casualties under coalition bombs and ground assaults from Kurdish, Shia and Syrian government forces.

Senator Brandis said Islamic State’s fixation on Europe, which has been ravaged by large-scale terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, was “largely a function of capability’’.

“Most of the foreign fighters come from Europe so they’re proficient in European languages, they have European citizenship and the caliphate is a stone’s throw from Europe,’’ he said.

The renewed push by Islamic State to export violence beyond the battlefield was seen this week in a series of suicide bomb attacks on the Syrian coast and in Yemen.

Nine separate attacks on Monday in the Syrian coastal ­cities of Jableh and Tartous killed 148 people. In Yemen, the group claimed responsibility for twin bombings against the Yemeni army in Aden, also on Monday, which killed at least 45.

In an online statement, Islamic State said one of its bombers detonated an explosives belt among “apostate soldiers” at an army recruitment centre, followed by a bomb that exploded at the gate of the nearby Badr army base. The group has also stepped up its suicide attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad this month.

A week ago, its chief spokesman and a close aide to the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-­Bagdadi, urged Islamic State supporters to carry out more attacks against Western targets.

In a speech which betrayed signs of defensiveness after recent losses of territory and the death of senior Islamic State figures, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani said the group could never be defeated.

“Do you think you have won because you killed one or more leaders? It is a false victory,” ­Adnani said.

The terrorists are on the cusp of losing the Iraqi city of Fallujah as Iraqi forces step up their offensive to retake the strategic city, which fell in January 2014.

theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/islamic-state-moves-its-terror-threat-to-the-west/news-story/75c5be69d3f46b68e56a612bf849be19

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‘Moderate’ Minneapolis Muslims Suspicious of FBI After Dozens Flee to Islamic State

27 May, 2016

The trial of ten Somali youths is without a doubt a sensation in the Minneapolis Muslim community as one of their own who turned informer for the government testifies about the plans his companions had to travel to Syria in order to become jihadis.

Six of the ten have already pleaded guilty. And some of those who previously made their way to Syria, perhaps upwards to 40, have been killed on the battlefields in the service of the terrorist armies.

As the trials go on, Minneapolis resident Abdirahman Bashi continues to testify about the hundreds of hours of ISIS propaganda videos he and his fellow conspirators watched, how they heard radical preaching from local imams, how they spoke over the Internet to residents of Minneapolis who had already joined the fight in Syria, and how they sat around and told each other how evil the U.S. was.

Bashi described in minute detail, backed up by hours of audio tapes from the FBI, how so many young Somali men in the Twin Cities region turned to view ISIS as the savior of the world. It is clear hundreds of young Somali immigrants in the area were being reached by a radical message and groomed for terror.

But as The Guardian reports, instead of looking inward to understand why their children have turned to terror, too many in the “moderate” Muslim community in Minneapolis are lashing out and blaming the U.S. government and the FBI for “entrapping” their children.

The paper quotes, for instance, a 23-year-old man named Hasan Ali who insists the trials have sewn “distrust” in the community, not distrust of radical imams but distrust of the U.S. government.

“Going back into the community, we’re not going to trust each other any more,” Alli said. “White people always look at us as terrorists, now the FBI is making things even worse.”

Another Muslim proclaims the innocence of the ten on trial and swears the government trapped them all into false confessions. This man, the father of one of the accused, insists his son is totally innocent and it is the FBI that is the culprit in the case.

Finally, despite the mountain of evidence against the accused men, U.S. district judge Michael Davis is looking to a program of actually returning these admitted wannabe terrorists back into the Muslim community in Minneapolis by “deradicalizing” them.

Judge Davis has brought in German de-radicalization researcher Dr. Daniel Koehler in order to help reverse the Islamist intentions of these admitted radicals. Koehler claims that instead of locking such criminals up for upwards to 50 years, the better bet is to put them in therapy then release them right back into the very communities in which they became radicalized in the first place.

“It would be very very unwise, right now, when you have the chance to stop this from spreading, to ignore that and to just lock them up for 50 years,” Koehler told the paper. “It does not help, we have seen that in Europe. It does not contain the threat. It will not stop it from growing.”

Koehler further claims deradicalization has succeeded in Europe and should be tried here.

Despite the researcher’s claims, Europe has suffered a string of deadly terror attacks that have killed hundreds of westerners the most recent of which was the blatant attack at an airport in Belgium that stole away the lives of 32 people in March of this year and the attacks in Paris that wiped out 137 people and wounded 368 in November of 2015.

breitbart.com/big-government/2016/05/27/moderate-minneapolis-muslims-suspicious-fbi-dozens-kids-join-isis/

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-organisations-to-divide-muslim-votes-on-the-basis-of-cult-(maslak)/d/107456

 

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