New Age Islam
Thu Aug 13 2020, 04:44 PM

Islamic World News ( 26 Nov 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim Preacher Zakir Naik Allegedly Offered M'sian Citizenship, Says Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Controversial Muslim scholar Dr Zakir Naik (pic) has been given a Malaysian citizenship, according to an article published in the Hindustan Times

 

Jinnah Believed India and Pakistan Could Be Friends: Pakistani Author Farahnaz Ispahani

Iraqi Sunni MPs Reject Move to Legalize Shiite Militias

ISIS Plans To Deploy 200 Families in Each District by Disguising As Refugees: An Afghan Lawmaker

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India

Muslim Preacher Zakir Naik Allegedly Offered M'sian Citizenship, Says Report

Criminal Case: No Advantage for Shahi Imam Being Mosque Head, Says Delhi Court

Looking through the 'Islamic window': RBI's suggestion draws mixed reactions

Will Qamar Javed Bajwa be as hostile as Raheel Sharif to India?

Pakistan could be behind Nabha jailbreak: Sukhbir Singh Badal

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Pakistan

Jinnah Believed India and Pakistan Could Be Friends: Pakistani Author Farahnaz Ispahani

Jamaat-i-Islami chief lauds discipline in Pakistan Army, slams Modi remarks

Pakistan stops import of cotton from India amid tension

Jamaat-PTI coalition on the rocks

Nawaz Sharif, Ashraf Ghani meet; discuss bilateral ties

Low hopes of bilateral talks as Sartaj Aziz may curtail India visit

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Arab World

Iraqi Sunni MPs Reject Move to Legalize Shiite Militias

Islamic State Chemical Attack Horror As 22 Syrian Rebels Are Hospitalised By ‘Toxic Cloud’ After a Jihadi Rocket Attack

Kuwait's Islamist-dominated opposition wins near-majority in snap elections

Hundreds of Fresh Army Soldiers Arrive in Aleppo to Combat Terrorists

Syrian Army Continues to Advance against Terrorists East of Aleppo City

Militants in Eight More Towns Give up Battle against Syrian Gov't

Nusra Positions in Idlib, Hama Receive Sever Blow in Syrian Airstrikes

Syrian government advances into rebel-held east Aleppo

Iraq scholars hail parliament vote to legalize Hashd al-Sha’abi

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South Asia

ISIS Plans To Deploy 200 Families in Each District by Disguising As Refugees: An Afghan Lawmaker

Taliban’s Quetta Shura still based in Quetta city of Pakistan: Hayat

Afghans likely among 77 killed in Iraq truck bombing

Afghan Senate approves AFN465 billion in draft budget for fiscal year 1396

UK reaffirms long term support to Afghan government and security forces

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Mideast

Dubai Islamic Bank shines at the Islamic Business and Finance Awards

Donald Trump Is ‘Racist’ - Says Senior Hezbollah Official

Bibles for Mideast Housing Facility for Women Firebombed By Suspected Islamist Militants; 2 Seriously Hurt

Iran calls UN to condemn deadly ISIS pilgrim attack

Iran may seek naval bases in Yemen or Syria: chief of staff

Future of Kurds in shadow of Erdogan-HDP rivalry

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Africa

Dozens Feared Dead In Mogadishu Car Bomb

Official: 19 killed in Uganda fighting between rebels, army

Mourners boo minister at Sheikh Maj Kiggundu’s burial

Islamic State remnants still fiercely resisting in Sirte Libya

Liow: MCA opposition to Hadi’s bill has nothing to do with Islam

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Europe

Inland Empire Muslims Live, Worship In Shadow Of Terrorism

Spanish police arrest man for attempting to join Islamic State in Syria

Jeremy Corbyn hails Finsbury Park Mosque one year after ‘horrific’ arson attack

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North America

Newest Fort Carson General Scored Special Operations Successes against Islamic State

Islamophobia in US: California Mosques Receive Letters Threatening Muslim Genocide

Stand up against registry for Muslims

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Southeast Asia

Zahid says responsibility falls on graduates to correct misconceptions about Islam, Malays

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-preacher-zakir-naik-allegedly-offered-m-sian-citizenship,-says-report/d/109206

 

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Muslim preacher Zakir Naik allegedly offered M'sian citizenship, says report

 

PETALING JAYA: Controversial Muslim scholar Dr Zakir Naik (pic) has been given a Malaysian citizenship, according to an article published in the Hindustan Times

Naik, who has preached and conducted programmes in Malaysia before, was also alleged by the report to be currently hiding here after his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was recently banned by Indian authorities.

He is also under investigation by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), who are closely monitoring his whereabouts and have reportedly prevented his family members from leaving the country.

The report quoted one of Naik’s representatives as confirming the development, saying that the Malaysian citizenship was offered as a package deal to the Muslim preacher when he was awarded the Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah title back in 2013.

“It is the state policy of Malaysia to offer citizenship  to the awardees of the highest civilian honour of their land. Naik is now a Malaysian citizen too,” the Hindustan Times quoted the unnamed representative as saying.

The report also alleged that Naik, a renowned televangelist, was holed up in Malaysia as a tactic to avoid the NIA investigations.

He was earlier suspected by authorities of being either in Thailand or Africa.

On Friday, Naik issued a statement criticising the move to ban his IRF organisation and the subsequent case against him.

He stressed that he had always advocated peace and condemned violence of any form during his public speeches.

A separate report published by the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying that the probe against him would have been a non-issue if government investigators had done “a thorough job”.

“I expected professional investigators from government agencies to do a thorough job. Had they done so, this issue would have been a no-brainer, a non-issue.

“But I guess that was not the plan. The plan was to ban, not investigate,” he said in the statement.

NIA officials had in recent days conducted raids at 20 commercial and residential properties reportedly belonging to Naik, and had seized several official documents.

Among others, the documents showed that the IRF had purportedly given an Rs80,000 (RM5200) scholarship to Abu Anas, a Rajasthan native who was arrested in January while he was allegedly planning to go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.

Malaysian authorities could not be immediately reached for comment on the alleged citizenship offered to Naik.

thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/27/muslim-preacher-zakir-naik-allegedly-offered-msian-citizenship-says-report/?

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Jinnah Believed India and Pakistan Could Be Friends: Pakistani Author Farahnaz Ispahani

TNN | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

NEW DELHI: Pakistani author Farahnaz Ispahani on Sunday said Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan and its first President wanted his country and India to get along and engage in trade.

"Jinnah believed India and Pakistan could be friends and trading partners like (the) USA and Canada," said Ispahani during a conversation with journalist Siddharth Varadarajan at the Times of India literary festival in New Delhi. The talk was titled 'Is Jinnah's idea of Pakistan dying?'

Ispahani said she admired Jinnah because he knew religion and politics didn't go together.

She had a message for India: "'We were born out of you so you need to think of us. Let's talk and be trading partners."

Ispahani also weighed in on modern Pakistan's problems, saying that while Islam was in trouble before Partition, Pakistan was in danger after it.

She explained that in places like Balochistan and Karachi, a "feeling of second-class citizens" was common.

"Pakistan needs to get this right: All ethnicity and castes need to be seen as first Pakistanis...We need to work and create an ideology in Pakistan and stay united and not fall into separate pieces," she said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jinnah-believed-India-and-Pakistan-could-be-friends-Pakistani-author-Farahnaz-Ispahani/articleshow/55650083.cms

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Iraqi Sunni MPs reject move to legalize Shiite militias

ARAB NEWS | Published — Sunday 27 November 2016

Members of the Iraqi parliament gather at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, in this file photo. (Reuters)

BAGHDAD: Sunni Arab politicians and lawmakers in Iraq rejected a law approved by Parliament on Saturday that will transform Popular Mobilization forces, a mostly Iranian-backed coalition of Shiite militias into a legal and separate military corps.

The Sunni bloc called it evidence of the “dictatorship” of the country’s Shiite majority. Disagreements over the paramilitary units are complicating efforts to pull Iraq together as forces battle to defeat Daesh.

All the Shiite blocks in Parliament voted for the bill in a session boycotted by lawmakers from the Sunni minority who object to the existence of armed forces outside the army and police.

The legislation was supported by 208 of the chamber’s 327 members.

Popular Mobilization, or Hashid Shaabi in Arabic, was accused of abuses against Sunni civilians in towns and villages retaken from Daesh, according to international human rights groups and the UN Human Rights Commissioner.

“I don’t understand why we need to have an alternative force to the army and the police,” said Sunni MP Raad Al-Dahlaki. “As it stands now, it would constitute something that looks like Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” he added.

Iraqi forces started an offensive on Oct. 17 to capture Mosul, Daesh’s last major city stronghold in Iraq, with air and ground support from a US-led coalition. Kurdish and Shiite militias are supporting the offensive.

The law does not say how many fighters will be incorporated under the legalized corps, which currently claims to have more than 110,000 fighters, or define the breakdown between members from the different communities.

The government says between 25,000 and 30,000 members of the Hashid are Sunni tribal fighters and nearly all the rest are Shiites, with a few Yazidi and Christian units.

The Kurds have their own military force, called Peshmerga, deployed in the Kurdish autonomous area in northern Iraq.

The law provides for Popular Mobilization to report directly to the prime minister, who is a Shiite under Iraq’s governing system that split top state positions between the different communities after the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein.

The army reports to the defense minister, who is traditionally a Sunni, although the position has been vacant since the sacking by Parliament of Khaled Al-Obeidi in August.

arabnews.com/node/1016256/middle-east?

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ISIS Plans To Deploy 200 Families in Each District by Disguising As Refugees: An Afghan Lawmaker

Zahir Qadir, Deputy House Speaker, Lower House of the Parliament, Wolesi Jirga, said at least 1000 families belonging to the loyalists of the terror group in each district, warning that the control of the situation would become difficult if they managed to deploy the families in the districts.

He was speaking during a general session of the Lower House of the Parliament, Wolesi Jirga today.

Without elaborating further regarding his claim and the sources from which he got the information, Qadir criticized the government for remaining reckless in this regard.

Qadir further added that his information shows the loyalists of the terror group are planning to purchase land for the families.

This comes as Qadir earlier warned that the loyalists of the terror group are attempting to establish the Khurasan Caliphate in Afghanistan and are busy expanding their presence in some of the difficult terrains of the country.

Speaking during a session of the parliament late last month, Qadir warned that the group will become successful in establishing the caliphate if they managed to seize control of Tora Bora in Nangarhar.

He said the loyalists of the terror group have managed to take control of a strategic area in Pacher Agam district.

According to Qadir, the area is a few hundred meters away from Tora Bora and the loyalists of the terror group will become successful if their attempts if they managed to expand foothold in Tora Bora.

He also claimed that helicopters are air dropping supplies including food and mineral water to the loyalists of the terror group in the areas under their control.

The remarks by Qadir came as the top US commander in Afghanistan earlier said the loyalists of the terrorist group are attempting to establish a caliphate inside Afghanistan.

khaama.com/isis-plans-to-deploy-200-families-in-each-district-by-disguising-as-refugees-qadir-02369

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India

Muslim preacher Zakir Naik allegedly offered M'sian citizenship, says report

 

PETALING JAYA: Controversial Muslim scholar Dr Zakir Naik (pic) has been given a Malaysian citizenship, according to an article published in the Hindustan Times

Naik, who has preached and conducted programmes in Malaysia before, was also alleged by the report to be currently hiding here after his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was recently banned by Indian authorities.

He is also under investigation by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), who are closely monitoring his whereabouts and have reportedly prevented his family members from leaving the country.

The report quoted one of Naik’s representatives as confirming the development, saying that the Malaysian citizenship was offered as a package deal to the Muslim preacher when he was awarded the Tokoh Ma’al Hijrah title back in 2013.

“It is the state policy of Malaysia to offer citizenship  to the awardees of the highest civilian honour of their land. Naik is now a Malaysian citizen too,” the Hindustan Times quoted the unnamed representative as saying.

The report also alleged that Naik, a renowned televangelist, was holed up in Malaysia as a tactic to avoid the NIA investigations.

He was earlier suspected by authorities of being either in Thailand or Africa.

On Friday, Naik issued a statement criticising the move to ban his IRF organisation and the subsequent case against him.

He stressed that he had always advocated peace and condemned violence of any form during his public speeches.

A separate report published by the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying that the probe against him would have been a non-issue if government investigators had done “a thorough job”.

“I expected professional investigators from government agencies to do a thorough job. Had they done so, this issue would have been a no-brainer, a non-issue.

“But I guess that was not the plan. The plan was to ban, not investigate,” he said in the statement.

NIA officials had in recent days conducted raids at 20 commercial and residential properties reportedly belonging to Naik, and had seized several official documents.

Among others, the documents showed that the IRF had purportedly given an Rs80,000 (RM5200) scholarship to Abu Anas, a Rajasthan native who was arrested in January while he was allegedly planning to go to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.

Malaysian authorities could not be immediately reached for comment on the alleged citizenship offered to Naik.

thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/27/muslim-preacher-zakir-naik-allegedly-offered-msian-citizenship-says-report/?

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Criminal case: No advantage for Shahi Imam being mosque head, says Delhi court

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:November 27, 2016

Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari cannot take advantage of being a mosque head and try to browbeat powers of courts under “fictitious” and “imaginary” threat of communal tension, a court said while refusing to quash a criminal case against him. While terming as “funny and hilarious” the ground of possible communal tension, it also rejected the Imam’s contention that he has Z-Plus security and inconvenience would be caused if he was taken to face trial, saying in the National Herald case, top Congress brass including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi appeared as accused in a court in New Delhi.

“It does not appear to be tenable because recently some senior leaders of the Opposition party, namely Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who were summoned as accused in the National Herald case, and who had much higher degree of security threat had appeared before the court of law without any kind of inconvenience being caused to any one,” Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma said.

If such exemptions and exceptions are carved out in legal arena, none of the “so-called head priests” of any sect would ever be brought to the corridors of justice, the court said.

The remarks were made by the court while dealing with the Imam’s revision petition against a magisterial court’s May 2016 order rejecting an application by the prosecutor under section 321 (withdrawal of prosecution) of CrPC in a case of alleged assault on public servants and damage to public property in 2001.

“It appears the petitioner is trying to take advantage of his being the head priest (Shahi Imam) of Jama Masjid, representing a particular community and is trying to brow beat the powers of the courts under a fictitious and imaginary threat of an outburst of communal tension and unrest.

“The petitioner, like any other ordinary citizen of India, is liable to be prosecuted and tried by the court in accordance with law, to meet the ultimate fate of the criminal case registered against him like any other accused,” it said.

The judge also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on him with a direction to deposit the amount in Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for “wasting the precious judicial time of the court”.

indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/criminal-case-no-advantage-for-shahi-imam-being-mosque-head-4397679/

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Looking through the 'Islamic window': RBI's suggestion draws mixed reactions

By Aparna Shukla | Posted 27-Nov-2016

While community members are polarised on the RBI’s suggestion to draw Muslims into the banking system, banks are vehemently opposed to the idea

A week after the government dropped its demonetisation bombshell, hoping to bring black money back into the country’s financial system, the RBI proposed the idea of an ‘Islamic window’ at banks to ensure ‘inclusion of those sections of society excluded because of religious reasons’. The suggestion, however, has drawn mixed reactions. While members of the community feel the move could be both beneficial and detrimental, banks are fervidly opposed to the central bank’s proposal.

Both good and bad

The community feels that the Islamic window will not just create more transparency, but take money out of the control of a few and disperse it to those in need. Maulana Saiyad Atharali, a noted leader of the community, said, “An equity-based system where the bank and customer work together will bring in transparency.”

Though some fear religious disputes over the window, the community begs to differ. “If we stop looking at everything from the religious point of view, things will be different. Around 70% of the country’s Muslims don’t register with banks because, for us, making more money [through interest] is unethical, and is hence treated as haram. This step will not just bring those 70% but also Islamic banks in Kuwait, Dubai and other gulf countries, into the banking system. Foreign capital is a big reason why the government has proposed it now,” said Aamir Edrasy, president of the All India Muslim OBC Association.

While Sharia forbids interest in any form, some community members said for the kind of system and society we live in, an interest of 5 per cent, called the ‘tolerable’ interest, is allowed.

Sharia says, but...

The Bohri community, which has a large business community, supports the RBI’s decision. “The RBI should certainly implement this plan. The late Syedna Dr Mohammed Burhanuddin had launched the Burhani Qardan Hasana scheme for Dawoodi Bohras in the 1960s. Under this, the account holders and those running the scheme share all profits and losses,” said Zoeb Bootwala, activist and a member of the Bohri community.

Nay-sayers

Mumtaz Shiekh, a well-known CORO (Committee of resource organisation) activist, has trashed the idea, saying opening a window is not the solution for inclusion. “There are people from slum pockets of Mumbai who find it extremely difficult to even open a bank account. Bankers come to the middleclass to open accounts, but the poor have to go to a bank 10 times to open one account. If you can’t solve that problem, how will this even work? I don’t believe it when community leaders say 70% of Muslims don’t open bank accounts. I am witness to a bank being flooded by Muslims when it was opened at Govandi. They are not averse to the interest system. Grass-root problems should be solved first before proposing such ideas,” Sheikh said.

Farhat Ali, from the NGO, Majlis, said, “The idea is a good one but this government proposing it just feels wrong. Muslims don’t trust this government at all.”

No need for word 'Islamic'

Though the Islamic window follows the guidelines of Sharia, Muslims don’t want the window to be tagged ‘Islamic’. Advocate Rashda Sohail Ainapore, who has studied Islamic banking in depth, said, “As long as it takes care of the needs of the people, why does it have to be called anything? This window is a must in present times. The 150 million Muslims out of the system will start coming in with the money, which in turn will prove lucrative for the entire country.”

Bharat Nayak, a Khar resident, said, “Indian texts also talk about an interest-free economy. Why name it Islamic window then?”

At the end of the day, if it is a beneficial plan, the public will not hesitate to go to an Islamic window, believes Subhajeet Mukherjee from Charkop. “I would not bother which religion’s framework it is in, as long as it keeps my business alive and gives me benefits?”

Thumbs down from banks

Banks, however, have panned the idea. “The RBI hasn’t communicated this to us yet, but we are sceptical about whether this will work,” said a State Bank of India official. A senior official of Bank of India said, “The idea is against secularism. If we keep allowing this, more and more religions will want their personal laws to be implemented. And, this would only put pressure on banks. But, if the RBI tells us, we will have to implement it.”

What the RBI has proposed

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently wrote to the Finance Ministry proposing the opening of an ‘Islamic window’ in conventional banks for the gradual" introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country. The introduction of full-fledged Islamic banking with profit-loss sharing complex products may be considered at a later stage on the basis of experience gained in course of time, the RBI’s letter said.

mid-day.com/articles/islamic-window-rbi-suggestion-muslim-banking-system-demonetisation-mixed-reactions/17787191?

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Will Qamar Javed Bajwa be as hostile as Raheel Sharif to India?

Rajat Pandit | TNN | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

NEW DELHI: Pakistan army's deep-rooted professional hostility towards India will continue despite the change in guard, with General Qamar Javed Bajwa's name being announced+ to succeed General Raheel Sharif as the next chief.

However, whether it will be as visceral as it was under Gen Sharif is something that remains to be seen in the backdrop of three days of relative calm along the Line of Control after the Indian Army pounded over 15 Pakistan army posts on Wednesday to exact revenge for an Indian soldier's beheading and the two DGMOs talked to each other.

" Gen Bajwa+ is well-versed with the complexities, nature of operations and terrain along the LoC. He has also handled Kashmir extensively during his career. But it's actually too premature to say anything. Both Generals Pervez Musharraf and Kayani proved different from what their initial assessments were," said a top Army officer.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, who has now handpicked six army chiefs during his different stints as the country's leader, of course, selected Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1998 only to be ousted by him a year later and thereafter packed off to Saudi Arabia. Nawaz Sharif also did not enjoy a good rapport with General Raheel Sharif, who he had selected in 2013, and therefore would be extremely glad to see the last of him.

Gen Sharif+ , who had projected himself as the great savior of Pakistan and was widely regarded as one after he took on home-grown terrorists on the western front, was perceived to be extremely hostile to India. After all, his uncle was killed in the 1965 war and brother in the 1971 one with India.

Former Army chief General Bikram Singh, under whom Gen Bajwa served as a brigade commander in the UN peace-keeping operations in Congo in 2007, also says it's important to "wait-and-watch" how Gen Bajwa conducts himself.

"In the UN operations, Gen Bajwa's performance was totally professional and outstanding. But a military officer's conduct in the international environment is different from the way he conducts himself back home. There, he is governed by his country's national interests," said Gen Singh.

"Gen Bajwa has commanded the important 10 Corps in Pakistan. So, he is acquainted with his country's policy towards India. I believe there will be no let-up as far as Pakistan army's Kashmir policy is concerned," he added.

Several international South Asia experts echoed similar views. Asked about her opinion on the new Pakistan army chief Gen Bajwa, Georgetown University associate professor C Christine Fair tweeted, "Cut from the same cloth. It won't make a difference."

The assessment in India, too, is that Pakistan army's long-standing "confrontationist attitude" towards India as well as its policy to covertly control the "terror tap" in J&K is not going to change anytime soon.

Pakistan army, of course, remains incensed over what India described as "surgical strikes" against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on September 29. The force, in conjunction with its intelligence arm ISI, has after all been the prime driver behind Pakistan's Kashmir policy to "bleed'' India with a thousand cuts for decades.

Despite its history of interventions within and adventurism vis-a-vis India, the Pakistan army remains a motivated, extremely professional force that virtually holds the troubled country together from spiraling out of control, even though the Sunni-Deobandi radicalization continues to make deep inroads.

Given the Pakistan army-ISI combine's pathological obsession with India, the strategy to bleed India on its east through its jihadi proxies will continue unabated. The Indian response, consequently, becomes important rather than who is at the helm in the Pakistan army.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Qamar-Javed-Bajwa-Pakistans-new-army-chief-Implications-for-india/articleshow/55641190.cms

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Pakistan could be behind Nabha jailbreak: Sukhbir Singh Badal

PTI | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

CHANDIGARH: Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday voiced apprehension that Pakistan could be behind the sensational Nabha jailbreak, saying the neighbouring country was "desperate to revive terrorism" after the Army conducted the surgical strike across the LoC.

"Pakistan desperate to revive terror post surgical strike. Could be behind jail break," Sukhbir, who also spoke to the national security advisor Ajit Doval after the incident, tweeted.

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 Sukhbir Singh Badal @officeofssbadal

Pak desperate to revive terror post surgical strike. Could be behind jail break. /3

1:44 PM - 27 Nov 2016

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The deputy CM, who also holds Home portfolio, however, said that the state government would uncover the conspiracy behind the jail break incident at all cost.

"We will uncover the conspiracy behind terrorist - gangster Nabha jail break at all cost.

"State police is investigating conspiracy between terrorists and gangsters to disturb peace in Punjab before elections," Sukhbir tweeted.

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 Sukhbir Singh Badal @officeofssbadal

State police is investigating conspiracy between terrorists and gangsters to disturb peace in Punjab before elections. /2

1:43 PM - 27 Nov 2016

  275 275 Retweets   27 27 likes

Officials said Sukhbir apprised Doval of the details of the incident and updated him on the steps being taken to apprehend six culprits.

In a sensational jailbreak, a group of armed men in police uniform today attacked the high-security Nabha Jail and fled with six prisoners, including Khalistan Liberation Front chief Harminder Mintoo.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-could-be-behind-Nabha-jail-reak-Sukhbir-Singh-Badal/articleshow/55650139.cms

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Pakistan

Jinnah Believed India and Pakistan Could Be Friends: Pakistani Author Farahnaz Ispahani

TNN | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

NEW DELHI: Pakistani author Farahnaz Ispahani on Sunday said Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan and its first President wanted his country and India to get along and engage in trade.

"Jinnah believed India and Pakistan could be friends and trading partners like (the) USA and Canada," said Ispahani during a conversation with journalist Siddharth Varadarajan at the Times of India literary festival in New Delhi. The talk was titled 'Is Jinnah's idea of Pakistan dying?'

Ispahani said she admired Jinnah because he knew religion and politics didn't go together.

She had a message for India: "'We were born out of you so you need to think of us. Let's talk and be trading partners."

Ispahani also weighed in on modern Pakistan's problems, saying that while Islam was in trouble before Partition, Pakistan was in danger after it.

She explained that in places like Balochistan and Karachi, a "feeling of second-class citizens" was common.

"Pakistan needs to get this right: All ethnicity and castes need to be seen as first Pakistanis...We need to work and create an ideology in Pakistan and stay united and not fall into separate pieces," she said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jinnah-believed-India-and-Pakistan-could-be-friends-Pakistani-author-Farahnaz-Ispahani/articleshow/55650083.cms

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Jamaat-i-Islami chief lauds discipline in Pakistan Army, slams Modi remarks

SHAZIA HASAN — November 27th, 2016

KARACHI: Leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq made several promises, including an end to poverty and illiteracy to the people of Pakistan especially Sindh if his party comes to power.

Addressing a gathering at the two-day workers’ convention organised by the JI at Bagh-i-Jinnah here on Saturday evening, he said the convention was like calling a jirga in the province to discuss the issues of the people here and how to resolve them. He said Sindh was the Bab-ul-Islam (Door to Islam) for this region where the youth were no less than Mahmud of Ghaznavi and Ahmed Shah Abdali.

“Yesterday, prime minister of India Narendra Modi sent a message to Pakistan that he would block our rivers. Today, standing here in Karachi, near the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah I want to inform Modi that the line does not exist on his palm that says that he can do any such thing. Mr Modi, if you stop our water, we will stop your breathing,” said Mr Haq.

He said the JI welcomed the change in the Chief of Army Staff as it showed discipline. “The discipline with which Raheel Sharif stepped down and the discipline with which his successor has stepped up is what we welcome. The JI also follows the motto of Pakistan Army, which is ‘Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah’. We, too, are followers of none other than God. It is God that we fear, and all our struggles are for Him alone,” he said.

“Today, through this convention, the JI is looking to bring about a revolution by making the hard-working people of Sindh realise their potential and power and demand for a change in the way they have been treated until now,” he said, adding that his party had always wished for a world that was free of poverty, illiteracy, corruption, injustice, racism, lies and intolerance. “We don’t differentiate between people because our religion, Islam, has taught us to treat everyone equally,” he said.

“But,” he said, “our enemy wants to break us up and make us fight among ourselves. If fight is what we are going to do, let’s put up a fight against illiteracy because that is what gives way to the other bad elements such as corruption,” he added.

The JI leader pointed out the corruption and other negative elements that we see around us today has been handed down to us by our former British rulers who entered this region in the garb of traders. “But the East India Company only wanted to rule to crush our identity, our culture. They were thieves, too. They stole the throne of Tipu Sultan and the Koh-i-Noor diamond from us. Our government should get these back. If the JI were in power, we would definitely demand the return of our treasures from England,” he said while recalling the British role in the Kashmir issue. “They left India without giving the Kashmiris their right,” he said.

“The British may have robbed us in several ways but the entire progress in the West is actually courtesy of what they learned from Muslims,” he added.

He said the feudal system and the class differences here were all thanks to the British. “The feudals and landlords are all agents left behind by the British to make sure this country never prospers. They have gotten together to become powerful themselves and rule over others through a kind of social terrorism. They make sure that the common man does not reach the assemblies or the senate. How else do the same faces still look down on us be it in a democracy or martial law? How else is it that the divide between the poor and the rich only gets bigger?”

He said that Pakistan earned 70 per cent of its revenue through agriculture. “How is it that the children of the peasants in this agriculture country of ours go to bed on empty stomachs while the children of the feudals and politicians who don’t even work enough are getting fatter by the day?”

Giving the example of India, Sirajul Haq said that there they had done away with feudalism and reaped its benefits, too, as their revenue from agriculture had multiplied. “It is four times of our income through agriculture because there peasants own the lands on which they work, and are happy,” he said.

Bringing up Pakistan’s industry, the JI leader pointed to the Pakistan Steel Mills. “It is the largest in Asia and the workers there have not been paid salaries for over nine months now. Here a man who owns a rickshaw can earn enough to feed his family of 11 members but we can’t even run a steel mill. Here a young boy will make a good living by running a small mobile phone shop, but our Pakistan Telecommunications Limited is accumulating losses,” he said, adding that it was all due to lack of goodwill in the government.

“Islam is what can save us. If you study Islamic history, you’ll see that Islam has a solution to all ills of society, because it teaches us discipline. Discipline, which is needed to follow the right path,” he said.

dawn.com/news/1298813/ji-chief-lauds-discipline-in-pakistan-army-slams-modi-remarks

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Pakistan stops import of cotton from India amid tension

PTI | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has suspended the import of cotton and other agriculture commodities, including vegetables, from India due to rising tensions between the two countries along the LoC, a media report here said.

Officials of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) said that import of agri items from India through the Wagah border crossing and Karachi port and issuing permits for future imports has been halted, the Dawn reported.

Cotton importers and customs clearing agents claimed that the department had stopped the import of agriculture commodities from India without a warning or written order because of increase in tensions across the LoC.

Imran Shami, chief of DPP which is a subordinate department of the national food security and research ministry, however sought to dispel the impression.

"We have stopped import of tomatoes and other fresh vegetables in order to protect our farmers. We have enough tomato and other vegetables stocks, which we import from India only in case of shortages in the domestic market," he said.

The reason behind the "suspension" of cotton imports from India was, nevertheless, different, he said.

"No. We have not stopped cotton imports from India. It has just been halted over reports that the Indian exporters are not meeting our bio-security conditions. We're looking into these reports and will lift restriction on cotton imports if our apprehensions are proved wrong," Shami said.

He said only those cotton consignments would be allowed to enter Pakistan through surface or sea routes where importers had already secured permits from his department and carried phyto-sanitary certificates.

"Our cotton consignments are not being allowed to enter Pakistan through Wagah and Karachi for reasons known to the ministry but cheaper, subsidised Indian yarn is being brought in without any let or hindrance. At least 11 trucks of Indian yarn entered Pakistan on Thursday when the department stopped cotton consignments from coming to this side of the border," a textile factory owner told Dawn.

He said the suspension of cotton import from India would create a huge problem for the textile exporters as the truncated domestic crop target of 11.25 million bales for this year appeared difficult if not impossible to meet.

"The industry requires 14 million bales. We will still be short by three million bales of cotton even if the crop target is achieved," he said.

He said cotton shortages after the ban on Indian imports would make domestic prices shoot up at the expense of exports.

Pakistan had imported 2.7 million bales of cotton (1 bale is 170 kgs) - about 40 per cent of India's total cotton exports in 2015-16 - due to crop failure that wiped off 0.5 per cent of GDP growth. The industry is expecting to import 2 million bales this year.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-stops-import-of-cotton-from-India-amid-tension/articleshow/55648575.cms

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Nawaz Sharif, Ashraf Ghani meet; discuss bilateral ties

PTI | Nov 26, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday met Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to the efforts for peace and stability in the war-torn country.

The two leaders held talks regarding efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and strengthening bilateral ties as they met on the sidelines of the Global Conference on Sustainable Transport in Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat, Foreign Office said here.

"Emphasising that politically negotiated settlement through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process was the most viable option for lasting peace in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan would continue its serious efforts for facilitating the peace process, including through the QCG (Quadrilateral Coordination Group)," it said.

Sharif appreciated Afghanistan's efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and expressed support to the peace agreement with armed group Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan.

The two leaders discussed the need of cooperation to combat the scourge of terrorism, which was a common enemy and a serious challenge to peace in both countries and the region, Foreign Office said.

Discussing the importance of economic development for peace and stability in Afghanistan, Ghani thanked Sharif for Pakistan's new development package of $ 500 million announced at Brussels last month.

The two leaders also agreed upon the need for continued engagement in other areas, including coordination for smooth, safe and dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Nawaz-Sharif-Ashraf-Ghani-meet-discuss-bilateral-ties/articleshow/55638193.cms

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Jamaat-PTI coalition on the rocks

November 27th, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Jamaat-i-Islami has had an uneasy relationship with its major coalition partner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, on several issues ranging from the removal of Bank of Khyber’s managing director to the appointment of the province’s chief khateeb.

An insider told Dawn that the JI had put up a ‘list of demands’ to the PTI but hadn’t got a positive response yet. He said uneasiness in the working relations between the two parties could end their three and a half years long coalition.

The insider said the JI had been continuously complaining that its demands were neglected unnecessarily embarrassing its leadership in front of workers.

JI gave Tehreek-i-Insaf a list of demands but got no response

He said the ‘taunting remarks’ of the PTI’s education minister in the provincial assembly over changes to textbooks had also annoyed the top JI leadership.

“Both sides have had rocky relations. During a recent meeting in Nowshera, JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq gave clear directions to senior minister Inayatullah Khan to prepare himself for quitting the coalition at an appropriate time,” said a source privy to the meeting.

The list of JI demands contains action against the BOK managing director, appointment of a Jamaat leader as chief khateeb of the province, action on non-cooperative behaviour of local administrations with JI nazims in some districts, early execution of some development schemes, and resolution of the sticky issue of modification in textbooks and appointment of theology teachers to primary schools.

Another source in the JI said the delay in meeting the JI demands on part of the PTI had strained relations between the two parties and that the JI ministers felt discomfort in this situation.

He complained the government deliberately delayed fulfilling the demands of the JI.

“Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has been sleeping on summaries of our ministers,” he told Dawn.

A JI delegation met the chief minister on Thursday and discussed with him the matters of its concern.

The JI issued a news release after the meeting demanding legal action against the officials giving the BOK a bad name.

Sources said the PTI and JI were not been seeing eye to eye on the BOK MD issue.

The JI demands that the chief minister take action against the bank’s MD in light of the inquiry committee’s report as the bank management has already tendered apology through an advertisement.

“The MD despite tendering apology is showing stubbornness and he still ignores finance minister Muzafar Said on important matters,” the source said, adding that the MD had been inviting own people for inaugurating the bank’s new branches.

Another hurdle to the good relations between the two coalition partners is the appointment of the chief khateeb in the province.

The post has been lying vacant for one year after the retirement of Qari Rouhullah Madani.

The JI recommended the name of Maulana Ismail for the post with the summary in this respect being put up to the chief minister around a year ago.

Religious affairs minister Habibur Rehman, who belongs to the JI, said the appointment of the chief khateeb was the chief minister’s prerogative.

He said the chief khateeb’s was an honorary post of BPS-18 and that there’s no need to advertise it for filling.

“Maulana Ismail belongs to the JI. Certainly, the party will recommend a person to the post who is known to us,” he said, adding that the department put up the summary again to the chief minister around a month ago.

Among other demands of the JI are appointment of theology teachers to public sector primary schools, incorporation of national heroes in textbooks and speedy work on new universities in Upper Dir, Buner and Chitral, and establishment of a medical college in Timergara, Lower Dir.

When contacted, education minister Atif Khan said the JI instead of highlighting issues in media should discuss them at a proper forum.

He said the JI had never discussed issues like appointment of theology teachers, incorporation of national heroes in textbooks and changes to curriculum with the PTI.

The minister said the JI’s reservations about some mistakes in textbooks had already been removed and that he was unaware of the latest issue.

dawn.com/news/1298954/jamaat-pti-coalition-on-the-rocks

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Low hopes of bilateral talks as Sartaj Aziz may curtail India visit

Sachin Parashar | TNN | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

NEW DELHI: With no confirmation yet of any substantive bilateral dialogue between the two countries on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia (HOA) conference next week in Amritsar, Pakistan's Sartaj Aziz, the de facto foreign minister of the country, will likely have a curtailed visit to India.

The conference on Afghanistan is scheduled for December 3-4. Official sources told TOI that, as of now, Pakistan has confirmed that Aziz will arrive in Amritsar+ only on December 4, unlike delegates from other countries who will land a day earlier, and depart for Pakistan the same evening.

Aziz, who is officially the adviser to PM Nawaz Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, will not be present at the dinner which will be hosted by India on December 3. He will be accompanied by Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan Syed Abrar Hussain and senior MoFA official Mansoor Khan who handles Afghanistan.

"There can be a few handshakes and some informal talk as a matter of courtesy maybe but there is no proposal for any real bilateral dialogue,'' said a source. Foreign ministers of 14 countries are expected to participate in the conference.

While external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who is expected to soon undergo a kidney transplant+ , will not be attending the HOA conference, India is likely to be represented by MoS for external affairs M J Akbar. PM Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event on December 4. Official sources said no side had proposed that Aziz call on Modi while in Amritsar.

The government is hoping that the appointment of Qamar Javed Bajwa+ , who is seen as less of a hawk on India compared to his predecessor, will help cool down the situation at LoC. The visit by Aziz could have provided the two countries an opportunity to start afresh, but India has made it clear that for a bilateral dialogue to take place, it is important that Pakistan end terrorism targeted at India.

Pakistan, too, is keen to ensure that it is not seen as making any concession to India at a time when it is seeking to convince the world about India's alleged ceasefire violations and resultant civilian casualties. Aziz on Friday briefed the envoys of P-5 countries about attack on a civilian bus in the Neelum Valley on 23 November 2016 which, Aziz claimed, was in complete violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and international law "especially the international humanitarian law''. Aziz demanded before the envoys that the attack be investigated.

After officially confirming Aziz's visit, Pakistan waited for India to propose a bilateral dialogue. However, India is also worried about any meeting between Aziz and Hurriyat leaders ahead of any possible bilateral engagement. Aziz was supposed to visit India last year as NSA for a meeting with Ajit Doval, but the meeting had to be cancelled as Pakistan insisted on a meeting with Hurriyat leaders ahead of Aziz's meeting with Ajit Doval.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Low-hopes-of-talk-during-Sartaj-Azizs-visit/articleshow/55642936.cms

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Arab World

Iraqi Sunni MPs reject move to legalize Shiite militias

ARAB NEWS | Published — Sunday 27 November 2016

Members of the Iraqi parliament gather at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, in this file photo. (Reuters)

BAGHDAD: Sunni Arab politicians and lawmakers in Iraq rejected a law approved by Parliament on Saturday that will transform Popular Mobilization forces, a mostly Iranian-backed coalition of Shiite militias into a legal and separate military corps.

The Sunni bloc called it evidence of the “dictatorship” of the country’s Shiite majority. Disagreements over the paramilitary units are complicating efforts to pull Iraq together as forces battle to defeat Daesh.

All the Shiite blocks in Parliament voted for the bill in a session boycotted by lawmakers from the Sunni minority who object to the existence of armed forces outside the army and police.

The legislation was supported by 208 of the chamber’s 327 members.

Popular Mobilization, or Hashid Shaabi in Arabic, was accused of abuses against Sunni civilians in towns and villages retaken from Daesh, according to international human rights groups and the UN Human Rights Commissioner.

“I don’t understand why we need to have an alternative force to the army and the police,” said Sunni MP Raad Al-Dahlaki. “As it stands now, it would constitute something that looks like Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” he added.

Iraqi forces started an offensive on Oct. 17 to capture Mosul, Daesh’s last major city stronghold in Iraq, with air and ground support from a US-led coalition. Kurdish and Shiite militias are supporting the offensive.

The law does not say how many fighters will be incorporated under the legalized corps, which currently claims to have more than 110,000 fighters, or define the breakdown between members from the different communities.

The government says between 25,000 and 30,000 members of the Hashid are Sunni tribal fighters and nearly all the rest are Shiites, with a few Yazidi and Christian units.

The Kurds have their own military force, called Peshmerga, deployed in the Kurdish autonomous area in northern Iraq.

The law provides for Popular Mobilization to report directly to the prime minister, who is a Shiite under Iraq’s governing system that split top state positions between the different communities after the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein.

The army reports to the defense minister, who is traditionally a Sunni, although the position has been vacant since the sacking by Parliament of Khaled Al-Obeidi in August.

arabnews.com/node/1016256/middle-east?

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Islamic State chemical attack horror as 22 Syrian rebels are hospitalised by ‘toxic cloud’ after a jihadi rocket attack

27 November 2016

Syrian rebels have been hit by a chemical gas attack from Islamic State (IS) jihadists in northern Syria, the Turkish army has said.

Twenty-two pro-Ankara rebels were hit in the attack.

'After a rocket was fired by Daesh (IS), 22 opposition members were observed to have been exposed in their eyes and bodies to chemical gas,' the general staff said in a statement, quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Syrian rebels keep watching during their fight against the Syrian army in a street near Aleppo. File photo

Syrian rebels keep watching during their fight against the Syrian army in a street near Aleppo. File photo

It said the attack happened in the area of the village of Khaliliya, east of Al Rai in northern Syria, but it is not clear exactly when.

The affected Syrian fighters were brought over the frontier to the Turkish border town of Kilis by teams from Turkey's AFAD emergencies agency.

The reports said that the Turkish emergency workers were equipped with special chemical suits to protect themselves.

Emergency relief teams had conducted various tests on the affected rebels for traces of chemical materials at a hospital where they are undergoing treatment.

Television pictures showed some of the Syrians being transferred on stretchers to the hospital, with the emergency workers dressed in full-body white protective clothing and gas masks.

'This is my friend killed by a bomb. Someone save me now...

ISIS planned to attack DISNEYLAND PARIS, the Champs-Elysees...

The Turkish army is backing the Syrian fighters in an unprecedented incursion aimed at rooting out IS jihadists from the border area and also ensuring there is no Kurdish militia presence.

In a three-month operation, the rebels have so far captured the IS stronghold of Jarabulus, cleared IS from Al Rai and retaken the symbolically important town of Dabiq without much resistance.

With Turkish support, they are now pressing to take Al Bab from the jihadists in an advance that appears to be taking more time and encountering greater opposition.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3975472/Islamic-State-chemical-attack-horror-22-Syrian-rebels-hospitalised-toxic-cloud-jihadi-rocket-attack.html#ixzz4RCm3F4r0

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Kuwait's Islamist-dominated opposition wins near-majority in snap elections

 

The Gulf country's Islamist-dominated opposition has won nearly half of the seats in the country's parliament. The victory raises fears among some of renewed political wrangling.

The opposition and its allies won 24 of the 50 seats in the parliament, Kuwait's electoral authority announced on Sunday.

The opposing parties, including Islamists, liberals and nationalists boycotted the previous two elections to protest the voting system decreed by the ruling Emir Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah in 2012.

Voters have turned out in large numbers for Kuwait's first election contested by the opposition in four years. Stakes are high, with dissatisfaction mounting as falling oil revenues force deep cuts in public spending. (27.11.2016)

Kuwait dissolves parliament, snap elections called for November

Kuwaitis head to the polls as opposition ends boycott

Six of the winners - down from nine in the previous house - were from Kuwait's Shiite minority, which makes up 30 percent of the population. Around half of those who won were from groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.

Only one woman was elected.

Despite the opposition's win, the emir was expected to ask either the incumbent prime minister or another leading figure from the ruling family to form a new cabinet. However, the government still retained a majority, because unelected cabinet ministers also became members of parliament, helping to consolidate the royal family's grip.

Saturday's elections were the fourth since 2012 and were called after a dispute between the government and parliament over austerity measures following low oil prices. Oil income accounts for 95 percent of government revenues and has fallen by 60 percent in the last year. The Gulf nation's budget deficit is around $15 billion.

Kuwait holds free elections but most power remains in the hands of the ruling al Sabah family, although the parliament exercises a right to interrogate ministers and can pass a vote of no-confidence.

Kuwaiti citizens make only 30 percent of the emirate's population of 4.4 million.

dw.com/en/kuwaits-islamist-dominated-opposition-wins-near-majority-in-snap-elections/a-36540834?

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Hundreds of Fresh Army Soldiers Arrive in Aleppo to Combat Terrorists

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Hundreds of fresh soldiers have arrived in Aleppo city to join the Syrian government forces' operation in the Eastern districts of the city, a field source disclosed Sunday.

"Approximately a thousand fresh soldiers have joined the Syrian army to accelerate government forces' advances against Jeish al-Fatah in Aleppo city and hit terrorists' positions in several flanks," the source said.

The source said that several thousand army soldiers, including Tiger Forces and Desert Hawks, have joined the pro-government forces in Aleppo in recent months, "while more fresh soldiers will arrive in Aleppo in coming weeks."

Another military source also disclosed that the army men are fully ready to enter the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city, adding that the army commandoes and special forces have been deployed in positions overlooking the Eastern districts of Aleppo and are waiting for their commanders' order to start operations.

Syrian Army troops and popular forces drove Jeish al-Fatah terrorists out of the key district of Hanano Housing Project on Saturday and started to fortify their positions in the newly-liberated district.

Following days of non-stop fierce clashes, the Syrian government forces inflicted major losses on the Jeish al-Fatah collation of terrorist groups and imposed full control over the entire area of the Hanano Housing Project.

Jeish al-Fatah left behind a large number of dead and wounded members and pulled the remaining pockets of its forces back from the district.

Battlefield reports said the army was moving both North and Southward to stretch control over neighboring districts.

Hanano quarter is of paramount importance in the war over Eastern Aleppo. The third flank of the government troops' large-scale operation against terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city concentrated on this district as it is the Southern gate to Sheikh Najjar, another key district in Northeastern Aleppo that is adjacent to a number of heights that overlook the city. The army has also won a part of Sheikh Najjar from the Eastern direction and the striking victory in Hanano increases the Army's pressure on the terrorists from the South, cornering them in the center of Sheikh Najjar.

Meantime, later reports said that several other units of the army and popular forces are also on the offensive on the opposite direction to push further into the South of Hanano quarter to open their way into Jabal (Mount) Badrou and Al-Ard Al-Hamra that, the army commanders believe, will be the decisive battle of Eastern Aleppo.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950907000295

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Syrian Army Continues to Advance against Terrorists East of Aleppo City

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops and popular forces continued to push Jeish al-Fatah terrorists back from more positions in the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city after they seized full control over the key district of Hanano Housing Project yesterday.

Liberation of the strategic district of Hanano Housing Project enabled the pro-government forces to extend their advances against Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups in the depth of the Eastern districts of Aleppo city, so the army men and their allies started hitting militants' positions in the districts of Jabal Badrou and al-Ard al-Hamra and managed to win control over more positions in the battlefields. 

Syrian soldiers also managed to recapture the police hill and a handful of buildings in Sheikh Lutfi district in Southeastern Aleppo.

The offensive strategy of the Syrian Army in the Eastern part of Aleppo is reliant on splitting the entire terrorist pocket in two, leaving the militants no choice but to either surrender or leave the besieged districts.

According to reports, Syrian army troops are trying to split the terrorists along the Southern part of the Hanano and Sheikh Khodr districts to focus on one of the most important strongholds of the terrorists, al-Sakhour district.

Syrian Army troops and popular forces drove Jeish al-Fatah terrorists out of the key district of Hanano Housing Project on Saturday and started fortifying their positions in the newly-liberated district.

Following days of non-stop fierce clashes, the Syrian government forces inflicted major losses on the Jeish al-Fatah collation of terrorist groups and imposed full control over the entire area of the Hanano Housing Project.

Jeish al-Fatah left behind a large number of dead and wounded members and pulled the remaining pockets of its forces back from the district.

Battlefield reports said the army was moving both North and Southward to stretch control over neighboring districts.

Hanano quarter is of paramount importance in the war over Eastern Aleppo. The third flank of the government troops' large-scale operation against terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city concentrated on this district as it is the Southern gate to Sheikh Najjar, another key district in Northeastern Aleppo that is adjacent to a number of heights that overlook the city. The army has also won a part of Sheikh Najjar from the Eastern direction and the striking victory in Hanano increases the Army's pressure on the terrorists from the South, cornering them in the center of Sheikh Najjar.

Meantime, later reports said that several other units of the army and popular forces are also on the offensive on the opposite direction to push further into the South of Hanano quarter to open their way into Jabal (Mount) Badrou and Al-Ard Al-Hamra that, the army commanders believe, will be the decisive battle of Eastern Aleppo.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950907000401

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Militants in Eight More Towns Give up Battle against Syrian Gov't

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Peace Coordination Center in Syria announced on Sunday that militants in eight more towns in the two provinces of Damascus and Lattakia have laid down arms and signed peace agreement with Damascus in last 24 hours.

"Representatives of militants in four towns in Damascus and four more towns in Lattakia province have inked the nationwide peace agreement with the Syrian army in the last 24 hours," the Russian Center announced in a statement.

"The total number of cities, towns and villages that have thus far joined the national reconciliation plan now stands at 986," the center added.

The Russian Center also announced on Saturday that militants in two more towns gave up battle against Damascus.

"Representatives of militants in a town in Damascus province and another town in Lattakia province inked peace agreement with Syrian government," the center said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950907000767

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Nusra Positions in Idlib, Hama Receive Sever Blow in Syrian Airstrikes

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Air Force carried out several combat flights over the gatherings and supply routes of Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the provinces of Idlib and Hama, destroying a number of militant bases and strongholds.

The warplanes targeted the gatherings and supply routes of Fatah al-Sham in the town of Morek, the village of Skeik and North of the town of Souran in Northern Hama.

The fighter jets also bombed terrorists’ supply routes in the towns of Khan Sheikhoun and al-Tamanna and North of Abu al-Dhohour town in the Southern and Southeastern territories of Idlib, killing scores of militants, including their leaders after destroying a number of their command posts, bases, armored vehicles and arms and ammunition depots.

In relevant development in the Idlib and Hama on Thursday, the Syrian army units, supported by the air force, launched extensive offensives on the terrorists in Hama and Idlib, inflicting tens of casualties on them and destroying their command centers and arms depots.

The Syrian army forces attacked the militants' positions and supply routes in the villages and towns of Morek, Atraf al-Buwaiza, Skeik, Atshan and Wadi Huwair in the Northern parts of Hama, killing over 50 terrorists and smashing their command center, arms cache and 6 military vehicles.

Meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded the terrorists' bases in Murek and the nearby areas, Tal Huwair, North of Ma'an, Zour al-Tayyebah, Sakik, al-Zalaqiyat, Atshan, North of Souran and East of Jabin, Abour Aidi, East of al-Sayyad and al-Haisa in the Northern parts of Hama which killed several terrorists and destroyed their tanks and military vehicles.

In the Southern parts of Idlib, the Syrian army forces attacked Jeish al-Fatah's hideouts and gatherings in al-Tamanna and regions to its West, Khan Sheikhoun and South of Sarja, killing a large number of terrorists and blowing up their centers and vehicles.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950907000731

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Syrian government advances into rebel-held east Aleppo

AP | Nov 27, 2016

BEIRUT: Syrian government and allied forces seized large parts of an important district in rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Saturday but fierce fighting for control of the residential area continued, rebels, pro-government media and a monitor said.

Government forces have advanced with a ground and air assault on the edge of the besieged eastern half of the city, a move the rebels say is designed to split their most important urban stronghold in two.

Aleppo, which was Syria's biggest city before the start of a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, is divided between the government-held west and rebel-held east, where U.N. officials say at least 250,000 people are under siege.

Capturing all of Aleppo would be a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after six and a half years of fighting.

A Syrian military source and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said Syrian government and allied forces had taken control of about 80 percent of the Hanano housing district, which is on the northeast frontline of the eastern sector.

A renewed air assault on residential and frontline parts of east Aleppo began last Tuesday after a weeks-long pause in air strikes and shelling there.

Yasser al-Yousef, from the political office of the Nour al-Din al-Zinki rebel group, said insurgents had been fighting fiercely for the past 48 hours to defend Hanano and the southern front of east Aleppo from heavy government bombardment.

"The regime managed to advance into a number of positions in the Hanano housing area but revolutionary fighters are trying to take them back," Yousef said.

The Syrian military source said the army hoped to fully secure the area "within hours."

A Syrian state television reporter broadcast live from a part of Hanano on Saturday and said the Syrian army's operation to secure the area was ongoing. Gunshots could be heard and behind him damaged buildings and rising smoke could be seen.

An official from Jabha Shamiya, one of the biggest groups fighting against Assad in northern Syria which has some fighters in Hanano, said there are back-and-forth battles and about half of Hanano has been taken by the government.

Rebels say much of Hanano has been empty of residents for some months.

Syrian state media said the army had secured the safe passage of at least 150 people out of Hanano, and showed pictures of people it said were evacuated residents in a reception centre.

In the 12 days since the renewed bombardment on east Aleppo, at least 201 civilians, including 27 children have died in the besieged sector, the Observatory said. There were 134 rebel fighter deaths.

The monitor also documented 19 civilian deaths, including 11 children, and dozens of injuries as a result of rebel shelling of government-held west Aleppo. Rebel shelling into the Sheikh Maqsoud district, which is under the control of the Kurdish YPG militia, has killed three people, it said.

Syrian state news agency SANA said three people died and 15 were injured on Saturday when rebels fired rockets into government-held west Aleppo.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-government-advances-into-rebel-held-east-Aleppo/articleshow/55641949.cms

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Iraq scholars hail parliament vote to legalize Hashd al-Sha’abi

Sun Nov 27, 2016

The association of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim scholars has hailed the parliament’s recent recognition of the Shia-majority Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, as a subdivision of the country’s armed forces.

On Saturday, the legislature recognized Hashd al-Sha’abi as an official force with similar rights as those of the regular army, therefore legally establishing it as part of the National Armed Forces, which is subject to its commandership.

Abdul-Qadir al-Alousi, who chairs the Council of Scholars of Baghdad, welcomed the vote in a statement, saying it was the least token of appreciation of Hashd al-Sha'abi sacrifices for the liberation of Iraq and preservation of the country’s unity, Iraq’s Shafaaq news website reported.

The measure, he said, represents the will of the entire Iraqi nation, including all of its ethnic and religious minorities, adding anyone opposing the move pursues foreign-dictated goals as well as the country’s disintegration and destruction.

The Popular Mobilization Units were formed after the rise of Daesh in Iraq in 2014.

In the early days of Daesh emergence in Iraq, the volunteer fighters played an important role in reinforcing the army, which had initially suffered heavy losses amid the lightening advances of the Takfiri terrorists.

Currently, Hashd al-Sha’abi has joined forces with the army and other military groups, including Kurds and Christians, in the large-scale operation to free the northern city of Mosul, the last remaining Daesh foothold in Iraq.

Shia fighters from the Hashd al-Shaabi volunteer force advance from an area near the town of Qayyarah towards the village of Tal Um Jadaan, southwest of the northern city of Mosul, November 26, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Iraqis find Daesh databank

Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces involved in the Mosul battle came upon a databank belonging to the terror group in Amrakan Village south of Mosul, Iraq’s al-Sumariah TV network reported.

The find comprises computers, financial documents, and leases on agricultural lands overrun by the group. The gain led to the identification of “all” of the terror group’s members and its financial transactions with foreign countries.

The city fell to Daesh on June 10, 2014, the year it unleashed its campaign of terror against the country. Mosul’s recapture would deliver a decisive blow to Daesh terror activities both in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Separately, London-based Al Quds Al Arabi paper reported that the group had executed 32 Iraq civilians, which it had seized during raids on residential houses south of Mosul on Friday, accusing them of collaboration with security forces and “apostasy.”

Iraqi forces have, time and again, paused their operations in favor of allowing civilians to flee the battleground, while Daesh refuses to spare the non-combatants and uses them as human shields against the army’s advances.

presstv.com/Detail/2016/11/27/495356/Iraq-Hashd-Shaabi-Mosul-Daesh?

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South Asia

ISIS Plans To Deploy 200 Families in Each District by Disguising As Refugees: An Afghan Lawmaker

Zahir Qadir, Deputy House Speaker, Lower House of the Parliament, Wolesi Jirga, said at least 1000 families belonging to the loyalists of the terror group in each district, warning that the control of the situation would become difficult if they managed to deploy the families in the districts.

He was speaking during a general session of the Lower House of the Parliament, Wolesi Jirga today.

Without elaborating further regarding his claim and the sources from which he got the information, Qadir criticized the government for remaining reckless in this regard.

Qadir further added that his information shows the loyalists of the terror group are planning to purchase land for the families.

This comes as Qadir earlier warned that the loyalists of the terror group are attempting to establish the Khurasan Caliphate in Afghanistan and are busy expanding their presence in some of the difficult terrains of the country.

Speaking during a session of the parliament late last month, Qadir warned that the group will become successful in establishing the caliphate if they managed to seize control of Tora Bora in Nangarhar.

He said the loyalists of the terror group have managed to take control of a strategic area in Pacher Agam district.

According to Qadir, the area is a few hundred meters away from Tora Bora and the loyalists of the terror group will become successful if their attempts if they managed to expand foothold in Tora Bora.

He also claimed that helicopters are air dropping supplies including food and mineral water to the loyalists of the terror group in the areas under their control.

The remarks by Qadir came as the top US commander in Afghanistan earlier said the loyalists of the terrorist group are attempting to establish a caliphate inside Afghanistan.

khaama.com/isis-plans-to-deploy-200-families-in-each-district-by-disguising-as-refugees-qadir-02369

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Taliban’s Quetta Shura still based in Quetta city of Pakistan: Hayat

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 27 2016

The leader ship council of the Taliban group, Quetta Shura, is still based in Quetta city of Pakistan, the provincial governor of southern Helmand province said.

Hayatulllah Hayat rejected reports as baseless regarding the transfer of Quetta Shura to Helmand province.

Speaking to RFE/RL, Hayat said the movement of the leaders of the group between Helmand and Quetta cannot be rejected but their leadership council is still based in Quetta city.

Hayat further added that the top leaders of the group are still based in Quetta and Peshawar cities although movement of the group’s shadow governors and other leader cannot be rejected to provinces from the Pakistani cities.

This comes as the group’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid earlier told Associated Press that the members of the Quetta Shura had shifted to Helmand provinces some months ago.

A senior Taliban commander, Asad Afghan, also told to Associated Press the move would consolidate the insurgents’ military gains and help lay the ground for a dominant position if and when peace talks resume.

“We are in the last stages of war and are moving forward,” said Afghan, who is closely involved in formulating the insurgents’ war strategy.

“We are the real government in Afghanistan,” he said. The move across the border would give the movement “more focus” at a time it needs to be “quick, clear and more secure about our decisions.”

This comes as the Afghan officials earlier said the group is looking to shift its leadership council in Helmand province by intensifying attacks on key districts of the province.

However, Hayat said the group’s attempts to shift the Quetta Shura to Helmand have failed despite they launched numerous attacks to seize key areas of the province.

khaama.com/talibans-quetta-shura-still-based-in-quetta-city-of-pakistan-hayat-02373

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Afghans likely among 77 killed in Iraq truck bombing

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 27 2016

iraq_blastThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan has launched an investigation regarding the possible casualties of the Afghan nationals in a deadly truck bombing in Iraq.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said the ministry has launched an immediate investigation in coordination with the Embassy of Afghanistan in Baghdad after reports emerged that some Afghan nationals were among those killed or wounded in the attack.

Strongly condemning the attack that left at least 77 dead, the ministry said it will take immediate steps for the transfer of the deceased individuals and treatment of those who have sustained injuries.

MoFA said it is also in contact with the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran amid reports that some pilgrims injured in the attack have been transferred to the country.

The incident took place on Thursday after a truck packed with explosives was rammed into the convoy of the pilgrims at a petrol station and restaurant near Hilla, some 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad.

Several buses carrying pilgrims had stopped there on their way home from commemorating Arbaeen in the holy city of Karbala. Some 40 people were wounded.

The jihadist group Islamic State said it carried out the attack.

khaama.com/afghans-likely-among-77-killed-in-iraq-truck-bombing-02371

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Afghan Senate approves AFN465 billion in draft budget for fiscal year 1396

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 27 2016

The Afghan Senate House, Upper House of the Parliament, approved the draft budget for the fiscal year 1396 during the general session today.

The draft budget for the fiscal year 1396 includes AFN 287 for the ordinary budget and AFN 178 billion for the development budget as proposed by the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan.

The lawmakers in the Upper House of the parliament approved the draft budget with some recommendations that include 23 development projects to be added in a bid to ensure fair and equal allocation of the funds.

According to the Ministry of Finance of Afghanistan, the government will allocate AFN 150 billion from the government resources while the remaining funds will be contributed by the international community.

The draft budget will be forwarded to the Lower House of the Parliament, Wolesi Jirga, with the approval of the Afghan senators.

However, the deputy house speaker in the Lower House, Zahir Qadir, had earlier warned that they will not approve the draft budget unless the Supreme Court does not accept the lawmakers decision for the disqualification of seven ministers.

The Afghan lawmakers in the Lower House dismissed the 7 ministers after they were impeached for the failure of spending more than 70 percent of their development budget.

khaama.com/afghan-senate-approves-afn465-billion-in-draft-budget-for-fiscal-year-1396

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UK reaffirms long term support to Afghan government and security forces

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 27 2016

The United Kingdom reaffirmed support to continue supporting the training of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) within the framework of the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission.

The British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed UK’s support during a visit to Afghanistan on Saturday.

He said UK remains committed to support Afghanistan in all sectors on long term basis.

Johnson also met with the Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah to discuss the issues of bilateral interest and other regional issues.

“Positive meeting w/ @afgexecutive Abdullah Abdullah on regional security, reforms & eliminating violence against women #16days,” Johnson said in a Twitter post.

The United Kingdom funded the establishment of the Afghan National Army Officers Academy which was inaugurated in mid-2014.

The academy is sometimes referred to as ‘Sandhurst in the Sand’ as it’s modelled on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in the UK.

The first group of over 240 students to attend the Afghan National Army Officer Academy graduated a year after the academy was inaugurated.

khaama.com/uk-reaffirms-long-term-support-to-afghan-government-and-security-forces-02374

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Mideast

Dubai Islamic Bank shines at the Islamic Business and Finance Awards

Published November 27th, 2016

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the largest Islamic Bank in the UAE, received four major accolades at the 11th Islamic Business and Finance Awards 2016, including Best Retail Bank in the UAE, Best Corporate Bank in the UAE, Best Sukuk Arranger and Best Islamic Bank.

Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank was named Islamic Banker of the Year for his pioneering efforts in and contributions towards driving the growth of the sector within the UAE and beyond. Additionally, Dar Al Sharia, a subsidiary of the Bank and a leading Islamic finance advisory and consultancy, was recognized as the best Sharia Advisory Service in the Middle East for its outstanding value added services to regional and international customers.

The awards ceremony, held at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai, celebrated the achievements of top Islamic bankers, financiers and Islamic banking and finance institutions, and was attended by some 300 industry leaders and senior personnel from around the world.

Dr. Adnan Chilwan, GCEO of DIB, commented on the awards received: “We are grateful for this honor and the recognition received from the Islamic Finance industry and peers worldwide. These accolades validate our position as the market leader across all facets of Islamic banking and finance.  To be recognized as the ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’ amongst so many outstanding peers is a truly humbling experience. The sheer diversity of awards received today underscores the DIB team’s hard work, dedication and passion to help businesses and customers realize the true value of Islamic Banking and I am extremely proud and fortunate to lead such an intense, focused and innovative group of people. Our ultimate aim at DIB is to make Islamic Banking the norm within the UAE and beyond and I am confident that we are well on our way to achieving this ambitious goal.”

Now in its 11th year, the Islamic Business and Finance Awards focus on recognizing excellence in Islamic and Sharia-compliant banking and financial services. A panel of expert judges first selects a shortlist of institutions, which is followed by a 6-week voting process. The winners are declared based on the number of votes each institution receives. Awards such as Best Islamic Bank are based on financial key performance indicators and audited financial results, and Islamic Banker of the Year is based on a majority vote from the panel of judges.

DIB’s principal activities are focused on retail and business banking, corporate banking, real estate and contracting finance, investment banking and treasury. Currently present in seven markets worldwide, DIB is well-placed to continue its global expansion and maintain its leadership in transforming the Islamic finance industry.

albawaba.com/business/pr/dubai-islamic-bank-shines-islamic-business-and-finance-awards-908658

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Donald Trump is ‘racist’ - says senior Hezbollah official

November 27, 2016

Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement’s second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said the election of “racist” Donald Trump as the US president and nationwide demonstrations staged against him signal a “real crisis” in the country.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement’s second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said the election of “racist” Donald Trump as the US president and nationwide demonstrations staged against him signal a “real crisis” in the country.

Speaking in an interview with Iran’s state-run Tasnim News Agency in the Lebanese capital city, Sheikh Qassem pointed to the results of the recent presidential election in the US and said the demonstrations staged by Americans in protest at the election of Trump proves that the country is facing a “real crisis”.

The Lebanese cleric further described Trump as “racist” and said his plans for the US will cause trouble for many people in the country.

“However, in my opinion, the demonstrations will change equations in the US and the new president might withdraw from implementation of some of his decisions,” he added.

More than a week after Trump’s upset election, protesters continue to take to the streets across the US and elsewhere to condemn the billionaire’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric.

The demonstrators say protests will persist in the country unless Trump abandons his "war" on immigrants and other minorities.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sheikh Qassem pointed to Iran’s military support for the Lebanese army and said Hezbollah will raise the issue after the formation of the new government in the Arab country, although the US has always pressured to stop Iran’s military assistance to the Lebanese army.

“We will raise all the proposals that had been submitted to the (former) Lebanese government again and discuss the issue with the new government,” the cleric said.

Back in October 2014, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the country has prepared a series of military items to be dispatched to Lebanon as a gift in order to help the Arab country in fighting against Takfiri terrorists.

Dehqan said that the weapons would be delivered to Lebanon at Beirut’s request.

Lebanon is an influential country in regional security and has a special position in Iran’s foreign policy agenda, the minister explained.

That is why the Islamic Republic is resolved to support the Lebanese nation and government and help equip that country’s army, he added.

Dehqan reiterated that Tehran is prepared to train the Lebanese armed forces and convey its experiences for the battle against Takfiri terrorists, including the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.

The Lebanese defense minister, Samir Moqbel, said at the time that Iran’s gift for Lebanon’s army is “unconditional” but his country’s cabinet should handle the legal procedures for the arms delivery.

en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/11/27/794543/story.html?

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Bibles for Mideast Housing Facility for Women Firebombed By Suspected Islamist Militants; 2 Seriously Hurt

Czarina Ong 27 November 2016

A housing facility for women working for Bibles for Mideast, an underground Bible-distributing ministry in the region, was attacked on Nov. 18 by suspected bomb-throwing Islamist militants, triggering a massive fire and seriously injuring two women.

Six women were inside the facility at the time of the attack. They were part of the group on an evangelisation mission in the Middle East, according to the Bibles 4 Mideast website.

One of the two injured women was a former Muslim identified as Ramza who earlier was reported to have been "killed" by her own father but was "raised from the dead" by Jesus.

The women were asleep when firebombs were hurled inside the house, setting it ablaze.

The women screamed and tried to get out of the house. But something far worse than the fire greeted them at the door—the sight of several men with guns standing at the doorstep.

Sponsored Watch Your Favorite Christian Films, 24/7. Click Here To Start Your Free Trial Today

"When we came out, they fired gunshots towards us. So we were forced to go back inside the house. At that time two of us were already down on the floor with serious burns," recalled Saleeha, one of the survivors.

Friendly neighbours with drawn guns then came over, forcing the attackers to flee, Saleeha said. "There were five to seven attackers who came to kill us. They came by motorbikes. But our Lord Jesus Christ protected our lives," she said.

"Christ Jesus is our mighty Saviour and Lord," affirmed Ramza. "He is able to keep us safe. Whether we live or die, we belong to Him."

The two women who were injured were taken to a hospital, while the other women are now looking for another house to stay.

christiantoday.com/article/bibles.for.mideast.housing.facility.for.women.firebombed.by.suspected.islamist.militants.2.seriously.hurt/102183.htm?

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Iran calls UN to condemn deadly ISIS pilgrim attack

November 27, 2016

Iran's UN envoy says that recent Daesh terrorist attack in Iraq that claimed the lives of a large number of Iranian pilgrims is a reminder of the heavy responsibility on international community towards battling terrorism.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iran's UN envoy says that recent Daesh (ISIS/IS) terrorist attack in Iraq that claimed the lives of a large number of Iranian pilgrims is a reminder of the heavy responsibility on international community towards battling terrorism.

Gholam-Hossein Dehqani made the remarks in a Saturday letter to the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, calling for the condemnation of the deadly attack.

“This terrorist attack, claimed by the Daesh group, is not the first example of such terrorist crimes against Iranian pilgrims as these pilgrims have been the targets of vicious terrorist attacks many times before,” he said.

He went on to stress that the people and government of Iran will spare no efforts to destroy Daesh and other terrorist groups.

About 100 people, most of them Shia Iranian pilgrims, were killed after explosives placed in a truck were set off at a gas station in Shomali village in the suburbs of Hillah, 100 kilometers south of Baghdad, on Thursday.

The pilgrims were en route back to Iran from the holy city of Karbala, where they had attended religious rituals commemorating Arba’een, the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (Peace be upon him), the third Shia Imam.

The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement.

“These crimes are in fact a warning to those who have spread the Takfiri ideology and who aid terrorist organizations and are a wake-up call to these countries to stop their support of these killers and join the international community in their fight against extremism,” he added.

Earlier, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei offered his condolences over the large number of deaths in the attack.

The Leader said the criminal and atrocious Takfiri groups carried out a “heinous and cowardly” measure to take revenge after their ominous plots were thwarted and their evil face was once again revealed to all.

en.abna24.com/service/iran/archive/2016/11/27/794538/story.html?

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Iran may seek naval bases in Yemen or Syria: chief of staff

REUTERS — November 27, 2016

Iran may seek to set up naval bases in Yemen or Syria in the future, as distant footholds might be more valuable militarily than nuclear technology, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said in remarks published on Sunday.

"We need distant bases, and it may become possible one day to have bases on the shores of Yemen or Syria, or bases on islands or floating (bases)," said General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, quoted by the Shargh daily newspaper.

"Is having distant bases less than nuclear technology? I say it is worth dozens of times more," added Baqeri, who was speaking at a gathering of naval commanders.

dawn.com/news/1298973/iran-may-seek-naval-bases-in-yemen-or-syria-chief-of-staff

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Future of Kurds in shadow of Erdogan-HDP rivalry

November 27, 2016

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - After 2014, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced end of peace with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), triggering a new period of struggle and rivalry between the Turkish government and the Kurds.

The new period was different for the PKK. Actually, PKK's power and operation range in the new conditions was not limited to the Qandil Mountains close to the Turkish borders, as its fight with Ankara was not restricted to guerrilla attacks. In fact, in the new era the PKK used its Syrian affiliate the Democratic Union Party( PYD) to set up an autonomous c

anton system and declare a federal Kurdish government in Syria’s north. It even gained the power to start a civil war with the Turkish army inside Turkey. The analysts call the clashes between PKK and Turkey forces as a full-scale Kurdish war inside Turkey against the Turkish government. The past two years were, actually, a stage of rivalry between Erdogan and the Kurds.

In the present conditions, Erdogan's policies and actions have pushed the Kurds to face a difficult and complicated situation. Arresting the Kurdish political leaders inside Turkey, increasing monitoring of the Kurds, introducing tough security measures in the Kurdish-inhabited cities of Turkey, and also issuing a list of 40 people inside the country who allegedly are linked to the PKK symbolize Erdogan’s new policies.

With these in mind, we come up with a couple of questions: what will be the result of Erdogan’s duel with the Kurds?  Can the Turkish president at the end of the road impose his will on the Kurds?  Or will the Kurdish fight and resistance inflict a defeat on Erdogan?  Some points can help us have an understanding of the situation between the two warring sides:

Erdogan’s popular support Vs. Turkish opposition's failure to give an alternative to his policies.

In their competition with Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Kurds and even the Turkish opposition parties boast about their social base and popular support. But the fact is that if we consider a social base and backing for the Kurds and opposition parties in Turkey, we at the same time should consider a greater popular base and support for Erdogan and his party. We should buy the fact that half of the Turkish citizens support President Erdogan and his party. So, from this aspect, we cannot suggest that Erdogan lacks the popular backing and his opponents enjoy it. Additionally, in terms of balance of power, if we compare Erdogan's sociopolitical power to that of the opposition groups, we find the balance largely gravitating towards Erdogan. Indeed, the opposition parties are not fully against the president. Furthermore, in the recent decade these parties in the role of an opposition have declined to offer a serious and competitive alternative to the AKP's policies, though in the future it can be expected that Erdogan’s authoritarianism and his passage to the Eastern rationality will cause a shrink in his current power and sway. However, for now the ground is fully prepared for Erdogan’s gain of influence among the Kurds. This is because of the strategic mistakes made by the leaders of the People's Democratic Party (HDP). The elaboration on the mistakes is to follow.

Strategic mistakes of People’s Democratic Party

If we focus on the positions and type of actions of the HDP's leaders in the years after 2014, we can spot strategic faults in their political actions and behaviors. In fact, following the battle of Kobani in northern Syria, witnessing Erdogan’s violations, and afterwards spark of new round of clashes between the Kurds and the Turkish government, the leaders of the HDP embarked on a kind of a idealistic approach. Deeply influenced by the bellicose flank of PKK led by Cemil Bayik, these leaders' approach brought about negative effects for the relations between HDP and the Turkish government, and also the AKP. During a visit to Moscow, Selahattin Demirtas, the chairman of the HDP, condemned the Turkish government for shooting down the Russian bomber over Syria. Demirtas along with Figen Yüksekdağ, the co-leader of the HDP, backed the city clashes with the Turkish forces. They also took pro-PKK approach in their political agenda. All these are symbols of the HDP’s idealistic approaches during the past two years.

In the current conditions in which 9 of HDP's leaders along with members of the parliament from this Kurdish party have been detained by the government, the decision to boycott the parliamentary activities of the this party is another indication of its idealistic approaches. Leaving parliamentary career and pressing on with idealistic stances have been characteristics of the Kurdish leaders in Turkey in past few years. Boycotting the parliamentary sessions not only declined to yield the required results but also it is the approach that Erdogan wishes the Kurdish leaders to take. This finally worked in favour of the Turkish government, triggering a wave of discontent among the Kurdish masses with the activities of the HDP.

Possible dissolution of HDP

Over the past year just before detention of the HDP’s leaders and MPs, dissolution of Kurdish party by has been likely. In fact, following stripping a large number of the HDP’s MPs of their legal immunity in the parliament, the theory of dissolution of the party gained ground more than ever. In the present conditions, too, such a scenario is not unlikely. But the Turkish history can testify that dissolution of political parties in the country is more symbolic than real. In other words, the government never aims at eradication of the essence of the political or ideological movement or party. Actually, in a short time following the dissolution of parties they flourish with a new name and platform. For example, we can refer to the Islamist parties' history in Turkey. In 1970 they founded National Order Party, in 1973 the National Salvation Party, in 1987 the Welfare Party, and in 1996 the Felicity Party. During all these years Necmettin Erbakan led the Islamist parties. Following dissolution of Felicity Party by the Supreme Court of Turkey a new party was founded with a new name. The same also applies to the Kurdish parties in Turkey after 1991. So, we can conclude that even now it is likely that the HDP will be banned but what is very important is the fact that the political atmosphere in Turkey– even if we expect rise of a new wave of Erdogan’s power– does not block reorganization of Kurds under a new party.

The outlook

It is very difficult to make predications on the process of developments in West Asia. The fact is that what is happening in the region by no means is a result of wise approaches and factors. Actually, the developments themselves have been decisive factors in West Asia. In 2013, nobody could foresee such actions and behaviours by Erdogan. This pushes us to keep all the options about the future open. Erdogan could return to reconciliation with the opposition and reactivation of peace process with the Kurds, including the PKK. Therefore, we can suggest that making a prior predication and judgment about Erdogan’s or his opponents' win in the struggle is something impossible now. This issue takes influences from the upcoming West Asia events.

en.abna24.com/cultural/archive/2016/11/27/794599/story.html?

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Africa

Dozens feared dead in Mogadishu car bomb

AFP | Nov 26, 2016

MOGADISHU: A car bomb exploded near a busy market in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Saturday killing at least eight people, police said, as medical sources warned the toll could be far higher.

"We have counted about eight civilians so far who were killed in the blast and more than 10 others wounded but the death toll could be higher because the area is a market and it was so densely populated when the blast occurred, most people who were wounded have serious injuries," said police official Ibrahim Mohamed.

Medical sources suggested nearly 30 people had been killed, but this was not confirmed by authorities.

"Our ambulances have collected 13 wounded civilians and 28 dead bodies, the toll could be higher because of the density of the location where the blast occurred," Dr Abdukadir Abdirahman Adem, director of the AMIN ambulance service told AFP.

The blast took place in the densely populated Afisiyone area in southern Mogadishu.

"There was chaos and severed dead bodies strewn around the street, the market was so busy with people shopping when the blast ripped through the area. I saw many dead bodies but I could not count, I have helped collect more than 10 of them," said Abdulahi Osman, who witnessed the blast.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but immediate suspicion fell on the Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group Shabaab, locked in battle against the Somali government and which regularly mounts attacks in the city.

Its most deadly recent attack was in August when a car bomb outside a popular hotel close to the presidential palace left 15 dead.

Despite being driven out of the capital in 2011 by an African Union force deployed in 2007 the group still control vast swathes of outlying rural areas from which they launch guerrilla operations.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Dozens-feared-dead-in-Mogadishu-car-bomb/articleshow/55637269.cms

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Official: 19 killed in Uganda fighting between rebels, army

AP | Updated: Nov 27, 2016

KAMPALA, Uganda: A Ugandan official says 19 people have been killed in two days of fighting between Ugandan forces and a tribal militia in a remote district near the border with Congo.

Government spokesperson Col. Shaban Bantariza said Sunday that after rebels had killed four Ugandan police officers and wounded a soldier, Ugandan forces launched an operation in which at least 15 rebel fighters have been killed.

Bantariza said the rebels are believed to be loyal to a tribal king, Wesley Mumbere, who is critical of Uganda's government.

Mumbere is king of Uganda's Bakonzo people, and some of his supporters have been calling for secession from Uganda.

The western district of Kasese, where Mumbere is based, is a hotbed of opposition to Museveni, who lost there in the last presidential polls.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Official-19-killed-in-Uganda-fighting-between-rebels-army/articleshow/55649241.cms

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Mourners boo minister at Sheikh Maj Kiggundu’s burial

 

KAMPALA. State minister for primary education was on Saturday booed by hundreds of mourners who turned up to sendoff Sheikh Maj Muhammad Kiggundu who was shot dead by unknown assailants on Saturday morning at Masanafu in Lubaga Division.

Ms Rosemary Sseninde, who doubles as Wakiso District Woman MP, was booed seconds after she said police would investigate and apprehend Sheikh Maj Kiggundu’s killers.

“I want to assure you that even President Museveni is not happy with what is going on. I request you to be calm because police will investigate and arrest the criminals,” Ms Sseninde said.

Ms Sseninde’s statement provoked the visibly angry mourners who in turn jeered and chanted ‘twakowa’ (literally translated as we are fed up) thus interrupting her speech throughout.

The angry Muslims challenged their colleagues to stop finger pointing at each but unite to fight the common enemy.

“It is time we united to fight the enemy. We shall all be killed if we continue accusing each other. Our enemy is using this disunity amongst us to execute his mission,” Sheikh Kasozi said.

Ms Betty Kamya, minister for Kampala, said if good morals and religion are imparted in children, bad elements like those killing Muslim clerics and other Ugandans would be avoided in the country.

“What happened today was a planned mission. It was not abrupt. I therefore ask you to be security conscious. Report people who have suddenly changed their life style and exhibiting suspicious behaviors,” Ms Kamya said.

Muslim clerics queried how and where the assailants get the guns for their missions.

Sheikh Ali Kasaliko, the Mityana District Khadir tasked the two ministers to inform Ugandans where gun shops are located.

monitor.co.ug/News/National/Minister-booed-slain-Muslim-cleric-s-burial/688334-3466530-th5bd5z/index.html?

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Islamic State remnants still fiercely resisting in Sirte Libya

 

Surt - On Saturday the forces of Al Bunyan Al Marsous (Solid Structure or BAM) faced continuing fierce resistance from the few remaining fighters of the Islamic State(IS) holed up within a small area of the city of Sirte, their former stronghold.

The IS continued to cause casualties as well with BAM forces losing at least five men on Saturday. Most of the BAM fighters are from brigades in the city of Misrata. According to a Reuters report there are only a few dozen houses remaining to be captured. The BAM forces have been advancing only slowly in an attempt to limit casualties among their own fighters but also among civilians and captives held by the IS. The IS have used snipers, tunnels, suicide bombers, and hidden explosives to slow the advance of the BAM fighters. According to a hospital spokesperson in Misrata, Akram Gliwan, as well as five BAM fighters being killed there were 18 wounded.

The BAM forces claimed they faced two suicide bombers and also a woman from the IS fired at BAM fighters after they tried to provide a safe passage for her. BAM forces used tanks and heavy machine gun fire to destroy buildings held by the IS. BAM was able to capture a number of houses in the Ghiza Bahriya district. The BAM offensive has been aided by US airstrikes since August 1, with at least 420 strikes being carried out so far.

The Libya Observer confirms that five BAM members were killed Saturday but claims more than 30 others were injured. According to military sources the remaining IS fighters are trapped in 54 houses in the area. The sources also said 30 houses had been captured. Last week the BAM forces recovered bodies of 30 IS fighters in the zone.

Another report on the fighting cites medical sources as claiming that at least 8 BAM fighters were killed as well as 17 wounded. Sirte was the home town of Moamer Gadaffi the long-time ruler of Libya until he was overthrown. It is about 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of Tripoli. The offensive against Sirte began in May. The six months of fighting have left about 700 of the BAM fighters, loyal to the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA), dead and 3,000 wounded. No one has kept track of the number of IS fighters killed.

digitaljournal.com/news/world/islamic-state-remnants-still-fiercely-resisting-in-sirte-libya/article/480482#ixzz4RCemgya1

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Liow: MCA opposition to Hadi’s bill has nothing to do with Islam

 

PETALING JAYA: MCA has moved to clarify and correct certain reports on its stand regarding Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.

Party president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said MCA remained firmly opposed to any Bill that ran counter to the spirit of the Federal Constitution, and considered Hadi’s Bill to be in such a position.

He however vehemently denied that their opposition to the Bill, commonly referred to as Act 355, had anything to do with the fact that this was an “Islamic” Bill.

“We deny categorically that we oppose Islamic-type enactments. It has never been in our agenda.

“The Syariah Courts Act 355 has been in existence for 51 years and MCA has never once touched on this enactment in any form or manner,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Liow added that the party’s position on the matter has remained the same since the issue surfaced in May and would not be entertaining further speculation on the subject.

The Bill proposed by Hadi, who is PAS president and Marang MP, seeks to further empower the Syariah Courts by giving it the jurisdiction to mete out harsher punishments for syariah offences, excluding the death penalty.

A “tweaked” version of his motion to table the Private Member’s Bill was read in Parliament last Thursday, but Hadi chose to defer its first reading to the next Parliament meeting in March.

thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/11/27/liow-mca-opposition-to-hadis-bill-has-nothing-to-do-with-islam/?

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Europe

Inland Empire Muslims live, worship in shadow of terrorism

POSTED: 11/26/16

When Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at San Bernardino’s Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2, the Inland Empire’s Muslim community braced for a backlash.

“Every incident that happens, when there’s a terrorist attack or somebody being killed, there’s gunshots, my parents sit (watching) the news and say ‘I hope he’s not Muslim, I hope he’s not Muslim, I hope he’s not Muslim,’” said Chaffey College student Bayan Zehlif. “We didn’t do anything, so why should we be hated on? I don’t want to live a life full of fear every time something happens: ‘Please don’t be a Muslim.’”

Since Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks committed by Muslims have cast a shadow over the estimated 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States. The December 2015 attack in San Bernardino, in which 14 people were killed and 22 wounded, rekindled and intensified Muslim anxieties - feelings of “otherness,” frustration, embarrassment and fear.

On Dec. 3, Zehlif’s mother tried to talk her out of going to fitness boot camp, out of a concern for her safety.

“I told her that, if something happens to me because of my religion, then I will proudly deal with the sacrifice,” Zehlif said. “You lock yourself at home because of something you didn’t do, knowing that you’re going to receive hate for it. And it’s scary and it’s sad, and I wouldn’t want my kids to grow up like that.’ ... That doesn’t make sense. Let me continue my life normally, I had nothing to with it. We share the same religion, we don’t share the same values.”

“THIS IS MY TEST”

Mohammad Hossain, who founded the Redlands Islamic Center, located less than two miles from the Redlands townhouse rented by Farook and Malik, knows what it’s like to be treated like an unwelcome alien by his neighbors. A Bangladeshi immigrant, Hossain worked and taught at nearby Loma Linda University Medical Center.

“One of the doctors said ‘Why did you come here? Why don’t you go somewhere else?’”

One of his neighbors called police over and over again for a decade, falsely reporting that Hossain’s dog was barking in the middle of the night.

“You would say ‘hello,’ and people would look away from you, they would not even look you in the face,” he said. “This is my test. That’s the way I took it.”

The neighbors who shunned and complained about Hossain and his family in the 1980s moved away over time, replaced with newer, more tolerant ones.

Understanding started in an unlikely way. Hossain founded the Islamic center in 2000, a year before the Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

“After 9/11, everybody is looking at me. The whole city, the whole county, everybody,” he said. “And they started coming to me, saying ‘tell me, Dr. Hossain, tell us about Islam.’”

He printed up a four-page leaflet he would give to the curious and regularly spoke before church and service groups.

“People thought 9/11 was going to make people hate Islam. But it was exactly the opposite,” Hossain said. “The awareness worked in our favor. They understood that it wasn’t a religion of violence, it was a religion of peace.”

He didn’t change everyone’s minds, of course.

“Somebody put (feces) in a brown bag and left it in front of our mosque,” Hossain said. “Sometimes they used to put a little note, or put it in the mailbox, that said ‘terrorist,’ or something like that.”

In 2004, the center itself was vandalized. Drunken neighbors yelled “terrorist, terrorist, terrorist” as attendees arrived at the mosque for evening prayers.

“Some of the neighbors came into the parking lot and they broke some of the lights and poured beer into the car seats inside,” Hossain said.

But the Redlands community, especially the city’s Mormon residents, raised money to repair the lights.

“They told me ‘we are coming early in the morning and we are going to have a pancake breakfast,’” Hossain said. “They raised about $2,000 -- cash on the spot.”

“NO EMPATHY AT ALL”

But that embrace of Muslim community members can feel tenuous.

Bayan Zehlif wears a hijab, a head scarf worn by many Muslim women to show modesty. For the most part, students at Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga were respectful of her faith, she said, but she was still regularly reminded that she was different from them.

“They’d put their hoods up and say ‘oh my god, I’m Bayan,’” she said. “Like ha ha ha, I get it, we’re friends. You can’t do that. But I would just stay quiet so they wouldn’t hate me.”

And not everyone was tolerant.

“On the day of 9/11, we all know we’re going to do that speech, the teacher’s going to talk, you feel like everyone’s staring at you,” Zehlif said. One year, her teacher “just looks up and says ‘I just think that the people who caused 9/11 shouldn’t be here today.’ And all my friends look at me, and I was just, like, OK ...”

That feeling of otherness exploded this past spring, when Zehlif’s senior yearbook came out. It was riddled with errors and her picture, featuring Zehlif in a hijab, was printed with the name “Isis Phillips” under it. Hurt, she vented on Facebook, saying “let’s be real” that the mislabelling was a typo, and not a reference to the terrorist group that has used the same name. (Shortly before the attack on the Inland Regional Center, Malik pledged her support to ISIS on Facebook.)

The Facebook post was picked up by media around the world. Students she thought were her friends turned on Zehlif.

“It became a thing of teams: ‘Team Bayan’ or ‘Team Yearbook,’” she said. “But it shouldn’t be like that: This girl was obviously hurt, she was obviously embarrassed.”

School officials ordered students to return the yearbooks so they could have a sticker correcting the error placed over the offending page. Some students refused to return them and some even tried to resell an “Isis Edition” of the yearbook for a mark-up.

“There was no empathy at all. I missed my last two weeks of school. I went back for one day and I ended up sitting in the office, alone, knowing that no one wanted to talk to me,” Zehlif said. “That was my last day of high school.”

Her unwelcome labelling as “Isis Phillips” hasn’t followed her to Chaffey College, she said, although she continues to worry about being attacked for being a Muslim.

“My friend recently was victimized,” Zehlif said. “He pulled her scarf off and punched her and took her pepper spray and pepper sprayed her. And because of that, she took off her scarf.”

“YOU’RE A TERRORIST”

Mohammad Salahat is a fourth-year student at Cal State San Bernardino, studying criminal justice with a minor in pre-law, and hoping to intern with the FBI.

Born in Jordan, Salahat was a Moreno Valley High School freshman in 2002. No one ever gave him much trouble about being a Muslim until after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Then the problems started coming in,” he said. “‘Terrorist,’ ‘you go back to your own country,’ showing me pictures of Osama bin-Laden and telling me ‘that’s your father.’ And everything in between.”

He had a couple fights with other students over the bullying before deciding to turn the other cheek. His fellow students also started respecting him and his faith more, he said.

The hostility flared up again last year at CSUSB. In November, ISIS launched a terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130 people.

“After the Paris attack, (a fellow student) told me ‘you’re a terrorist on this campus,’” Salahat said. “I went to his face, shook his hand and said ‘thank you.’ Walked away. I face that every time something horrific happens.”

Salahat is an active member of the CSUSB’s Muslim Student Association. There was a Muslim Student Association at Riverside Community College, where Farook and his former neighbor Enrique Marquez, planned to throw pipe bombs into the college cafeteria. The group has apparently disbanded some time during the 2015-16 school year. Attempts to reach past members have been unsuccessful.

Salahat believes Islamophobia isn’t going anywhere.

“I’m hoping it’ll go away. I’m praying it’ll go away,” he said. “But it’ll never go away.”

Salahat met Trenna Meins, the widow of Dec. 2 victim Damian Meins, when she spoke before two classes at CSUSB on Nov. 2.

“After she was finished, I raised my hand,” Salahat said. “I said ‘I apologize for your loss. Please do not label the 1.6 billion Muslims who worship like I worship, who follow the bylaws, who follow the rules, like every other human being.’ ... She looked at me and responded and said ‘I know, I know. I have a Muslim friend, we’re closer than ever.’”

After the presentation, they spoke more, and embraced.

“‘I know it’s not your fault, it’s not Islam’s fault,’” Salahat recalled Meins saying. “‘It’s that particular group. The bad apples.’”

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Spanish police arrest man for attempting to join Islamic State in Syria

November 27, 2016

MADRID -- Spanish police say they have arrested a man at Madrid's Barajas airport who was attempting to join the Islamic State extremist group in war-torn Syria.

Spain's Interior Ministry says in a statement that the suspect is a Spanish citizen of Palestinian origin who lives on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands archipelago.

The suspect has been under police surveillance since 2014 when police detected that he was "in the process of jihadist radicalization" after having "consumed propaganda from the (IS) terrorist group which had led him to be willing to travel and join their ranks."

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Spanish police have arrested 164 individuals suspected of forming part of Islamic extremist groups since 2015.

stripes.com/news/europe/spanish-police-arrest-man-for-attempting-to-join-islamic-state-in-syria-1.441414?

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Jeremy Corbyn hails Finsbury Park Mosque one year after ‘horrific’ arson attack

27 November 2016

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn says he will be “proud” to speak at Finsbury Park Mosque’s anti-hate crime meeting on Tuesday – as today marks one year since it was nearly blown up in an arson attack.

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A jerrycan full of petrol was launched into the mosque compound, but failed to set alight. The perpetrator has never been caught.

Speaking to the Gazette, Labour Party leader Mr Corbyn said: “We came together to support our mosque at a rally after the attack, and we will do the same again on Tuesday. I will be proud to be there.

“Finsbury Park Mosque is an important part of our community, and well done to the leader [Mohammed Kozbar] for always reaching out to that community.

“I remember when it happened – I was horrified when I heard. I phoned Mohammed immediately and the only good thing about this was that the device didn’t explode. If it had, the consequences would have been horrific.”

Tuesday’s public meeting at the mosque, in St Thomas’s Road, runs from 6.30pm until 8.30pm. See events.islington.gov.uk/events/islington-together-aganist-hate-crime-5301.aspx for more information.

islingtongazette.co.uk/news/crime-court/jeremy_corbyn_hails_finsbury_park_mosque_one_year_after_horrific_arson_attack_1_4793766

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North America

Newest Fort Carson general scored special operations successes against Islamic State

 

By Tom Roeder | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (Tribune News Service) | Published: November 27, 2016

The Pikes Peak region's newest general earned his stars planning the shadowy ground war effort to roll back the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

"He was the creative designer of almost every success we had in the first two years of the war against (the Islamic State)," said Gen. Raymond Thomas, boss of U.S. Special Operations Command, which includes Donahue's old unit.

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Thomas came to Colorado Springs for the ceremony and helped pin on Donahue's stars.

"It is a great celebration of the success of an officer," Thomas said.

A 1992 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in New York, Donahue began his career as an infantry officer and quickly became a leader in the 75th Ranger Regiment.

After an assignment at the Pentagon, Donahue spent years working for the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., where his assignments included leading one of the command's brigades.

Little was said at the ceremony about Donahue's special operations work, not surprising for a command where most missions are highly classified.

Donahue, a father of five, did talk about how much of his success is due to a supportive family. He also talked about how happy he is in the Colorado Springs job.

"Thank you for letting me be part of your ranks," he said.

The new general has a big job ahead. This winter, he'll take over the division's training element in Germany, where he'll help lead a series of training exercises involving U.S. and allied forces.

It's similar to a lot of the work carried out by special operations troops who specialize in training foreign militaries to fight alongside Americans.

"The difference is you don't hear about it," Donahue said after the ceremony. "This is about telling the story."

Fort Carson's commitment to European missions is ramping up, with the post's 3rd Brigade Combat Team leaving in January for a nine-month deployment that will see its troops serving in nations from Estonia to Bulgaria.

Donahue praised the work of Fort Carson leaders for getting 3rd Brigade ready for overseas service, calling the effort "awesome."

He also said he doesn't want his troops to sugarcoat things when they talk to their new general.

"Hold me accountable, and each time you see me, let me know how I'm doing," Donahue told the troops assembled to laud his promotion.

stripes.com/news/us/newest-fort-carson-general-scored-special-operations-successes-against-islamic-state-1.441398?

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Islamophobia In US: California Mosques Receive Letters Threatening Muslim Genocide

11/27/16

Vandal Writes Obscenity On Florida Mosque’s Street Signs

Several mosques in California received letters that threatened violence against Muslims and praised President-elect Donald Trump, prompting the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to call for added protection at Islamic worship places in the state.

The handwritten and photocopied letters were sent last week to the Islamic Center of Long Beach, the Islamic Center of Claremont and the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose. They were addressed to “the children of satan” and said Trump is “going to cleanse America,” CAIR said in a statement Saturday, citing the letter.

“There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims,” the letter, signed by “American for A Better Way,” said, adding: “And, he’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the jews (sic).”

“We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship,” Zahra Billoo, the executive director of CAIR in San Francisco Bay Area said in the statement. “Our state’s political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide.”

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR in Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times the “irresponsible, hateful rhetoric” of the Trump campaign sparked “a level of vulgarity, vile hatred and anger among many self-proclaimed Trump supporters.”

“I’m not saying [Trump] created racist people,” Ayloush told the Times. “He normalized it. While he might say he’s not responsible, and I respect that, I remind President-elect Trump that he has a responsibility to act as a president for all Americans.”

Police in San Jose have launched an investigation and are treating it as a “hate-motivated incident,” the Associated Press reported, citing San Jose Police Department spokesman Sgt. Enrique Garcia.

There have been over 700 reports of hate crimes against Muslims, African-Americans, Asians, immigrants, women and gays across the U.S. since Election Day, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.

Trump condemned the violence in an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and urged people to “stop it.

ibtimes.com/islamophobia-us-california-mosques-receive-letters-threatening-muslim-genocide-2451315?

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Stand up against registry for Muslims

November 27, 2016

I am a white, 67-year-old male, a lifetime resident of Indianapolis and therefore a citizen of the United States. I believe in our republic and love our Constitution. I am a proud liberal Democrat, but my prayer for our new president is that he does a great job.

I heard on several news shows that the new administration is considering a policy to register all Muslims in the United States. I am friends with several Muslims, and I swear they are kind, caring, peaceful, gentle spirits, just like my Christian, agnostic, atheistic, Hindu and other friends.

I beg my brothers and sisters who love our republic, who respect the words in the U.S. Constitution and who want our country to remain great: Do not let this happen. Stand against this unlawful, unethical and criminal effort to register Muslims or any other group.

America is better, much better, than this.

Dennis Southerland

Indianapolis

indystar.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/11/27/stand-registry-muslims/94502390/

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Southeast Asia

Zahid says responsibility falls on graduates to correct misconceptions about Islam, Malays

27 NOVEMBER 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: University graduates have a responsibility to help correct pervasive misconceptions about Islam and Malays, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Speaking at the National Graduate Leadership Conference (Pemanas) 4.0, Zahid said Umno has always been misunderstood as being "ultra-Malay" or "terrorists" for championing Malay and Muslim rights. "If this is the case, whose responsibility is it to correct it? It is ours… all of you in this hall, who must be on the frontlines. "We cannot expect other people to set the record straight," he told over 300 university students here, today. Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president, said while he is not forcing students to become Umno members, feels that they should open their eyes to issues faced by Malays and Muslims in the country. "When Malays and Muslims are being put in such a position, we must take the initiative and do something about it," he added.

nst.com.my/news/2016/11/192218/zahid-says-responsibility-falls-graduates-correct-misconceptions-about-islam?

 

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