New Age Islam
Wed Dec 02 2020, 04:53 AM

Islamic World News ( 13 Oct 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim Scholars Denounce Gülenist Terror Group, Its Clout in Eurasia




















Ms. Hasina said her government had a “zero tolerance to terror policy.” Photo: A B M Aktaruzzaman

 

Over 50 Missing Warplanes Found Buried In Central Turkey: Report

We Feel Frustrated With Pak., Says Bangladesh PM

Children Killed Quails in School Lesson on Islamic Slaughter in Malaysia

Muslim Scholars Denounce Gülenist Terror Group, Its Clout in Eurasia

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Europe

Muslim Scholars Denounce Gülenist Terror Group, Its Clout in Eurasia

UNESCO Denies Jewish Ties to Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque

Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe's Destiny

Decisive actions required to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan: Putin

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Arab World

Terrorists in Syria's Aleppo ‘Forcefully’ Enroll Teens

Bashar Assad: No Difference between Free Syrian Army, ISIL, Fatah Al-Sham Front

Iraqi Army Fully Liberates Haditha Region in Anbar Province

Syrian Army Engages in Tough Battle with Terrorist Groups

At Least 65,000 Iraqi Troops Preparing to Retake Mosul

UN: ISIL Military Losses Undermine Group’s Capacity for Terror Attacks

Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Syrian Air Force Raids in Southern Aleppo

Iran’s Senior Cleric Condemns Saudi Regime for Massacre of Civilians in Yemen

Syrian Customs Confiscate Terrorists' Vehicle Packed with RPG, Ammunition

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Mideast

Over 50 Missing Warplanes Found Buried In Central Turkey: Report

A Mistake in Mosul May Risk Iraq, Turkey Warns

Two rockets fired from mountainous area in Antalya, no casualties reported

Suspect in dorm kidnapping incident arrested in northern Turkey

Three soldiers killed in PKK attacks in Turkey’s southeast

Court releases four high-ranking soldiers in coup attempt probe

Turkish government welcomes MHP’s suggestions over system change

Turkey to bring in proposals at key Syria meeting in Lausanne

CHP head defends comments on post-coup attempt victims amid gov’t criticism

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South Asia

We Feel Frustrated With Pak., Says Bangladesh PM

Explosion In Kabul Leaves 1 Dead, 2 Others Wounded

50 rockets, 10 mortar rounds seized as militants planned attacks in Nimroz

Anticipating Pakistan’s Next Moves in Afghanistan

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Southeast Asia

Children Killed Quails in School Lesson on Islamic Slaughter in Malaysia

Indonesia’s ISIS Fight: How is a Jailed Bin Laden Ally Still Preaching?

Terrified residents flee northern Myanmar as crackdown widens

Indonesian Islamic Hardliners Protest Christian Governor

Malaysia a conducive funding conduit for regional power sector — RAM

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India

AIMPLB, Other Muslim Outfits Boycott Questionnaire on Civil Code

Muslim Outfits Could Oppose UCC Because of Secular India: Shiv Sena

Aligarh Muslim University students to hold agitation to restore minority status for varsity

Minhaj Ansari Succumbed To Custodial Torture, Reveals Post-Mortem Report

Last Surviving 26/11 Dog Caesar Dies, Buried With Full State Honour

Interference in Shariat not tolerable: United Muslim Forum

'Spy' pigeon's wings clipped to stop it flying back to Pakistan: Indian police

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Pakistan

Chaudhry Nisar Hints ‘Pak May Consider Selling Nuclear Knowledge’

Two Booked On Blasphemy Charge in Kasur

Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss plans for joint military training

No back-door diplomacy with India: Pakistan

LoC violations indicate Indian nervousness: FO

Private school notification riles many

Three FC personnel gunned down in Quetta

Pak-India tensions seen dominating Indian BRICS summit

CJP says country being run like monocracy

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Africa

Kenya Sets Up Body to Manage Push into Islamic Finance

4 Killed as Convoy Ambushed in Central Mali, Army Says

Nigeria: Iran Seeks To Replace Boko Haram

Kaduna Governor demands arrest of attackers of Shia in Nigeria

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North America

Appetite for Halal Food to Reach $1.9 Trillion By 2021

Clinton says Muslims have been in America since George Washington

Expert on Islam speaks at Neenah High School

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-scholars-denounce-gülenist-terror-group,-its-clout-in-eurasia/d/108858

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Muslim Scholars Denounce Gülenist Terror Group, Its Clout in Eurasia

October 14, 2016

Muslim scholars from European and Asian countries, convened in Istanbul for an international meeting, condemned the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which was behind the July 15 coup attempt, and its schemes to deceive Muslims. They also highlighted the need to counter the cult's influence in Eurasian countries.

Istanbul is host to the ninth meeting of the Eurasian Islamic Council, which brings together renowned scholars and faith leaders from Asia and Europe for the four-day event with the theme of "Islam in Eurasia, Unity and Solidarity Against Religious Exploitation and a Perspective for the Future." Naturally, FETÖ, which portrayed itself as a religious group before its plot to take over the state was revealed, is a focal point of the event.

Speaking at yesterday's sessions, scholars from Tatarstan, Kosovo, Greece and North Ossetia emphasized the danger the terror cult posed for Muslims. Kamil Samigullin, mufti of Tatarstan's Muslims, said FETÖ was among the terrorist groups exploiting Islam. "We consider them enemies of Muslims. In almost every century, we see such false religious groups emerge. They harm the essence of Islam and in this age of globalization, they grow rapidly. We need to talk about how to stop them. You can counter an ideology with another ideology. We see FETÖ has nothing to do with Islam but we have to put it into action and show it," he said. Samigullin said five members of the terror cult had been discovered on duty at religious schools in Tatarstan and been dismissed, citing that one of them was "a leader for FETÖ in Russia."

Ahmet Mete, mufti of Xanthi (İskeçe) in the Western Thrace region of Greece, where a Muslim population is concentrated, spoke about FETÖ's relations with Greece. He said the FETÖ presence complicated Muslims' affairs with Athens. "It is a group conspiring to acquire power with fraud, with sinister acts and employing religion to advance their own interests. They do everything they are capable of to dispose of genuine defenders of Islam," he said. Mete stated that FETÖ cooperated with the Greek state to defame them and help Greece justify seizing control of Muslim foundations.

Naim Ternava, head of the Kosovo Islamic Community, said Muslims in the Balkan country were not aware before July 15 that FETÖ would be such a danger, and attempt to seize power in Turkey. He noted that the terror cult first made its foray into Kosovo by setting up a school after the war ended in 1999, and acquired clout by attracting academics, politicians, business people and intellectuals to the cult. He said Muslim scholars rejected cooperation with the terror group but it still enjoys support from some political parties in the country.

Hajimurad Gatsalov, head of the North Ossetia Muslims Board said Muslim civilization faced a growing divide and they should focus on efforts to prevent this divide. "FETÖ and similar groups are very dangerous not because of the power they obtained but because they exploit the weaknesses of Muslims. We should be united to counter their threat," he said.

Through the council meeting, Turkish officials aim to convey Ankara's call to participating countries to sever any ties and cooperation with the terror cult. FETÖ boasts a massive presence in Eurasia, from the ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia to Balkan countries with large Muslim populations. It employs its schools and companies, exploiting the hunger for religious education, and manipulates the close Turkish ties of the Muslims in those countries.

Source: dailysabah.com/nation/2016/10/14/muslim-scholars-denounce-feto-its-clout-in-eurasia

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Terrorists in Syria's Aleppo ‘Forcefully’ Enroll Teens

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia’s General Staff said on Friday that terrorists in Syrian flashpoint city of Aleppo are ‘forcefully’ enrolling 14-year-old conscripts amid a lack of reinforcements in the city’s East.

During a press briefing, the chief of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, Sergey Rudskoy, said that terrorists in the war-ravaged city have started a new wave of mobilization, which includes teenagers, RT reported.

“The leaders of militant groups continue to hide behind inexperienced fighters launching a new wave of mobilization in Eastern Aleppo and enroll teenagers at the age of 14 years,” Rudskoy said.

He added that fighters from the UN-designated terrorist group Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) forcefully enrolled around 1,000 people. The youngsters are being used to try and break the blockade of Eastern Aleppo, staged by Syrian government forces, according to the official.

"The terrorists tried to break up the blockade seeking cover behind those inexperienced fighters. The youngsters mobilized against their will refuse to complete their tasks and desert en-masse, having become subject to reprisals. These actions have caused protests from parents and relatives of the enrolled teenagers."

However, according to Rudskoy any such sign of discontent has faced a brutal response from terrorists. Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city is now divided into an Eastern part, held by militants and terrorists, and the government-controlled areas.

Earlier in October, the UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, warned that Eastern Aleppo is on the verge of destruction and urged Fatah al-Sham Front to leave the city “in dignity.” De Mistura agreed to personally accompany terrorists willing to exit Aleppo. Russia backed the move taking it as a part of its UN Security Council resolution last week.

Nevertheless, Rudskoy says that any militant still willing to leave Aleppo while laying down their arms can still do so via a special corridor established in July by the Syrian army and the Russian Reconciliation Center.

"The Syrian government guarantees safety to the armed people who decide to withdraw from Eastern Aleppo with personal weapons into other areas of the country of their choice,” he said. Yet according to the General, militants are opting to attack civilians and booby trap corridors on the side of Eastern Aleppo.

"Terrorists block the human aid delivery for the civilian population. Humanitarian corridors are booby trapped,” Rudskoy said.

On Thursday the government-controlled area in Aleppo was hit by rebel mortar shells. At least seven children fell under fire, and five of them were killed.

Rudksoy also noted that militants in East Aleppo are using civilians as “human shields,” to prevent their own casualties.

“To reduce losses commanders of the armed groups locate their command posts, warehouses and other facilities on the first floors of residential buildings. However, their residents continue to be held captive by militants inside the buildings, acting as ‘human shields.’

“These egregious facts remain without attention from western countries. They neither want to notice any crimes by the militants nor respond to them,” Rudskoy said.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000430

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Over 50 missing warplanes found buried in central Turkey: Report

October 14, 2016

Fifty of 72 warplanes that went missing 70 years ago have reportedly been found buried under the former airport of the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

The FW-190A3 warplanes reportedly buried at the behest of the United States, daily Sabah reported Oct. 14. According to the daily, the planes disappeared in 1947 when the U.S. decided to send aid to Turkey and were deleted from the inventory in line with the aid plan.

Official efforts to find the missing 72 warplanes started in 2015 and tests were conducted with metal detectors. The machines determined the whereabouts of the warplanes, but bureaucracy hindered officials from unearthing the planes.

In addition to the bureaucracy, the failed July 15 failed coup, believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, obstructed officials’ efforts.

The daily also said the planes carried special significance in terms of local production. Cooperation between Turkey and Germany continued after World War I and paved the way for production cooperation with German aircraft manufacturer Junkers. Afterward, Turkey’s first plane factory was founded, producing A-20 model planes.

To continue mutual production, a trade deal was signed between Turkey and Nazi Germany in 1941 following the efforts of former Chancellor Franz von Papen. Turkey sold iron and chrome ore to Germany and, in exchange, acquired 72 FW-190A3 warplanes.

The planes, whose pieces were produced in Anatolia, were brought to Turkey in 1943. The planes made their first flight on July 10, 1943, and were distributed to five provinces. A total of 50 of the planes were sent to Kayseri before disappearing in 1947. 

According to newly surfaced documents, the U.S. wanted Turkey to destroy all German FW-190A3 warplanes in order to sell its planes that had remained unsold after World War II. As a result of lengthy talks with Ankara, the planes were never seen again.

Uluhan Hasdal, who has been investigating the issue for nearly 25 years, said the U.S. offered to give Turkey the planes without charge on the condition that Turkey destroyed the German planes. 

“The U.S. wanted to give its planes without charge. However, they had only one condition; the destruction of the German planes. Nearly 50 warplanes were brought to Kayseri Airport and were left outside the inventory. According to the documents, the planes were buried while wrapped in oily canvases,” he said.

“[German authorities] told me that the planes were resistant to corrosion and could fly if they are unearthed,” he said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/over-50-missing-warplanes-found-buried-in-central-turkey-report-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104962&NewsCatID=341

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We Feel Frustrated With Pak., Says Bangladesh PM

October 14th, 2016

Bangladesh feels “frustrated” with Pakistan over its export of terror, but Dhaka’s reasons for pulling out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad were “different from India’s,” says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, attempting to draw a distinction between supporting India on terrorism after the Uri attacks and supporting the subsequent cross-LoC strikes.

“It was over the situation in Pakistan that we decided to pull out. Terror [from Pakistan] has gone everywhere, which is why many of us felt frustrated by Pakistan. India pulled out because of the [Uri attack], but for Bangladesh the reason is totally different,” Ms Hasina said.

Visit to India

She was speaking to The Hindu in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview at her official ‘Ganabhaban’ residence in Dhaka ahead of her visit to India to attend the BRICS- BIMSTEC outreach, involving nations surrounding the Bay of Bengal in Goa, on October 15 and 16.

Ms. Hasina said one of the other main reasons for her government’s SAARC pullout was the hurt felt over Pakistan’s strident criticism of the war crimes tribunal process in Bangladesh in which a dozen Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, accused of brutalities during the liberation war in 1971, have been hanged or indicted.

“There is a lot of pressure on me to cut off all diplomatic ties with Pakistan for their behaviour. But I have said the relations will remain, and we will have to resolve our problems. The fact is, we won our liberation war from Pakistan, and they were a defeated force,” Ms. Hasina said, adding that she appreciated India’s support during the war and later.

When asked about India’s decision to launch cross-LoC strikes after the Uri terrorist attack, in which 19 soldiers were killed, however, Ms. Hasina said, “Both the countries should maintain the sanctity of the LoC and that can bring peace.”

Ties with China

Ms. Hasina also spoke at length about the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping — terming closer ties with China a way of increasing regional prosperity — while defending her government against allegations of persecution of the opposition and a clampdown on the media, and human rights violations by security forces in the crackdown on terror.

Speaking for the first time about the terrorist attack at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan café, where gunmen professing allegiance to Islamic State killed 20 people, hacking and torturing many of the victims, Ms. Hasina said her government had a “zero tolerance to terror policy.” She also outlined a counter-terror programme involving civil society, media and mosques to spread awareness and report information on terror groups, which, she said, was bearing results.

Custodial deaths

When asked about human rights reports on custodial deaths, disappearances and “knee-capping” of terror suspects, Ms. Hasina said, like in the US and other western countries facing attacks, Bangladeshi security forces were well within their rights to crack down on terror groups. “It is very unfortunate that Human Rights agencies are more vocal for the rights of the criminals than they are for the rights of the victims,'' Ms. Hasina said, rejecting the charges.

On Friday, Mr. Xi's visit is expected to see China announcing investment in infrastructure and Bangladesh offering trade incentives, including dedicated SEZs in the country. When asked if India’s concerns about China’s close ties with its neighbours like Bangladesh, which is already a key part of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, Ms. Hasina said that Indian manufacturers are “best poised to benefit” from better Bangladesh-China ties that would lead to more economic prosperity.

Ms. Hasina also spoke at length about Bangladesh’s elections in 2014, which was boycotted by the opposition parties, and blamed the BNP leader Khaleda Zia for the ongoing political impasse. “She has ordered her party workers to protest, to carry out acts of violence. As a human being, what else can I do? It’s her fault, her decision to stay out of elections and I hope she doesn’t make the same mistake next time. But I wont allow democracy to be jeopardized by her misdeeds,” Ms. Hasina said of her rival of decades, whose husband, General Zia Ur Rahman seized power after the brutal assassination of Hasina’s father and Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

When asked if her political rivalries were clouding her war on terror as well as setting off a clampdown of the media, with senior editors being arrested or facing charges, Ms. Hasina insisted all the cases against the BNP and Jamaat, as well as journalists were valid and “they must face the law. “Let me ask, if there is no freedom of the press in Bangladesh, how come they have the freedom to write that there is no freedom?” she added.

Source: thehindu.com/news/international/we-are-frustrated-with-pakistan-bangladesh-prime-minister-sheikh-hasina/article9216531.ece

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Children Killed Quails in School Lesson on Islamic Slaughter in Malaysia

Friday October 14, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 ― Twelve-year-old Muslim pupils at a primary school in Batu Caves were taught to kill about 70 quails in a lesson on the Islamic method of animal slaughter, a report said.

News portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that the mock animal sacrificial ritual was approved by the Parent-Teacher Association and it was carried out at the school compound yesterday, supervised by an Islamic studies teacher.

“What was the school management trying to prove, by getting a bunch of 12-year-old children to slaughter live animals?” a concerned parent, whose son was purportedly traumatised after seeing the slaughter of the birds, told FMT.

“I want to know what the school was trying to achieve by having the gruesome event in the school. Were guidelines followed to ensure the slaughtering exercise was hygienic or even Halal?” he asked.

FMT reported that the school lesson for Standard Six pupils was part of an annual exercise to  “educate students on the proper way of slaughtering animals” according to Islam.

Another school in the same vicinity had reportedly carried out a similar exercise last year with quails and chickens.

Source: themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/report-children-killed-quails-in-school-lesson-on-islamic-slaughter1

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Europe

 

Muslim Scholars Denounce Gülenist Terror Group, Its Clout in Eurasia

October 14, 2016

Muslim scholars from European and Asian countries, convened in Istanbul for an international meeting, condemned the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which was behind the July 15 coup attempt, and its schemes to deceive Muslims. They also highlighted the need to counter the cult's influence in Eurasian countries.

Istanbul is host to the ninth meeting of the Eurasian Islamic Council, which brings together renowned scholars and faith leaders from Asia and Europe for the four-day event with the theme of "Islam in Eurasia, Unity and Solidarity Against Religious Exploitation and a Perspective for the Future." Naturally, FETÖ, which portrayed itself as a religious group before its plot to take over the state was revealed, is a focal point of the event.

Speaking at yesterday's sessions, scholars from Tatarstan, Kosovo, Greece and North Ossetia emphasized the danger the terror cult posed for Muslims. Kamil Samigullin, mufti of Tatarstan's Muslims, said FETÖ was among the terrorist groups exploiting Islam. "We consider them enemies of Muslims. In almost every century, we see such false religious groups emerge. They harm the essence of Islam and in this age of globalization, they grow rapidly. We need to talk about how to stop them. You can counter an ideology with another ideology. We see FETÖ has nothing to do with Islam but we have to put it into action and show it," he said. Samigullin said five members of the terror cult had been discovered on duty at religious schools in Tatarstan and been dismissed, citing that one of them was "a leader for FETÖ in Russia."

Ahmet Mete, mufti of Xanthi (İskeçe) in the Western Thrace region of Greece, where a Muslim population is concentrated, spoke about FETÖ's relations with Greece. He said the FETÖ presence complicated Muslims' affairs with Athens. "It is a group conspiring to acquire power with fraud, with sinister acts and employing religion to advance their own interests. They do everything they are capable of to dispose of genuine defenders of Islam," he said. Mete stated that FETÖ cooperated with the Greek state to defame them and help Greece justify seizing control of Muslim foundations.

Naim Ternava, head of the Kosovo Islamic Community, said Muslims in the Balkan country were not aware before July 15 that FETÖ would be such a danger, and attempt to seize power in Turkey. He noted that the terror cult first made its foray into Kosovo by setting up a school after the war ended in 1999, and acquired clout by attracting academics, politicians, business people and intellectuals to the cult. He said Muslim scholars rejected cooperation with the terror group but it still enjoys support from some political parties in the country.

Hajimurad Gatsalov, head of the North Ossetia Muslims Board said Muslim civilization faced a growing divide and they should focus on efforts to prevent this divide. "FETÖ and similar groups are very dangerous not because of the power they obtained but because they exploit the weaknesses of Muslims. We should be united to counter their threat," he said.

Through the council meeting, Turkish officials aim to convey Ankara's call to participating countries to sever any ties and cooperation with the terror cult. FETÖ boasts a massive presence in Eurasia, from the ex-Soviet republics in Central Asia to Balkan countries with large Muslim populations. It employs its schools and companies, exploiting the hunger for religious education, and manipulates the close Turkish ties of the Muslims in those countries.

Source: dailysabah.com/nation/2016/10/14/muslim-scholars-denounce-feto-its-clout-in-eurasia

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UNESCO Denies Jewish Ties to Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- United Nations UNESCO body passed a resolution put forth by the Palestinians denying all connection between Jews, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

There were 26 countries who abstained from the vote, including Serbia and Turkmenistan, while 24 countries supported the initiative and six voted against it. It should be noted that not a single European nation voted for the initiative, Al Manar reported.

The countries of France, Sweden, Slovenia, India, Argentina, and Togo at first were going to vote for the resolution saying that Jews have no connection to Jerusalem, but were convinced to abstain from voting in the end.

The US, UK, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Estonia, and Germany voted against the Palestinian-backed resolution.

In reaction to the resolution, Israel suspended its cooperation with UNESCO on Friday.

In a letter sent to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett accused the body of ignoring "thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem", Middle East Eye reported.

"I have notified the Israel National Commission for UNESCO to suspend all professional activities with the international organization," he said.

The resolutions refer to "Occupied Palestine" and aim to "safeguard the Palestinian cultural heritage and the distinctive character of Eastern Jerusalem".

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000313

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Islamist Violence Will Steer Europe's Destiny

Thursday, 13 Oct 2016

Visits to predominantly Muslim suburbs, emerging outside nearly all northern European cities, one question keeps recurring: Why have some of the richest, most educated, most secular, most placid, and most homogeneous countries in the world willingly opened their doors to virtually any migrant from the poorest, least modern, most religious, and least stable countries?

Other questions follow. Why have mostly Christian countries decided to take in mostly Muslim immigrants? Why do so many establishment politicians, most notably Germany's Angela Merkel, ignore and revile those who increasing worry that this immigration is permanently changing the face of Europe?

Why does it fall to the weaker Visegrád states of eastern Europe to articulate a patriotic rejection of this phenomenon? Where will the immigration lead to?

There's no single answer that applies to multiple countries. But of the many factors (such as secularization) behind this historically unprecedented acceptance of alien peoples, one stands out as most critical — a west European sense of guilt.

To many educated western Europeans, their civilization is less about scientific advances, unprecedented levels of prosperity, and the achievement of unique human freedoms, and more about colonialism, racism, and fascism.

The brutal French conquest of Algeria, the uniquely evil German genocide against the Jews, and the legacy of extreme nationalism cause many Europeans, in the analysis of Pascal Bruckner, a French intellectual, to see themselves as "the sick man of the planet," responsible for every global problem from poverty to environmental rapacity; "the white man has sown grief and ruin wherever he has gone."

Affluence implies robbery, light skin manifests sinfulness.

Bruckner labels this the "tyranny of guilt" and I encountered some colorful expressions during my recent travels of such self-hatred. A French Catholic priest expressed remorse over the record of the Church.

A conservative German intellectual preferred Syrians and Iraqis to his fellow Germans. A Swedish tour guide put down fellow Swedes and hoped he would not be perceived as one.

Indeed, many Europeans feel their guilt makes them superior; the more they dislike themselves, the more they preen — inspiring a strange mix of self-loathing and moral superiority that, among other consequence, leaves them reluctant to commit the time and money required to bear children. "Europe is losing faith in itself, and birth rates have collapsed," notes Irish scientist William Reville.

The catastrophic dearth of births underway has created an existential demographic crisis.

With women of the European Union bearing just 1.58 children as of 2014, the continent lacks the offspring to replace itself. Over time, this far-less-than-replacement rate means a precipitous decline in the numbers of ethnic Portuguese, Greeks, and others.

To maintain the welfare state and the pension machine requires importing foreigners.

These two drives — expiating guilt and replacing nonexistent children — then combine to encourage a massive influx of non-Western peoples, what the French writer Renaud Camus calls "the great replacement." South Asians in the United Kingdom, North Africans in France, and Turks in Germany, plus Somalis, Palestinians, Kurds, and Afghans all over, can claim innocence of Europe's historic sins even as they offer the prospect of staffing the economy. As the American writer Mark Steyn puts it, "Islam is now the principal supplier of new Europeans."

The Establishment, or what I call the six P's (politicians, police, prosecutors, the press, professors, and priests), generally insists that everything will turn out fine: Kurds will become productive workers, Somalis fine citizens, and Islamist problems will melt away.

That's the theory and sometimes it works.

Far too often, however, Muslim immigrants remain aloof from the culture of their new European home or reject it, as most clearly manifested by gender relations; some violently attack non-Muslims. Far too often too, they lack the skills or incentive to work hard and end up an economic liability.

The influx of non-integrating Muslim peoples raises the profound question whether Europe's civilization of the past millennium can survive. Will England become "Londonistan" and France an Islamic republic?

The establishment castigates, dismisses, sidelines, ostracizes, suppresses, and even arrests those who raise such issues — demeaning them as right-wing extremists, racists, and neo-fascists.

Nonetheless, the prospect of Islamization prompts a growing number of Europeans to fight on behalf of their traditional way of life. Leaders include intellectuals such as the late Oriana Fallaci and novelist Michel Houellebecq; politicians such as Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, and Geert Wilders, head of the most popular Dutch party.

Anti-immigration political parties typically win about 20 percent of the vote. And while a consensus has emerged that their appeal will stay about there, perhaps reaching 30 percent, they could well continue to grow.

Opinion polls show that very substantial majorities fear Islam and want to stop and even reverse the effects of immigration, especially that of Muslims. In this light, Norbert Hofer recently winning 50 percent of the vote in Austria represents a potentially major breakthrough.

The greatest question facing Europe is who, establishment or populace, will steer the continent's future. The extent of Islamist political violence will likely decide this: a drumbeat of high-profile mass-murders (such as in France since January 2015) tilts the field toward the people; its absence allows the establishment to remain in charge.

Ironically, then, the actions of migrants will largely shape Europe's destiny.

Source: newsmax.com/DanielPipes/algeria-angela-merkel/2016/10/13/id/753254/

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Decisive actions required to defeat terrorism in Afghanistan: Putin

Fri Oct 14 2016

The Russian President Vladimir Putin has said decisive actions are required to defeat, extremism, and drug trafficking in Afghanistan as he expressed concerns regarding the deteriorating situation of the country.

In an interview with the State Sputnik news, Putin said “The situation on the territory between India and Russia remains tense. In particular, the developments in Afghanistan still raise concern. Decisive actions are required to help that country in dealing with such challenges and threats as terrorism, extremism, and illicit drug trafficking.”

Putin further added that Moscow and New Delhi shared the need for supporting “national reconciliation efforts” under the international law and were interested in deepening constructive multilateral cooperation to support Afghanistan in solving the issues of national security, building counter-narcotics capacity, ensuring social and economic development, and enhancing interconnectivity.

“In more general terms, our country is willing to develop such formats of interaction in the above-mentioned region that would allow responding swiftly to emerging security challenges, jointly seeking for ways to address potential threats,” Putin added.

Concerns in Moscow are on the rise as the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates wit the rampant Taliban-led insurgency besides the other international terrorist groups are attempting to gain and expand foothold in the country, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group.

The officials believe the loyalists of ISIS terrorist group are having broader plans to infiltrate into the Central Asian countries once they expand presence in Afghanistan.

Source: khaama.com/decisive-actions-required-to-defeat-terrorism-in-afghanistan-putin-02074

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Arab World

Terrorists in Syria's Aleppo ‘Forcefully’ Enroll Teens

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia’s General Staff said on Friday that terrorists in Syrian flashpoint city of Aleppo are ‘forcefully’ enrolling 14-year-old conscripts amid a lack of reinforcements in the city’s East.

During a press briefing, the chief of the main operations department of Russia’s General Staff, Sergey Rudskoy, said that terrorists in the war-ravaged city have started a new wave of mobilization, which includes teenagers, RT reported.

“The leaders of militant groups continue to hide behind inexperienced fighters launching a new wave of mobilization in Eastern Aleppo and enroll teenagers at the age of 14 years,” Rudskoy said.

He added that fighters from the UN-designated terrorist group Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) forcefully enrolled around 1,000 people. The youngsters are being used to try and break the blockade of Eastern Aleppo, staged by Syrian government forces, according to the official.

"The terrorists tried to break up the blockade seeking cover behind those inexperienced fighters. The youngsters mobilized against their will refuse to complete their tasks and desert en-masse, having become subject to reprisals. These actions have caused protests from parents and relatives of the enrolled teenagers."

However, according to Rudskoy any such sign of discontent has faced a brutal response from terrorists. Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city is now divided into an Eastern part, held by militants and terrorists, and the government-controlled areas.

Earlier in October, the UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, warned that Eastern Aleppo is on the verge of destruction and urged Fatah al-Sham Front to leave the city “in dignity.” De Mistura agreed to personally accompany terrorists willing to exit Aleppo. Russia backed the move taking it as a part of its UN Security Council resolution last week.

Nevertheless, Rudskoy says that any militant still willing to leave Aleppo while laying down their arms can still do so via a special corridor established in July by the Syrian army and the Russian Reconciliation Center.

"The Syrian government guarantees safety to the armed people who decide to withdraw from Eastern Aleppo with personal weapons into other areas of the country of their choice,” he said. Yet according to the General, militants are opting to attack civilians and booby trap corridors on the side of Eastern Aleppo.

"Terrorists block the human aid delivery for the civilian population. Humanitarian corridors are booby trapped,” Rudskoy said.

On Thursday the government-controlled area in Aleppo was hit by rebel mortar shells. At least seven children fell under fire, and five of them were killed.

Rudksoy also noted that militants in East Aleppo are using civilians as “human shields,” to prevent their own casualties.

“To reduce losses commanders of the armed groups locate their command posts, warehouses and other facilities on the first floors of residential buildings. However, their residents continue to be held captive by militants inside the buildings, acting as ‘human shields.’

“These egregious facts remain without attention from western countries. They neither want to notice any crimes by the militants nor respond to them,” Rudskoy said.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000430

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No Difference between Free Syrian Army, ISIL, Fatah Al-Sham Front

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar Assad said there is no difference between the ISIL and Fatah al-Sham Front (also known as al-Nusra Front) terrorist groups and the Free Syrian Army.

"When terrorists came to Syria, if we talk about the start of the problem, nobody was talking about al-Nusra or ISIL back then. They were simply called the Free Syrian Army, an allegedly social force fighting against the government and the army. But in reality…already back then we can see the beheading of people starting from the first weeks. This means it was a radical movement from the start," Bashar Assad noted, Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

ISIL and the Fatah al-Sham Front groups are considered terrorist organizations by several international mechanisms and by numerous countries, However, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) group is considered by west as so-called "moderate" opposition. At the beginning of the conflict in Syria the group united nearly all armed groups. The FSA then split into several groups and shrank to some 60 units, which are allied to Fatah al-Sham Front, according to Syrian intelligence.

"When the Free Syrian Army group started to grow and it became impossible to hide the crimes of beheadings, the West was forced to accept the existence of al-Nusra. But it is actually the Free Syrian Army. It is ISIL. They have the same roots and move from one area to another," Assad said.

Komsomolskaya Pravda on Thursday had published some excerpts from its exclusive interview with the Syrian president and full version of the interview appeared in the Russian daily on Friday.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000207

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Iraqi Army Fully Liberates Haditha Region in Anbar Province

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi army and popular forces retook control of Haditha region in Anbar province.

"The Army units could fully liberate the Haditha region in Anbar province from ISIL's hands," Iraqi Army's 7th Brigade Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Kalib was quoted by Arabic-language media as saying on Thursday.

According to him, the operations to regain control of Haditha region and the surrounding areas were carried out without any resistance from the side of the ISIL terrorists as they all fled the region.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi army retook control of Heet Island in the Western parts of Ramadi, the capital city of al-Anbar province.

On Monday, the Iraqi army and volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) won two strategic districts in the city of Heet in Anbar province.

"The Savib and al-Amireh districts of Heet city are now under the full control of the Iraqi forces, although there are numerous mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in all their buildings and main roads," Iraqi Army Commander Colonel Fazel al-Heeti said.

On Sunday, Iraqi security forces freed five villages from the ISIL militants in Anbar province, killing at least 22 militants.

The Iraqi Army and Its allied popular forces carried out an operation to flash out the terrorists from villages and rural areas along the Euphrates River North of town of Heet, some 160 km West of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial security source said.

The troops backed by Iraqi aircraft managed to free the villages of Sarrajiyah, J'iel, al-Aliya, Saffagiyah and Mahboubiyah after sporadic clashes with ISIL militants who fled the scene, the source said.

A total of 22 ISIL militants were killed in the clashes and several vehicles of the terrorist group were destroyed, including two carrying heavy machine guns, while two soldiers were killed and six others wounded, the source added.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000184

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Syrian Army Engages in Tough Battle with Terrorist Groups

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army backed by the country's air force are engaged in fierce clashes with terrorists in the Northeastern parts of Aleppo province.

Tough battle is now underway between the government forces and the terrorists in Mislon, Qastr al-Harami and Agyour in Northeastern Aleppo, a local source said.

The source noted that the Syrian fighter jets also heavily bombarded the terrorists' positions in Northeastern Aleppo.

"Terrorists have sustained a large number of casualties and the bodies of the dead terrorists are scattered on the ground in the battlefield," he added.

On Thursday, the Syrian army's 102nd Brigade from the Republican Guard, backed by Liwaa al-Quds (Palestinian forces), retook full control of the strategic hills of Talat al-Bureij and Jabal al-Zafit in Northeastern Aleppo.

The 102nd Brigade and Liwaa al-Quds began their operations on Thursday morning by targeting Talat al-Bureij and Jabal al-Zafit from their positions at the nearby quarries which resulted in a fierce battle with the Harakat Nouriddeen al-Zinki, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and several other terrorist groups.

During the operations, the Syrian armed forces strengthened their positions near the Majbal and Manasher districts that gave them fire control over several buildings controlled by the militants.

According to a field source, the Syrian armed forces could also build a larger buffer-zone around the strategic Sheikh Najjar Industrial District, which is currently being rebuilt by the Syrian government.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000236

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At Least 65,000 Iraqi Troops Preparing to Retake Mosul

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi media reported that at least 65,000 Iraqi soldiers in six divisions are preparing for the battle to retake the city of Mosul from the ISIL militants which has been under ISIL terror group occupation for the past two years.

Some 10,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are also expected to join the battles in North and East of the city of over a million, plus around 24,000 provincial police and members of the country's National Mobilization Forces as support, Iraqi News reported.

The fight to retake the city from the estimated 3,000-5,000 ISIL fighters still holding and it is expected to start in weeks or days.

In the run-up to the battle, it is reported that the city is being ringed with bombs, with bridges booby-trapped and ISIL's suicide bombers prepared to deploy.

The new numbers came as Nineveh Deputy Governor had earlier said that more than 50,000 Iraqi government fighters are on standby to start the military operation to liberate Nineveh province North of Iraq.

"More than 50,000 fighters from various regular factions including the police, the army, the joint forces in addition to the Golden Division, also known as the Special Republican Guard have united to liberate Nineveh province from the ISIL occupation" Hasan Allaf said, Ria Novosti reported.

He added that the General Command of the Armed forces has decided not to engage irregular forces from the tribesmen and Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the battle to free Nineveh. The deputy governor noted that all preparations to begin the military operation have been concluded and the fighters are waiting to launch their offensive.

Multiple sources say Kurdish forces expect ISIL to use chemical weapons.

According to some reports the battle for Mosul will be directed from Camp Swift, a military base near the Qayyara airfield outside the city, there are estimated to be 6,000 US troops in the country, conducting air strikes alongside the Iraqi Air Force, and providing training, logistical, and maintenance support during the upcoming battle.

Some 800,000 people are expected to be displaced by the battle. Iraqi News reported that only 76,000 of the 300,000 tents expected to be in place for Mosul families fleeing the battle have so far been set up.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000290

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UN: ISIL Military Losses Undermine Group’s Capacity for Terror Attacks

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- United Nations Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs said ISIL has experienced military losses that curtail the terrorist group ability to carry out terror attacks.

"ISIL and its affiliates have continued to experience significant military setbacks which have undermined the terror group’ ability to hold territory, generate assets and maintain ‘governmental structures,’" the UN Undersecretary-General, Jeffrey Feltman told the Security Council as he was presenting his third official report on ISIL, RIA Novosti reported.

Previous ISIL military gains have been undercut by the anti-terrorism efforts of several countries, Feltman told the Council.

He, however, warned that those losses have prompted numerous ISIL fighters to return home to Europe and North Africa, adding to global security challenges.

The ISIL is considered as a terror group by several countries and several international bodies.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000232

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Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Syrian Air Force Raids in Southern Aleppo

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian air force pounded the terrorist groups' military positions in the Southern part of Aleppo province, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

The Syrian fighter jets hit hard the military bases of Jeish al-Turkistani and other terrorist groups in Khan Touman and al-Eikarda in Southern Aleppo province.

Meantime, clashes are underway in Housing Project 1070 as terrorists' positions and gathering centers in Tishrin and al-Rawad areas in al-Hamdaniyeh region came under the Syrian army's rocket attacks.

On Thursday, the Syrian fighter jets launched airstrikes on the militants' gathering centers in different regions of Aleppo, killing and wounding tens of terrorists.

The Syrian air force destroyed several vehicles, armored vehicles and positions of the terrorist organizations, and killed a large number of their members in Khan Touman, al-Zirbeh, al-Barqoum, Abu Shalim, Maarata, Kafr Naha and al-Rashideen in Aleppo province, according to a military source.

The source added that the army units also smashed fortified positions, gatherings and vehicles of the terrorists affiliated to Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the neighborhoods of al-Rashideen 4 and al-Rashideen 5 in the Western parts of Aleppo city.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000214

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Iran’s Senior Cleric Condemns Saudi Regime for Massacre of Civilians in Yemen

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran's provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ahmad Khatami condemned the Saudi regime for its continued slaughtering of the civilians in Yemen.

Addressing a large and fervent congregation of the people on Tehran University campus on Friday, Ayatollah Khatami said, "The most recent Saudi crime in Yemen was horrendous; the Saudi fighter jets pounded a hall where a funeral ceremony was being held in four airstrikes with 800-kilogram bombs and killed over 400 civilians."

He reiterated that the US is helping the Riyadh government in its aggression against Yemen, and said, "The US drones are helping the Saudi regime round-the-clock."

He wished that the world of Islam would soon see the collapse of the Saudi regime.

In relevant remarks in June, former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian renewed Tehran's stance on the need to find a political solution to the crisis in Yemen.

"The crisis in Yemen has no military solution and the Yemeni people themselves should decide their future," Amir Abdollahian in a meeting with Japanese Foreign Ministry’s director general for the Middle East affairs in Tehran.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister reiterated that the regional conflicts, specially the crises in Syria and Yemen, do not have military solutions, and said, "The only option is to consolidate peace and stability in those two countries and the region through adopting a rational stance."

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

Over 11,300 Yemenis, including women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.

Yemenis, in return, have been carrying out retaliatory attacks on the pro-Saudi forces deployed in the country as well as targets inside Saudi Arabia.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000457

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Syrian Customs Confiscate Terrorists' Vehicle Packed with RPG, Ammunition

October 14, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian custom officers confiscated a vehicle packed with weapons and ammunition in Lattakia province.

A vehicle full of different types of rocket-propelled grenades and explosives was seized by the custom officers along a road from Lattakia to Hama province.

The customs department and the army declined to provide any further details.

On Thursday, the Syrian air force started a new round of attacks on the terrorist groups' supply routes in the Northern parts of Lattakia, inflicting major casualties on the militants.

Terrorist groups' positions in Heights 1154 and 1112, Kabani, Zahar and Kafr Sando came under the large-scale attacks of the Syrian warplanes.

"The air force targeted the militants' vehicles and military vehicles, equipped with machineguns, in Heights 1154 and 1112, Kabani, Zahar and Kafr Sando, killing all inside them," military sources said.

Media sources disclosed on Tuesday that the terrorist groups were collecting a large number of fresh fighters in mountainous regions in Northeastern Lattakia to carry out a large-scale offensive in the next few days.

"Terrorist groups try to open new front in government-held regions in Lattakia. In the meantime, militants are planning to launch heavy shelling on government positions in coastal cities and towns of Lattakia province with the Grad missiles they have received from their regional backers," the sources said.

"The terrorists have targeted army positions in Jabal Abu Ali, Jabal Qamou'a and Shillif forts with Grad missiles and mortars," they added.

Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) and al-Turkistani groups have deployed forces in Northern and Northeastern Lattakia and are receiving arms and ammunition from Turkish territories.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950723000256

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Mideast

Over 50 missing warplanes found buried in central Turkey: Report

October 14, 2016

Fifty of 72 warplanes that went missing 70 years ago have reportedly been found buried under the former airport of the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

The FW-190A3 warplanes reportedly buried at the behest of the United States, daily Sabah reported Oct. 14. According to the daily, the planes disappeared in 1947 when the U.S. decided to send aid to Turkey and were deleted from the inventory in line with the aid plan.

Official efforts to find the missing 72 warplanes started in 2015 and tests were conducted with metal detectors. The machines determined the whereabouts of the warplanes, but bureaucracy hindered officials from unearthing the planes.

In addition to the bureaucracy, the failed July 15 failed coup, believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, obstructed officials’ efforts.

The daily also said the planes carried special significance in terms of local production. Cooperation between Turkey and Germany continued after World War I and paved the way for production cooperation with German aircraft manufacturer Junkers. Afterward, Turkey’s first plane factory was founded, producing A-20 model planes.

To continue mutual production, a trade deal was signed between Turkey and Nazi Germany in 1941 following the efforts of former Chancellor Franz von Papen. Turkey sold iron and chrome ore to Germany and, in exchange, acquired 72 FW-190A3 warplanes.

The planes, whose pieces were produced in Anatolia, were brought to Turkey in 1943. The planes made their first flight on July 10, 1943, and were distributed to five provinces. A total of 50 of the planes were sent to Kayseri before disappearing in 1947.

According to newly surfaced documents, the U.S. wanted Turkey to destroy all German FW-190A3 warplanes in order to sell its planes that had remained unsold after World War II. As a result of lengthy talks with Ankara, the planes were never seen again.

Uluhan Hasdal, who has been investigating the issue for nearly 25 years, said the U.S. offered to give Turkey the planes without charge on the condition that Turkey destroyed the German planes. 

“The U.S. wanted to give its planes without charge. However, they had only one condition; the destruction of the German planes. Nearly 50 warplanes were brought to Kayseri Airport and were left outside the inventory. According to the documents, the planes were buried while wrapped in oily canvases,” he said.

“[German authorities] told me that the planes were resistant to corrosion and could fly if they are unearthed,” he said.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/over-50-missing-warplanes-found-buried-in-central-turkey-report-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104962&NewsCatID=341

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A mistake in Mosul may risk Iraq, Turkey warns

October 14, 2016

Any offensive on Mosul intimately concerns Ankara as any mistake could lead to thousands of people fleeing their homeland, harm the struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and raise new complications in the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said.

Turkey’s primary concern with regard to the Mosul offensive is to carry out the operation in such a way as to protect the people of Mosul, the spokesperson told reporters on Oct. 13.

“The deployment of troops at the Bashiqa camp [near Mosul] is merely to meet the security needs of the camp since it is close to the area in which clashes are taking place,” he said in reply to criticisms from Baghdad regarding Turkish forces in northern Iraq.

Turkey does not have an eye on Iraq’s land or a secret agenda, he said, adding that whoever thinks otherwise is either ill-intentioned or deluded, Kalın said.

Turkey is concerned about reports that the PKK will participate in the Mosul operation from the Sinjar region, he said, adding that Ankara had shared information and documents on this issue with relevant parties, particularly Iraqi officials.

Turkey and Iraq are conducting negotiations on Turkish troops at the Bashiqa military camp, Kalın said, adding that they wanted to resolve the Bashiqa dispute with Iraq through negotiations between Ankara and Baghdad.

But some circles want to create tension not only in terms of ties between Turkey and Iraq, but also over the issue of Shiite and Sunni, Kalın stated.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad, Faruk Kaymakçı, on Oct. 13 to protest the continued presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq. The Turkish ambassador was given “a strongly worded formal note of protest” regarding “the continued presence of Turkish forces near Bashiqa and recent abusive statements from their leadership,” ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal told Agence France-Presse.

The presence of Turkish troops in Iraq was recently criticized by Baghdad. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Turkey’s military presence at the Bashiqa camp would continue even though Baghdad had previously branded Turkish forces as “occupiers.”

Justice minister to visit US

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ will visit the United States to discuss the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of leading the July 15 coup attempt next week, after which Ankara will decide on its attitude about implementing an agreement on mutual extradition, Kalın said, commenting on recent remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said they would evaluate the extradition practice with Washington.

U.S. officials’ demanded for sufficient evidence on Gülen are producing antipathy in the Turkish public, Kalın said.

Ankara has respected the spirit of the extradition agreement with the U.S. but will reconsider its attitude if it sees a lack of good intentions. 

U.S. officials do not appear to have understood the seriousness of Turkey’s call to extradite Gülen, he said.

Ankara has demanded Gulen be extradited to Turkey from the United States, but U.S. officials have said they are reviewing the evidence Turkey has provided.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/a-mistake-in-mosul-may-risk-iraq-turkey-warns.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104940&NewsCatID=352

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Two rockets fired from mountainous area in Antalya, no casualties reported

October 14, 2016

A group of unidentified militants carried out rocket attacks on the Antalya-Kemer road on Oct. 14, hitting a fisherman’s depot in the area.

The attacks did not cause any casualties.

The militants fired two rockets from a mountainous area on the Antalya-Kemer road, with one of them hitting the depot and the other falling into an empty plot. Meanwhile, an explosive was also thrown at a gas truck on the road but it did not hit the vehicle.

Police teams were dispatched to the scene after the explosions, while authorities also launched an aerial-supported operation to apprehend the militants.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/two-rockets-fired-from-mountainous-area-in-antalya-no-casualties-reported-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104957&NewsCatID=341

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Suspect in dorm kidnapping incident arrested in northern Turkey

October 14, 2016

A court in the northern province of Zonguldak has arrested a man who kidnapped a resident of a public girl’s dorm on Oct. 7 following protests by residents who claimed their security was not being ensured at the facility.

After being freed from detention, 39-year-old suspect Birol Ç. was re-detained and subsequently arrested by a court for kidnapping his girlfriend, S.G., from the dorm in the Kozlu district of Zonguldak.

The kidnapping and a similar incident a few days later touched off protests by residents who complained about security concerns and authorities’ lack of action in meeting their demands for security.

In his testimony, the suspect denied the charges of kidnapping, saying: “Everything I did was out of love. But I realized that what I did was wrong.”

The suspect entered the dorm after confronting security personnel with a gun and went to the second floor, abducting S.G. at gunpoint. The suspect was caught afterwards when friends of S.G. called the police. 

Another alleged abduction incident from the same dormitory, just a couple of days after the first one, prompted around 250 students at the housing facility of 1,600 to stage a protest in front of their building on the night of Oct. 10. 

Büşra Serçeoğlu, one of the protesters, said the authorities had done nothing to address their security concerns at the dorm.

“We are not safe here. Our dorm president said, ‘I wonder what she did to get kidnapped.’ Again, as always, women are the ones who are deemed guilty. Those responsible have not done what they are supposed to do,” Serçeoğlu said.

“Now the police say, ‘We’re here for you.’ But two girls were kidnapped in a week. This road [leading to the dormitory] is not safe at all. They [the dorm administration] said police vehicles would be stationed in front of the dorm every hour, but this never happened. We don’t have any security in this dorm,” she added.

After the protest, which ended when Zonguldak provincial police head Osman Ak arrived at the scene and conducted separate talks with the residents, authorities placed surveillance cameras and lamps in the area while also beefing up the police presence in front of the building.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/suspect-in-dorm-kidnapping-incident-arrested-in-northern-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104956&NewsCatID=509

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Three soldiers killed in PKK attacks in Turkey’s southeast

October 14, 2016

Three soldiers were killed after the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) detonated an explosive during the passage of a military vehicle at the 25th kilometer of the Mardin-Diyarbakır highway in the Sultan Şehmus area in the southeastern province of Mardin, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Three wounded soldiers were taken to the hospitals in the province.

Security forces subsequently launched an operation against the PKK militants.

Earlier, eight soldiers were wounded after the PKK detonated an explosive during the passage of a military vehicle in the Başkale district of the eastern province of Van.

Meanwhile, four other soldiers were wounded in a similar attack in nearby Hakkari when PKK militants remotely detonated an explosive placed in the Tekeli village near the Şemdinli district.

In addition, PKK militants opened harassment fire at a gendarmerie border post in the Kulp district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

Security forces responded immediately to the attack.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/three-soldiers-killed-in-pkk-attacks-in-turkeys-southeast.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104955&NewsCatID=341

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Court releases four high-ranking soldiers in coup attempt probe

October 14, 2016

An Istanbul court ordered the release of three generals and an admiral early on Oct. 14, marking the first release of high-ranking soldiers as part of the ongoing investigation into the failed coup attempt of July 15.

The court ordered the release of Maj. Gen. Veli Yıldırım, Brig. Şener Yazıcıoğlu, Brig. Ali Akyürek and Rear Adm. Ömer Mesut Ak on the grounds of a lack of evidence despite the suspicion that they cooperated with the coup plotters.

The Istanbul 5th Criminal Court of Peace initially rejected the demands for release by Yıldırım, Yazıcıoğlu and Ak.

However, the Istanbul 6th Criminal Court of Peace later ordered the release of the three soldiers following the lawyers’ appeal.

According to the court decision, there was no proof of the fact that the troops commanded by the generals participated in the coup attempt, although their names were included on a list of generals that would have overseen the imposition of martial law if the coup had been successful.

It also noted there were suspicions that the soldiers cooperated with the putschists but that the decision was made to release them given that they have permanent residences.

Yıldırım was forced into retirement in the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting convened after the attempted takeover.

Ak was also dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) following a decree law issued under the state of emergency.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/court-releases-four-high-ranking-soldiers-in-coup-attempt-probe.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104954&NewsCatID=509

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Turkish government welcomes MHP’s suggestions over system change

October 14, 2016

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has welcomed the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader’s suggestion to take the question of a presidential system in Turkey to a referendum amid a vociferous debate on charter amendments that would include such a shift.

 “I thank [MHP leader] Mr. Devlet Bahçeli for taking a position on the side of the nation,” Yıldırım said, while addressing his party’s local officials in Ankara on Oct. 12.

His words came amid a report in daily Habertürk, which said main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had ordered his party officials to be ready for a snap poll.

“This is exemplary behavior,” he said after Bahçeli had earlier stated that the presidency was the de facto situation and that parties should legalize the case of affairs with a new constitution.

“The AK Party should introduce its own constitutional draft to parliament,” Bahçeli said on Oct. 12, while addressing his party’s deputies.

“This draft will either be approved if it garners 367 votes or will be taken to a referendum if it gets more than 330 votes [but less than 367],” he said.

A sum of 330 votes paves the way for a referendum on constitutional changes, while 367 is enough to effect the change without any need for resorting to a public vote.

The AKP has 317 seats while the smallest party in the parliament, the MHP, has 40.

Yıldırım said Bahçeli’s remarks “gave hope.”

“As the AK Party, we have always said Turkey has to change the current de facto situation into a legal situation,” Yıldırım said, referring to the seat of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Mr. Bahçeli’s remarks are encouraging. We are ready,” he said.

Yıldırım also said on Oct. 13 that his party itself would add new items to a 60-item package that was agreed upon by three parties before two elections last year as part of a failed attempt.

Yıldırım said his party would take the change to a referendum in any case, even if it is approved by at least 367 votes.

The MHP leader has brought the issue of a presidential system back onto the agenda and “brought heat to domestic politics” in Turkey, Erdoğan’s spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın, said in a briefing on Oct. 13.

A constitutional amendment for the presidential system will be discussed “under the roof of parliament and then presented to the will of the people,” the spokesperson stated. A discussion process with the parties in parliament would “enrich” the case and would bring new dimensions, he added.

The justice minister also waded into the dispute over the new charter, saying the political parties should acknowledge the de facto presidential system in Turkey and discuss it in the parliament with responsibility.

“Isn’t there a de facto presidential system in Turkey as Mr. Bahçeli has said? You can say as much as you want. There is! That’s why I am telling you that our political parties should present it to parliament and discuss it in parliament,” Minister Bekir Bozdağ said Oct. 13.

“I hope the political parties find ground for reconciliation on this issue. Even if they cannot reconcile, I hope they pave the way so that this constitutional amendment is asked to the public,” he said. “I am confident that the Turkish public will end the discussion on the regime.”

The AKP aims to “legalize dictatorship” with the presidential system, the CHP’s spokesperson said Oct. 13.

“We all know why the AKP reacted to the debate on the system change with great speed. They make us experience fascism every day. Their only concern is to legalize the dictatorship in which one person seizes the will of the nation,” spokesperson Selin Sayek Böke said after her party’s executive board meeting on Oct. 13.

The only concern for the AKP and Bahçeli “is political ambition and the result of this ambition is a presidential debate,” she added.

Along with the CHP, which has 133 seats, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which has 59 deputies, is resisting the AKP’s efforts to impose a presidential system, although the CHP has participated in a commission to debate a constitutional change while the HDP has not.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-government-welcomes-mhps-suggestions-over-system-change-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104949&NewsCatID=338

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Turkey to bring in proposals at key Syria meeting in Lausanne

October 13, 2016

Ankara will initiate proposals for humanitarian aid to Aleppo at a key international meeting that is expected to be held in Lausanne on Oct. 15, as world powers prepare for new truce talks, according to Turkish presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın.

Speaking at a press briefing in Ankara on Oct. 13, Kalın said Turkey had three topics on its agenda regarding the Syrian crisis.

“First, there is the immediate halt of clashes in Aleppo and the delivery of humanitarian aid. Second, there is the resumption of the political process under the framework of the U.N. Third, there is the issue of the fight against Daesh [the Arabic acronym of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – ISIL] in Syria,” Kalın said.

Russia said Oct. 13 that it was prepared to secure safe passage for rebels to abandon Aleppo even as it maintained air strikes on the battleground.

“We are ready to ensure the safe withdrawal of armed rebels, the unimpeded passage of civilians to and from eastern Aleppo, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid there,” Russian Lt.-Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said in a televised briefing.

On the ground in the ravaged city, at least seven civilians were killed in a series of early-morning strikes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

On the northeastern outskirts of the city, advancing regime troops captured several hilltops overlooking opposition-held areas.

Several major international efforts have failed to secure a political solution to Syria’s brutal war, which has cost more than 300,000 lives.

A new diplomatic push will take place this weekend.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are expected to be joined at talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Oct. 15 by their counterparts from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and possibly Qatar, Lavrov told CNN International in an interview on Oct. 12.

Then in London on Oct. 16, Kerry will likely meet with his European counterparts from Britain, France and Germany.

Kerry will attend both meetings to discuss “a multilateral approach to resolving the crisis in Syria, including a sustained cessation of violence and the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries,” said his spokesman, John Kirby.

Reports stated that Iran will also attend the meeting in Lausanne.

U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura will also attend the talks.

Lavrov told CNN television in an interview that he hoped the discussions in Switzerland could help “launch a serious dialogue” based on the now-defunct U.S.-Russian pact.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed hope on Oct. 13 that a recent normalization of relations between Russia and Turkey could give Moscow a chance to persuade Ankara to change its stance with regard to the ongoing Syrian conflict.

“Syria’s only hope is that Russia would be able to change Turkish policy [in regard to Syria] through this new rapprochement between Turkey and Russia,” al-Assad told Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

Russia called on regional partners not to supply portable anti-aircraft missiles to opposition fighters in Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Oct. 13, adding that any unfriendly actions against Russia in Syria would elicit an appropriate response from Moscow.

The Syrian government Oct. 13 partially approved a United Nations aid plan for October but not its request to deliver urgently needed supplies to the rebel-held part of Aleppo, diplomats and a U.N. official said.

Damascus has given a green light for convoys to 25 of 29 besieged and hard-to-reach areas across Syria, they said, but not to eastern Aleppo and three rural parts of Damascus province.

Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, deputy U.N. special envoy for Syria, confirmed the receipt of the approval after a weekly meeting of the humanitarian task force, composed of major and regional powers. He gave no details.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-bring-in-proposals-at-key-syria-meeting-in-lausanne-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104951&NewsCatID=510

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CHP head defends comments on post-coup attempt victims amid gov’t criticism

October 13, 2016

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has defended his criticism of injustices committed during the Turkish government’s sweeping post-coup attempt measures, saying “he has spent his whole life struggling for democracy and human rights … and against the [Fethullahist Terror Organization] FETÖ.”

“They call me a FETÖ supporter. I’ve spent my whole life struggling against FETÖ. I’ve spent my life struggling for human rights and democracy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Oct. 12 in a meeting with the relatives of people who say they are innocent victims of the crackdown.

His comments came after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım accused him of supporting FETÖ - referring to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, said to be behind the coup attempt – by emphasizing rights violations in the aftermath of the coup plot.

“Mr. Binali has said, ‘do not agitate based on victimhood’ … They say there are no victims. But a 15-day old child has been separated from his mother. If you separate a 15-day old from their mother, you create a victim,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in response.

The CHP does not want the trials of guilty individuals to be stopped, but the post-coup attempt investigations are failing to follow the principles of presumption of innocence and individual criminal responsibility, he added.

“A teacher wakes up one day and finds out he has been dismissed from his public service position by a decree law. He was imprisoned, his bank account was seized, and he was diseased from his house. On what grounds?  Is there a court decision? No. The wife of this teacher now looks for a job to support her family, but nobody gives her a job. Do they want their children to die of hunger?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“One parliamentary representative told me ‘they may eat the roots of the trees.’ Listen to the voice of your conscience. Crime is an individual act. If a person commits a crime, their spouse and their children are not also guilty,” he added.

Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-head-defends-comments-on-post-coup-attempt-victims-amid-govt-criticism.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104921&NewsCatID=338

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South Asia

We Feel Frustrated With Pak., Says Bangladesh PM

October 14th, 2016

Bangladesh feels “frustrated” with Pakistan over its export of terror, but Dhaka’s reasons for pulling out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad were “different from India’s,” says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, attempting to draw a distinction between supporting India on terrorism after the Uri attacks and supporting the subsequent cross-LoC strikes.

“It was over the situation in Pakistan that we decided to pull out. Terror [from Pakistan] has gone everywhere, which is why many of us felt frustrated by Pakistan. India pulled out because of the [Uri attack], but for Bangladesh the reason is totally different,” Ms Hasina said.

Visit to India

She was speaking to The Hindu in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview at her official ‘Ganabhaban’ residence in Dhaka ahead of her visit to India to attend the BRICS- BIMSTEC outreach, involving nations surrounding the Bay of Bengal in Goa, on October 15 and 16.

Ms. Hasina said one of the other main reasons for her government’s SAARC pullout was the hurt felt over Pakistan’s strident criticism of the war crimes tribunal process in Bangladesh in which a dozen Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, accused of brutalities during the liberation war in 1971, have been hanged or indicted.

“There is a lot of pressure on me to cut off all diplomatic ties with Pakistan for their behaviour. But I have said the relations will remain, and we will have to resolve our problems. The fact is, we won our liberation war from Pakistan, and they were a defeated force,” Ms. Hasina said, adding that she appreciated India’s support during the war and later.

When asked about India’s decision to launch cross-LoC strikes after the Uri terrorist attack, in which 19 soldiers were killed, however, Ms. Hasina said, “Both the countries should maintain the sanctity of the LoC and that can bring peace.”

Ties with China

Ms. Hasina also spoke at length about the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping — terming closer ties with China a way of increasing regional prosperity — while defending her government against allegations of persecution of the opposition and a clampdown on the media, and human rights violations by security forces in the crackdown on terror.

Speaking for the first time about the terrorist attack at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan café, where gunmen professing allegiance to Islamic State killed 20 people, hacking and torturing many of the victims, Ms. Hasina said her government had a “zero tolerance to terror policy.” She also outlined a counter-terror programme involving civil society, media and mosques to spread awareness and report information on terror groups, which, she said, was bearing results.

Custodial deaths

When asked about human rights reports on custodial deaths, disappearances and “knee-capping” of terror suspects, Ms. Hasina said, like in the US and other western countries facing attacks, Bangladeshi security forces were well within their rights to crack down on terror groups. “It is very unfortunate that Human Rights agencies are more vocal for the rights of the criminals than they are for the rights of the victims,'' Ms. Hasina said, rejecting the charges.

On Friday, Mr. Xi's visit is expected to see China announcing investment in infrastructure and Bangladesh offering trade incentives, including dedicated SEZs in the country. When asked if India’s concerns about China’s close ties with its neighbours like Bangladesh, which is already a key part of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, Ms. Hasina said that Indian manufacturers are “best poised to benefit” from better Bangladesh-China ties that would lead to more economic prosperity.

Ms. Hasina also spoke at length about Bangladesh’s elections in 2014, which was boycotted by the opposition parties, and blamed the BNP leader Khaleda Zia for the ongoing political impasse. “She has ordered her party workers to protest, to carry out acts of violence. As a human being, what else can I do? It’s her fault, her decision to stay out of elections and I hope she doesn’t make the same mistake next time. But I wont allow democracy to be jeopardized by her misdeeds,” Ms. Hasina said of her rival of decades, whose husband, General Zia Ur Rahman seized power after the brutal assassination of Hasina’s father and Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

When asked if her political rivalries were clouding her war on terror as well as setting off a clampdown of the media, with senior editors being arrested or facing charges, Ms. Hasina insisted all the cases against the BNP and Jamaat, as well as journalists were valid and “they must face the law. “Let me ask, if there is no freedom of the press in Bangladesh, how come they have the freedom to write that there is no freedom?” she added.

Source: thehindu.com/news/international/we-are-frustrated-with-pakistan-bangladesh-prime-minister-sheikh-hasina/article9216531.ece

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Explosion in Kabul leaves 1 dead, 2 others wounded

Fri Oct 14 2016

An explosion rocked Kabul city late on Thursday evening leaving at least one person dead and two others wounded, security officials said Friday.

The incident took place in Karte Naw area of the city located in the 8th police district after a magnetic bomb was detonated.

The security officials in Kabul are saying that the bomb was planted in a vehicle belonging to the traffic police and a driver of the traffic department was killed.

The officials further added that two civilians were also wounded in the explosion and the Ranger vehicle was destroyed.

No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsiblity behind the incident.

This comes as back to back coordinated attacks rocked Kabul city on Wednesday night, leaving at least 18 people dead and scores of others wounded.

The first incident took place in a shrine in Karte Sakhi area of the city as hundreds of people had gathered to mark the Ashura day.

The second incident took place hours after the first blast after a number of gunmen stormed a mosque where the Ashura mourners had gathered.

The loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility behind the attack

Source: khaama.com/explosion-in-kabul-leaves-1-dead-2-others-wounded-02076

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50 rockets, 10 mortar rounds seized as militants planned attacks in Nimroz

Fri Oct 14 2016

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) confiscated at least 50 rockets and 10 mortar rounds as the militants were looking to use them for a series of attacks in western Nimroz province.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the rockets were seized during an operation in Chahar Borjak district of Nimroz on Thursday.

No further details were given regarding the arrest of any suspect during the operation.

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

Nimroz is among the relatively peaceful provinces in western Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups are active in some remote parts of the province.

The discovery and confiscation of the rockets in Nimroz comes as the Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant during the recent months.

The group announced its spring offensive in mid-April this year and since then has staged numerous attacks across the country, including capital Kabul.

Sporadic clashes are still going in some parts of the country including the northern Baghlan and Kunduz province where the Taliban insurgents launched a major attack to take control of the strategic Kunduz city.

Source: khaama.com/50-rockets-10-mortar-rounds-seized-as-militants-planned-attacks-in-nimroz-02075

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Anticipating Pakistan’s Next Moves in Afghanistan

14/10/2016

Even though India and the US have, for once, landed on the same side in Afghanistan, there is a real danger of getting blindsided by Pakistan.

From a Pakistani perspective, 2016 has been a tumultuous year for its relationship with its western neighbour. First, the Pakistan-led Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), meant to draw in the US and China along with Afghanistan while excluding India, drew a blank. Then, Pakistan was left fulminating as a new arrangement began to take shape between Afghanistan, India and the US in the form of a trilateral dialogue. While new equations were being formulated at the diplomatic level, the situation on the Durand Line worsened – the Pak-Afghan border transit points at Torkham and Chaman faced multiple bouts of closure, infuriating the Afghan government and also adversely impacting the livelihood of people on both sides.

Essentially, Pakistan has had to contend with a string of inconvenient issues on its western front. With this as the backdrop, this is an appropriate moment to analyse what Pakistan might attempt in order to regain lost ground. This analysis is important not just for Afghanistan, but also for India and the US, both powerful regional actors, who are, perhaps for the first time, on the same page on Afghanistan.

The first option for Pakistan would be the “do nothing” approach – adopt a wait-and-watch policy and allow the trilateral dialogue to run into problems before launching its own offensive. Whatever the merits of this option, the perceived costs of Afghanistan, India and the US coming together are likely to force the Pakistani establishment to consider a more forceful response rather than “do nothing”. Given that “do nothing” will be unpopular for a state that has always tried to insert itself into the politics of Afghanistan, how is Pakistan going to react?

The most obvious option would be to deliberately run down the trilateral. In fact, the elements of such an effort are already beginning to be heard. Pakistan’s special envoy Mushahid Hussain, speaking at the Stimson Center on October 6, warned that peace in Afghanistan remained hostage to a resolution of the Kashmir issue. Mushahid stressed that “the road to peace in Kabul lies in Kashmir in the sense that when you talk of peace, you cannot compartmentalise peace, you can’t segregate a section… ok you can have peace in Kabul and let Kashmir burn. That is not going to happen.” The not-so-subtle point being made here is that Pakistan will seek to make India a part of the problem, by linking resolution of the Kashmir issue with peace in Afghanistan and, till that happens, actively support those that are opposed to peace negotiations in Afghanistan.

The other component of this attempt to place hurdles in the path of the trilateral dialogue is to back their bluster with the use of force. This is particularly evident in the second Taliban offensive in Kunduz in a space of 12 months. Kunduz, a Pashtun-dominated province (and city), is surrounded by Tajik majority areas and as such it is well understood that it will be difficult for the Taliban to hold this area for long even if they are successful in capturing it. The point of these repeated incursions is to demonstrate that Taliban still retains the power to best the Afghan armed forces, almost at will, despite US presence in Kunduz.

Even beyond Kunduz, there seems to be renewed activity along the Durand Line where the Pakistan-backed Taliban has the capacity to hold onto its gains. In 2016, Kabul lost control of 16 more of its over 400 districts – mostly to the south and east along the Durand Line. Much of the fighting has been concentrated in Helmand in the south, Nangarhar in the east, Ghazni in the south-east (all along the Durand Line) and Kunduz in the north.

Another approach by Pakistan has been to step-up pressure on Afghanistan using its control over trade routes. In Nangarhar province, the Torkham border crossing, where thousands of people and vehicles pass through each day, remained closed for over a week following clashes between Afghan and Pakistani border guards. The violence saw four dead and several wounded and was triggered by the construction of a border post by Pakistan, on its side, which Pakistan claims is within its right and meant to check the unregulated movement of people across the border. Another reason has been that Pakistan is concerned about the movement of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which is operating from Afghan sanctuaries. A new Pakistan visa policy, which requires regular users to get a visa, has left the Afghans unhappy. While Pakistan is seeking to harden the border, Afghanistan contests the sanctity of the “Durand Line”.

The third part of Pakistan’s gambit is a strategy that has never failed the rent-seeking state: demonstrate that there are areas where Pakistan could still be of considerable utility to the US. Pakistan appears to be playing up the threat of the Daesh (ISIS) in the Afghan-Pak region as if to suggest that the Pakistan army can collaborate with the US to contain this threat. What is conveniently buried is that the Wilayat Khorasan – the structured affiliate of ISIS  – is constituted mostly of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, with the allegiance of some disgruntled Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, who were driven out of FATA as a consequence of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. This new franchise is essentially anti-Pakistan army, anti-ISI and also anti-Taliban. It does not represent much of a threat to the Afghan state, definitely not as much as the Pakistan-backed Taliban does. However, Pakistan has started attributing disturbances in and around Nangarhar to the ISIS to project that the threat is larger than it actually is.

Yet another option for Pakistan, hardly being discussed in policy circles, is that it will try to win back US support by sacrificing the Haqqani network at a time and moment of its choosing and for the right price. However, there are reports that the alternative would be more worrisome as Pakistan is said to have already put in place a new variant of the Haqqani network which is active in Kabul. This variant, which is evolving into a LeT type of organisation, is entirely dependent on the ISI.

Of considerable significance is the fact that the Pakistani deep state is now able to assert greater control over the new Taliban. The aim seems to be to maintain the Taliban as a force that can hold territories close to the Durand Border, be of nuisance value to the Afghans and the US and not have pretensions of being anything that could pose problems for the Pakistani state.

With the death of Mullah Mansour Akhtar, the Taliban is no longer the Taliban of the past. Mullah Mansour was likely sacrificed as he was becoming more independent, was against suicide bombings, was pro-talks and differences between him and the Haqqani network had begun to emerge. The new man, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is a leader of lesser stature who does not have much of a tribal base and does not have the financial resources of Mansour to consolidate his hold over the rank and file. He is also said to be totally reliant on the ISI. Meanwhile, it is important to note that it is still unclear why the US went along with the targeted strike that eliminated Mullah Mansour. That it was in Balochistan, on a car which was many miles away from the Pak-Iran border and closer to Quetta, and one in which his passport was miraculously found intact, all point to Pakistani acquiescence.

All these instances suggest that Pakistan has already set in motion a plan to regain its influence. Even though India and the US have, for once, landed on the same page in Afghanistan, there is a real danger that they can get blindsided by Pakistan. Pakistan still has enough arrows in its metaphorical quiver to break this fledgling partnership and get the US on its side again. As history has shown us time and again, this is an art the Pakistani state has perfected.

Source: thewire.in/72838/anticipating-pakistans-next-moves-afghanistan/

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Southeast Asia

Children Killed Quails in School Lesson on Islamic Slaughter in Malaysia

Friday October 14, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 ― Twelve-year-old Muslim pupils at a primary school in Batu Caves were taught to kill about 70 quails in a lesson on the Islamic method of animal slaughter, a report said.

News portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that the mock animal sacrificial ritual was approved by the Parent-Teacher Association and it was carried out at the school compound yesterday, supervised by an Islamic studies teacher.

“What was the school management trying to prove, by getting a bunch of 12-year-old children to slaughter live animals?” a concerned parent, whose son was purportedly traumatised after seeing the slaughter of the birds, told FMT.

“I want to know what the school was trying to achieve by having the gruesome event in the school. Were guidelines followed to ensure the slaughtering exercise was hygienic or even Halal?” he asked.

FMT reported that the school lesson for Standard Six pupils was part of an annual exercise to  “educate students on the proper way of slaughtering animals” according to Islam.

Another school in the same vicinity had reportedly carried out a similar exercise last year with quails and chickens.

Source: themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/report-children-killed-quails-in-school-lesson-on-islamic-slaughter1

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Indonesian Islamic hardliners protest Christian governor

October 14, 2016

The protest was triggered by accusations Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, insulted Islam by criticising opponents who used Koranic references to attack him ahead of the February polls.

ahok-protestJAKARTA: Thousands of Muslim hardliners protested in Jakarta Friday demanding the Indonesian capital’s Christian governor be executed for allegedly insulting Islam, as he faces an increasingly tight election race.

About 10,000 demonstrators wearing white Islamic robes and skullcaps rallied outside city hall in the capital of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, waving banners that read: “The blasphemer must be prosecuted”.

The protest was triggered by accusations Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, insulted Islam by criticising opponents who used Koranic references to attack him ahead of the February polls.

“Ahok must be executed. According to Islamic teaching, he must be killed,” Emed Muhammad, a hardline opponent of the governor, told the cheering protesters.

“Jakarta is now being governed by an infidel, but Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population.”

Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed around city hall to ensure the rally did not get out of hand.

In his controversial remarks last month, Purnama told a crowd they had been “deceived” by his opponents who used a Koranic verse to try to put them off voting for a Christian.

“You are being fooled,” he said.

Purnama, Jakarta’s second Christian governor and the first from Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese community, has won huge popularity with his no-nonsense style and determination to clean up Jakarta, an overcrowded, disorganised and polluted metropolis.

But his tough-talking style, unusual for a politician in Indonesia, has alienated some and he has also faced constant opposition from hardline Islamic groups, who protested for weeks when he became governor two years ago.

Purnama still remains the favourite to win the election but the race has heated up in recent weeks with two other candidates, the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and a popular ex-education minister, declaring they will run.

He became Jakarta governor in November, 2014, but was not elected to the post. He was deputy governor and automatically became governor after incumbent Joko Widodo was elected Indonesian president.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2016/10/14/indonesian-islamic-hardliners-protest-christian-governor/

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Terrified residents flee northern Myanmar as crackdown widens

October 14, 2016

Sittwe (Myanmar) (AFP) - Terrified residents were fleeing northern Myanmar on Friday, thousands leaving on foot and others airlifted out by helicopter, as troops hunted through torched villages for those behind attacks on police that have raised fears Rakhine state could again be torn apart.

Local officials believe hundreds of people from the area, home to many from the persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority, spent months planning attacks on police posts along the Bangladesh border that sparked the crisis this week.

Dozens of people have died in an ensuing military lockdown, sparking fears of a repeat of 2012 when sectarian clashes ripped through Rakhine leaving more than 100 dead and driving tens of thousands into displacement camps.

Troops and police have repelled multiple onslaughts on a security office by 50 "violent attackers" and captured a fifth suspect, state media reported on Friday.

Meanwhile families have streamed down the roads around Maungdaw town on foot, their worldly possessions stuffed into carrier bags and plastic buckets or strapped to the front of bicycle rickshaws.

Around 180 teachers, workers and residents were also airlifted out of the region at the epicentre of the crisis, while hundreds of government staff have poured into the state capital Sittwe.

On the ground in Maungdaw, an AFP journalist reported seeing clouds of smoke billowing from a village Thursday near charred remains of two dozen bamboo houses that the military said "terrorists" had torched the previous day.

Troops have killed 26 people since deadly raids on border posts Sunday, according to state media. Nine police died that night, and four more soldiers have lost their lives in ensuing clashes.

Witnesses say troops used Sunday's attacks as an excuse for a crackdown against them, gunning down unarmed Muslim civilians in the street. The military say they have been defending themselves from armed attackers.

Most residents in northern Rakhine are Rohingya, a stateless minority branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh by many from Myanmar's Buddhist majority.

- Killings, burnings, arbitrary arrests -

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation issued a statement calling for calm, after receiving "disturbing reports of extra-judicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, burning of houses, and arbitrary arrests by security forces".

Rakhine state government spokesman Min Aung said the border post assailants had spent months plotting the raids, which were originally intended to hit as many as seven targets.

"There are about 200 to 300 currently in the group," he told reporters in Sittwe, declining to explain how he knew.

"According to our interrogations of those we have arrested, they initially planned to attack six or seven locations."

Authorities have given scant details of who was behind the assaults, though officials have publicly pointed the finger at Rohingya insurgents and privately blamed Bangladeshi groups across the border.

The military said late Thursday troops had captured a fifth suspect, along with a gun, ammunition and flags featuring the logo of the RSO, a Rohingya militant group founded in the 80s and long considered defunct.

The RSO vigorously denied the accusations in a message to AFP. Attempts to contact the sender went unanswered.

Videos showing armed men speaking the Rohingya language calling for jihad that have been circulating on social media -- which analysts said appeared to be genuine -- have raised concerns a new local militant group may have emerged.

The escalating unrest in Rakhine poses a major challenge for the country's new elected government, led by democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Nobel laureate has faced international criticism for not doing more to help the Rohingya, and on Wednesday she vowed to follow the rule of law when investigating the border guard attacks.

Source: yahoo.com/news/terrified-residents-flee-northern-myanmar-crackdown-widens-055114686.html

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Indonesian Islamic hardliners protest Christian governor

14 Oct 2016

JAKARTA - Thousands of Muslim hardliners protested in Jakarta Friday demanding the Indonesian capital's Christian governor be executed for allegedly insulting Islam, as he faces an increasingly tight election race.

Indonesian protesters demonstrate against Jakarta's Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as "Ahok", in Jakarta on October 14, 2016

About 10,000 demonstrators wearing white Islamic robes and skullcaps rallied outside city hall in the capital of the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, waving banners that read: "The blasphemer must be prosecuted".

The protest was triggered by accusations Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, insulted Islam by criticising opponents who used Koranic references to attack him ahead of the February polls.

"Ahok must be executed. According to Islamic teaching, he must be killed," Emed Muhammad, a hardline opponent of the governor, told the cheering protesters.

"Jakarta is now being governed by an infidel, but Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population."

Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed around city hall to ensure the rally did not get out of hand.

In his controversial remarks last month, Purnama told a crowd they had been "deceived" by his opponents who used a Koranic verse to try to put them off voting for a Christian.

"You are being fooled,” he said.

Purnama, Jakarta's second Christian governor and the first from Indonesia's ethnic Chinese community, has won huge popularity with his no-nonsense style and determination to clean up Jakarta, an overcrowded, disorganised and polluted metropolis.

But his tough-talking style, unusual for a politician in Indonesia, has alienated some and he has also faced constant opposition from hardline Islamic groups, who protested for weeks when he became governor two years ago.

Purnama still remains the favourite to win the election but the race has heated up in recent weeks with two other candidates, the son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and a popular ex-education minister, declaring they will run.

He became Jakarta governor in November, 2014, but was not elected to the post. He was deputy governor and automatically became governor after incumbent Joko Widodo was elected Indonesian president.

Source: bangkokpost.com/news/asia/1110693/indonesian-islamic-hardliners-protest-christian-governor

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Malaysia a conducive funding conduit for regional power sector — RAM

October 14, 2016.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is a conducive funding conduit for the regional power sector given its expertise and favourable regulatory framework in Islamic finance, said RAM Rating Services Bhd.

In a statement yesterday, the local rating agency noted that power projects are usually highly capital-intensive with long gestation periods.

“Complicated bureaucracies, and lengthy permit and land acquisition processes, as well as a lack of long-term financing options have typically contributed to delays in power plant-ups,” it said.

As such, RAM believes bond and sukuk financing naturally fits the profile of the power industry, noting that it is a funding method that has been effectively employed in Malaysia.

“Malaysia’s expertise and favourable regulatory framework in Islamic finance are conducive to sukuk financing for the region’s infrastructure needs,” said RAM chief executive officer Foo Su Yin.

RAM also pointed out that the power sector is instrumental to the economic development of Southeast Asia’s five largest economies — Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, known as Asean-5.

“Based on our analysis, Asean-5’s electricity demand has been growing steadily, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 4.8%, largely driven by their robust economies, rapid industralisation and expanding population. Nevertheless, some member nations still face challenges in their efforts to close the supply-demand gap,” it said.

RAM also noted that the Asean-5 power sector had a strong government presence, while private participation had generally played a key role in electricity generation, contributing to more than half of these countries’ aggregate installed capacity.

“Although the power sectors of Singapore and the Philippines operate under liberalised and market-driven regimes, those of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand benefit from substantial government subsidies,” said RAM co-head of infrastructure and utilities ratings Chong Van Nee.

“Subsidy reform is a common theme among Asean-5, through which these governments are moving towards deregulating electricity tariffs in the long run,” Chong added.

With the exception of Singapore, RAM expects coal to feature prominently as a dominant source of fuel for the other Asean-5 countries given the abundance of this commodity in the region, particularly in Indonesia, its cost advantage and increasingly more efficient coal-fired power plants.

“Moving forward, as the Asean-5 members strive to overcome the challenge of having to economically and sustainably meet rising energy demand, greater integration among the energy markets could help enhance energy security and encourage more efficient utilisation of the region’s resources,” it said.

Source: theedgemarkets.com/my/article/malaysia-conducive-funding-conduit-regional-power-sector-%E2%80%94-ram

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India

AIMPLB, other Muslim outfits boycott questionnaire on civil code

October 14, 2016

The All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board and several other outfitshave boycotted the Law Commission’s questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code. They also accused government of waging a “war” against the community. They expressed their fear that if it is implemented, the law will will threaten the country’s pluralism and diversity.

Rejecting Centre’s stand on the issue of triple talaq, outfits claimed the community has reported lesser number of divorce cases as against other communities, mainly Hindu community which, they said, has higher divorce ratio according to Census 2011.

During a press conference, which was attended by AIMPLB general secretary Wali Rehmani, Jamiat-Ulema -e-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani and representatives of other bodies, they said that Muslim sects and its women were “one” on these issues. They also added that outfits will start campaign to create awareness amongst Muslims from Friday, beginning with a gathering in Lucknow.

There are “flaws” in the personal laws governing Muslims and they are being looked into, the board said. Th nation is facing problems on several fronts including the LoC and issues like killings in many parts of the country.

“ The Centre should try to fix this and ensure peace than seeking views on issues like UCC,” Madani was quoted as saying in the press conference.

Contrary to the Commission’s suggestion that the the measure is an effort to address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise several cultural practices, Rehmani said when implemented the UCC will finish country’s pluralism and paint all in “one colour” and end pluralism diversity.

Source: financialexpress.com/india-news/aimplb-other-muslim-outfits-boycott-questionnaire-on-civil-code/417508/

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Muslim Outfits Could Oppose UCC Because of Secular India: Shiv Sena

October 13, 2016    

Mumbai: Wading into the debate over Uniform Civil Code issue, Shiv Sena on Thursday said Muslim outfits are opposing Law Commission's questionnaire only because India is a secular country and would not have "dared" to do so had they been living in any Islamic country.

"Laws in our country are based on religion. In the past, there have been amendments to laws for the Hindu and Catholic community as and when needed. Also in Muslim community, laws have been amended in countries like Turkey, Iraq and Malaysia that follow Islam," Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe told reporters.

Her comments came against the backdrop of the Law Commission's decision to invite views on the contentious UCC issue on Thursday.

The questionnaire by Law Commission has riled All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and other Muslim organisations which said they will boycott it and accused the Narendra Modi government of waging a "war" against the community.

Gorhe said the Shiv Sena has always called for UCC to be put in place.

"There needs to be a change in lives of women. They (Muslim bodies) are being able to oppose the UCC only because they reside in a secular country.

"Had they been living in a country that followed Islamic laws, they would not dare to protest against the amendments in laws. There should be a debate on the issue and women should get justice," she added.

Source: news18.com/news/politics/muslim-outfits-could-oppose-ucc-because-of-secular-india-shiv-sena-1301455.html

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Aligarh Muslim University students to hold agitation to restore minority status for varsity

14 October 2016

The newly-elected president of the Aligarh Muslim University Students Union, Faizul Hasan, has announced that the students would launch a movement for the "restoration" of the varsity's minority status.

"Within the next 30 days, the agitation would reach New Delhi. The first step would be a dharna at Jantar Mantar," Hasan said in his speech at the formal installation ceremony of students union yesterday. He lashed out at the Modi government for ignoring the "sensitivities and rights" of minority communities in the country.

"Indian Muslims have full faith in the judicial system of the country but the community has also full right to fight for its democratic rights," he said. He said that "communal polarisation and fragmentation of society" would ultimately grievously weaken the nation. Hasan also alleged that there is rampant corruption and nepotism in the university administration.

Speaking on the occasion, AMU Vice Chancellor Lt General Zameeruddin Shah said that he would do his best to fulfil all the "just demands" of the students. Shah said that though his tenure would be ending shortly and the university was facing obstacles in many spheres, he would continue to fight for the betterment of the institution till the last day of his tenure.

The present election to the students' union would serve as the benchmark in the future because of the peaceful manner in which the elections were held, he added. The results of the AMU students' union elections were declared recently, in which for the first time in the AMUSU history, three out of ten elected members of the union cabinet are girls.

Source: catchnews.com/national-news/aligarh-muslim-university-students-to-hold-agitation-to-restore-minority-status-for-varsity-1476440864.html

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Minhaj Ansari Succumbed To Custodial Torture, Reveals Post-Mortem Report

October 14, 2016

Jamtara: Minhaj Ansari, who succumbed to his injuries at hospital in Jharkhand died not because of encephalitis, but due to beating in police custody, revealed a post-mortem report on Thursday.

22-year-old Minhaj from Jamtara district was arrested for sharing a “controversial WhatsApp comment” on beef was tortured so mercilessly in police custody that he breathed last on October 9 at a hospital in Ranchi.

According to NDTV reports, the post-mortem examination said, his body bore abrasions and internal injury. Doctors also suspect he had not been fed in the initial days of police custody. His viscera will be sent to a forensic lab for further investigation.

An FIR of murder has been registered against the officer-in-charge Sub-Inspector Harish Pathak and has since been suspended and a high-level inquiry ordered.

CM Raghubar Das has ordered a monetary compensation of Rs 2 lakh to Ansari’s family.

Source: siasat.com/news/minhaj-ansari-succumbed-custodial-torture-reveals-post-mortem-report-1041152/

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Last Surviving 26/11 Dog Caesar Dies, Buried With Full State Honour

Ram Parmar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai: Oct 14, 2016

Caesar, the last of the four police dogs who saved many lives during November 26, 2008 terror attacks and helped in various criminal cases died at a retirement animal home in Virar on Thursday morning. His handlers from the Bomb and Detection Squad (Goregaon police) were present during the funeral, which was done with the National Flag draped over Caesar.

Read: In photos: The four canine heroes of the Mumbai police

The retirement home owner Fizzah Shah said 13-year-old Caesar succumbed to old age. “He was suffering from depression, as his earlier colleagues, Max, Tiger and Sultan died a few months ago. He was admitted in the Animal Hospital in Parel for arthritis and other old age ailments for a month and miraculously recovered. But since the past week, there was a relapse,” said Shah. “He was unable to walk properly and despite being extremely week for the last two days, he would eat his favourite chicken and rice, biscuits, and branded food.”

She went on to add that Caesar was posted at Taj Hotel during the 26/11 terror attack and saved many lives. He was suffering from depression after his colleague, Tiger, a black Labrador, another police soldier died recently. The four police canines had retired from the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) last year and the other three had died within four months of each other. “When Sultan first died, Tiger went into depression, and since Tiger died Caesar had been unwell. Caesar would just sit beside Tiger’s grave and mourn his death,” said the activist.

All four of them were part of major bomb blasts in the last 12 years,including the 2006 serial blasts as well as the bomb blasts in Zaveri Bazaar. In fact, Caesar recovered 8 kg of RDX from the Taj hotel area during the 2008 terror attack,said Shah. The canine had also found many bombs in various areas of CST and other areas.

Caesar was brought to the Animal Hospital, Parel in an animal ambulance and he was cremated in the presence of his handler Santosh from Mumbai Police.

Source:hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/caesar-last-of-the-dog-squad-that-saved-lives-during-26-11-mumbai-terror-attack-passes-away/story-zzjK3GcU5NfTgkq4lgZNHP.html

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Interference in Shariat not tolerable: United Muslim Forum

October 14, 2016

Hyderabad: Mr. Mohammed Raheemuddin Ansari, Chairman of United Muslim Forum, Maulana Syed Qubool Basha Shuttari, Maulana Meer Qutubuddin Ali Chishti, Maulana Mohammed Hissamuddin II, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Mr. Ziauddin Nayyar, Mr. Syed Muneeruddin Ahmed Muqtar, Mr. Omer Ahmed Shafeeq, Mr. Masood Husain Mujtahedi, Mr. Taqi Raza Abedi, Maulana Syed Ahmed Husaini and other members in a press statement issued yesterday reacted heavily on the affidavit filed by Govt. of India. They supported the stand taken by All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Jamiatul Ulema and Jamat-e-Islami.

In the press statement, it was asserted that any interference in Muslim Personal Law will not be tolerated. It would have been appropriate if Govt. of India had consulted All India Muslim Personal Law Board before filing the affidavit. The forum is of the opinion that the stand taken by Govt. of India is interference in Muslim Personal Law and against the spirit of democracy. The forum expressed his surprised on the stand taken by Govt. of India and said that India is a democratic country. Everyone has a right to lead his life according to his religion. It is a democratic right. No Govt. or party can interfere into this right. To give opinion on Triple Talaq by BJP is an undemocratic and unjust act. The issues relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance etc have already been decided by the Shariat. Even the Muslims cannot go against these rules and hence how can any Govt. advocate changes in these laws?

Source: siasat.com/news/interference-shariat-not-tolerable-united-muslim-forum-1040850/

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'Spy' pigeon's wings clipped to stop it flying back to Pakistan: Indian police

October 14, 2016

The wings of a 'spy' pigeon taken into custody by Indian police earlier in October have been clipped, an Indian Punjab police official told The Telegraph India on Wednesday.

The 'spy' pigeon was found carrying what officials said was a warning note to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi near the heavily-militarised border as Pak-India tensions simmered following the Uri attack, subsequent ceasefire violations and an Indian 'surgical strike' a claim Pakistan has rejected.

The note in Urdu reportedly read, "'Modi, we're not the same people from 1971. Now each and every child is ready to fight against India', according to Pathankot police inspector Rakesh Kumar.

"The wings of the pigeon have been clipped to ensure the suspected spy does not fly back to Pakistan," a senior Punjab police official told The Telegraph.

"We have sent a preliminary report to the Union home ministry, including an X-ray report of the bird which did not reveal anything suspicious," the official said.

An inspector at the Bamial police station said the wings were clipped last week with the help of a veterinary worker. "We didn't want to take a chance. We also bought a cage for its stay," he said.

The bird was taken to an animal husbandry hospital in Pathankot and caged.

"We don't know how long the pigeon will stay in the police station. Residents are flocking to the police station to see the intruder," the Bamial police inspector said. He added that the police were not sure whether the bird had even come from across the border.

Another official remarked that the pigeon was female and not male as assumed earlier. "The only thing we know for sure is that it was a female pigeon," the official said.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289962/spy-pigeons-wings-clipped-to-stop-it-flying-back-to-pakistan-indian-police

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Pakistan

Chaudhry Nisar hints ‘Pak may consider selling nuclear knowledge’

October 14, 2016

Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday hinted that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet might even consider selling of ‘nuclear knowledge’ to overcome financial crisis being faced by the country.

Some recent reports in the Pakistani media also said the government has, after motorway and airports, decided to mortgage PTV and Radio Pakistan buildings in order to secure loans.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, the Pakistani Interior Minister said, “Someday I call one of you my friend and suppose tell you that a meeting has been conducted and it has been decided that Pakistan is under huge economic crunch and will so sell its nuclear knowledge; so, now you tell me, you are a journalist, but you are a Pakistani too, wouldn’t you be able to understand that what could be the implications for Pakistan if I publish this news?”

He drew this parallel in a bid to justify putting Dawn journalist Cyril Almeida on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The Pakistan Government a couple of days back put Almeida on the ECL after the Dawn published a report, denied by authorities, by him about an alleged rift between the country’s powerful military and its government.

During the conference, Khan also said, “An attempt has been made to adversely impact a critical national security paradigm, so there should be an inquiry… Indian media used the report, saying that publication of the story verifies the Indian narrative of Pakistani dealings with non-state actors.”

Source: siasat.com/news/chaudhry-nisar-hints-pak-may-consider-selling-nuclear-knowledge-1041020/

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Two booked on blasphemy charge in Kasur

October 14, 2016

KASUR: Kot Radha Kishan police on Thursday arrested a prayer leader and his student on blasphemy charges.

According to FIR, the complainant, Muhammad Imtiaz, of Marali Ottar village, Kot Radha Kishan, alleged he saw a local youth (17) burning some torn pages of the Holy Quran in a street.

It said that on being admonished by the complainant for his act, the youth insisted that the appropriate way to dispose of damaged pages of the Holy Quran was to burn and then bury these. To decide the matter, the FIR said, the youth called prayer leader of a local mosque, also his teacher, who too backed his student’s stance and allegedly cited a Hadith to support his claim.

When the complainant brought the matter to the knowledge of a so-called faith-healer (peer), he advised him to report it to police.

On receiving the information, the police arrived at the spot and arrested the youth and the prayer leader.

The police have entered a case under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against both the suspects.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289871/two-booked-on-blasphemy-charge-in-kasur

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Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss plans for joint military training

October 14, 2016

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev addressing a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said both countries have discussed plans for joint military training between their armed forces.

"Pakistan has a very developed defence industry. We discussed detailed cooperation in this area... So we can work together to establish joint production," said President Aliyev.

The Azerbaijan president said both countries had discussed plans for joint military training as well.

"Political contacts will continue," he said, and both countries have discussed how to increase levels of trade.

"What we can export to each other will be closely addressed in the coming months," he said.

President Aliyev also stated that travel between the two countries would become easier after an electronic visa system was implemented.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for all regional and global issues to be resolved through dialogue and peaceful means and within the international laws.

"Our mutual support on the issue of Kashmir testifies to the close understanding of our two countries. I appreciate Azerbaijan's support for Pakistan's stance on Kashmir which calls for resolution through dialogue and peaceful means," the PM said. "The mutual support should remain firmly in place," he stated.

"We have signed a joint declaration that depicts our mutual stance to diversify our diplomatic relations. We seek to further our relations in the fields of economy, investment, trade and finance," he said.

This is PM Nawaz's first visit to Azerbaijan on the invitation of President Aliyev. He is accompanied by a high-level delegation and will hold talks with the president and prime minister of Azerbaijan.

Economic cooperation, including trade and investment, are to be the focus of their talks.

They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, with particular attention to the situation in South Asia.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289965/azerbaijan-pakistan-discuss-plans-for-joint-military-training

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No back-door diplomacy with India: Pakistan

October 14, 2016

Islamabad: There is no back-door diplomacy between Pakistan and India and contacts between the two countries were based on the desire of the two neighbours, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said.

According to Radio Pakistan, Aziz said in an interview: “There is no back-door or track-II diplomacy between Pakistan and India.”

Aziz said Islamabad enjoys good bilateral ties with the US, Britain, the European Union, the Middle East and other regions of the world and that Islamabad has been pursuing various connectivity projects in the South Asia region such as CASA-1000 and the Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Aziz’s remarks come as relations between India and Pakistan have soured after the September 18 attack on an Army camp in Uri town of Kashmir Valley in which 19 security personnel were killed. The relations further dipped after Indian security forces on September 29 carried out surgical strikes at terror “launch pads” across the Line of Control in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Source: siasat.com/news/no-back-door-diplomacy-india-pakistan-1041234/

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LoC violations indicate Indian nervousness: FO

October 14, 2016

Pakistan Foreign Office on Friday saw “nervousness” behind Indian “ceasefire violations” and “interference” in internal affairs of neighbours, reported Radio Pakistan.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during a press briefing in Islamabad that “ceasefire violations on LoC and interference in internal affairs of neighbours are indicative of Indian nervousness.

He said that India was nervous because of “diplomatic offensive” by Pakistan to expose New Delhi over situation in the India-held Kashmir.

The spokesperson said that the marathon visits of the prime minister’s special envoys across the world to highlight human rights violations in held Kashmir remain successful.

The envoys raised the issue on international level, he said, adding that Indian atrocities in held Kashmir continue. Security forces have been using pellet guns, he said.

“Kashmiri people have been barred from offering Jumma prayers for 17 consecutive weeks.”

Rejecting the impression of Pakistan’s isolation on diplomatic front, he said that Pakistan is certainly not isolated internationally. He added that Turkey has supported the stance of Pakistan on India-held Kashmir.

He claimed that former US Secretary Defence Chuck Hagel had alleged Indian involvement in the usage of Afghan soil against Pakistan.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289966/loc-violations-indicate-indian-nervousness-fo

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Private school notification riles many

October 14, 2016

SAHIWAL: A cross section of society, especially prominent Punjabi language activists and literary organisations, have taken a dim view of a private school’s notification which dubs Punjabi a “foul language.”

Some parents of the enrolled students joined the voices of anguish over a 10-point notification which has been served on parents by the management of an elite school’s boys campus at Farid Town. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the notification and that the institution tender an apology to those who have Punjabi their mother language.

The notification declares Punjabi a “foul language for the children as well as parents”. The fifth point of the notification reads: “Foul language is NOT ALLOWED within and outside the school premises, in the morning, during the school hours, and after home time”.

Activists, parents seek explanation for ‘demeaning Punjabi’

The notice goes on to explain the definition of foul language saying: “Foul language includes taunts, abuses, Punjabi and the hate speech.”

Sources told Dawn that the notification had been circulated in all branches of the school in Punjab. The parents, as is the standard practice, have been asked to sign the notification and return it to the school office.

Mr Jameel Ahmed, the principal of the school’s campus in question, claimed he had received the contents of the notification from the “Head Office, Lahore.” He declined to comment when asked about the reasons for using derogatory word for the Punjabi language.

Punjabi scholar and columnist Mushtaq Soofi told Dawn over telephone that he had seen the notification on social media and found it “disgracing to millions of Punjabis who are living in Pakistan and Indian Punjab and also the Punjabi diaspora living across the globe.”

Prof Dr Saeed Bhutta of the Punjab University’s Oriental College had this to say: “The Punjabi language has an age-old history starting off from Baba Farid (Pakpattan) to Khwaja Farid (Kot Mithan). The notification is a disgrace and ignorance of a ‘certain class’ towards Punjabi heritage”.

For Rao Shafiq, a former educationist who is now a rights activist, speaking the mother language is a guaranteed constitutional right. “The 1973 Constitution allows the federating units to impart formal primary learning in mother tongue. The question is how can a school instruct parents to not speak the Punjabi language,” he decried.

Corroborating the views, the father of a fifth-grade student (in the school) said the notification’s wording “demeans a language which has been used by the saints and seers over the last many centuries.”

“This means that our children should not speak to their grandparents only because their language is Punjabi,” bemoaned another parent. “It seems to be an attempt to deprive children of folk wisdom and rich cultural identity,” he said.

Amjad Saleem, a known publisher in Lahore, says protection and promotion of regional languages of Pakistan is a guaranteed constitutional right which no school can undo.

Meanwhile, a meeting at Mahkain Punjabi Adabi Board chaired by Mushtaq Adil Kathaya passed a resolution condemning the language of the notification. The participants demanded withdrawal of the notification and an “explanation” from the school management.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289869/private-school-notification-riles-many

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Three FC personnel gunned down in Quetta

October 14, 2016

Three Frontier Corps personnel were gunned down in Quetta's Sabzal Road area on Friday.

According to police sources, suspected militants opened fire at the FC men. Two men died on the spot, whereas the third succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital. The bodies were shifted to a nearby hospital.

The attackers escaped unharmed.

Police and a large contingent of FC arrived at the spot shortly after the incident and investigations into the attack have started.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289960/three-fc-personnel-gunned-down-in-quetta

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Police officer gunned down in Peshawar

October 14, 2016

A police officer was gunned down on Friday in the Faqirabad area of Peshawar. In a separate incident, five hand grenades were recovered in the city's Mattani area, according to the police.

The police officer, identified as Rehmanullah, had been deployed at Faqirabad police station and was targeted by unidentified armed assailants as he was returning home from a vegetable market.

The deceased was an ex-serviceman hired by police for the Special Police Force on contract following his retirement.

Separately, the police recovered five hand grenades in the Mattani suburbs of Peshawar during a search operation.

According to Additional Inspector General Bomb Disposal Squad, the grenades were recovered from fields near the police station in Mattani and were defused successfully.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289959/police-officer-gunned-down-in-peshawar

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Pak-India tensions seen dominating Indian BRICS summit

October 14, 2016

India is set to take its drive to isolate Pakistan and rally the international community against 'cross-border terrorism' to a summit of emerging market powers this weekend, when it hosts BRICS nations in the western state of Goa.

For Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the gathering of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa offers an opportunity to highlight the threat he sees to Indian security from recent border clashes with Pakistan.

But across the summit table at a resort hotel, Chinese President Xi Jinping is unlikely to have much interest in casting Beijing's alliance with Pakistan into doubt.

The final summit declaration is expected to repeat earlier condemnations of "terrorism in all its forms", say diplomats and analysts, but avoid levelling blame over tensions between the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals.

Such discussions will make security a dominant issue at the eighth annual summit of the group, even as leaders also address core themes such as the global economy, financial cooperation and mutual trade.

"We will be looking at the global economic and political situation, and obviously terrorism is a very important part of that," Amar Sinha, the Indian foreign ministry official responsible for the BRICS file, told a pre-summit briefing.

China not Pakistan's perpetual 'jolly partner'

Where Modi and Xi may see eye to eye, at least privately, is in a shared desire for Islamabad to act against militants who, in Beijing's view, pose a threat to China's plans to build a $51.5 billion trade corridor that runs through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea.

"Contrary to the public messaging in Islamabad, China is not the perpetual jolly partner when it comes to its relations with Pakistan," said Michael Kugelman, a senior program associate at the Wilson Centre in Washington who focuses on South Asia.

"With China's investments and economic assets growing in Pakistan, it's only natural that it would worry. All militants threaten stability and by extension, China's economic interests," he added.

In addition to launching what it described as cross-border "surgical strikes" against suspected militants in Pakistan, in response to a Sept 18 attack on an Indian army base that killed 19 Indian soldiers, New Delhi has mounted a diplomatic offensive to isolate Islamabad.

Pakistan continues to deny any part in the attack on the Uri army base, near the Line of Control that runs through Kashmir. It also denies any "surgical strikes" took place, saying there was only cross-border firing that is relatively common along the frontier.

Islamabad has stated that India has exploited the incident to divert attention from its own security crackdown on protests in India-held Kashmir sparked by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen

More than 80 civilians have been killed and thousands wounded in India's part of Kashmir, and a widespread curfew has been imposed.

Expressions of Support

After the Uri attack, India quickly won expressions of support from the West and from Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin will also hold a bilateral summit with Modi in Goa.

China, for its part, has shown public restraint.

Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said that China and Pakistan were paying close attention to security threats to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“If Pakistan's security situation does not improve, it will obstruct some of these projects - especially infrastructure ones,” said Zhao. “In this sense, cooperation on counter-terrorism is very close.”

India has already engineered the collapse of a South Asian Regional Cooperation summit to have been hosted by Pakistan, and the Goa gathering will also feature an outreach session to countries from the Bay of Bengal region that could emerge as an alternative focus of regional cooperation.

working groups

BRICS leaders will support plans agreed by their national security advisers to create three working groups to cooperate on cyber security, counter-terrorism and energy security, said Sinha, the Indian foreign ministry official.

But diplomats and analysts say that India's long-held ambition of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a club of nuclear-trading nations, is unlikely to progress at Goa with China yet to soften its blocking stance.

And, despite concerns about militancy within Pakistan, China has rebuffed India's calls for the United Nations to designate Masood Azhar, leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed that India blamed for the Pathankot attack earlier in 2016, as a terrorist.

China recently extended a so-called "hold" on the designation by a further three months.

That reflects an evolving rivalry between the world's two most populous nations in which, under Modi, India is seeking to close huge economic and military gaps and is shifting away from traditional non-alignment and seeking a closer partnership with the United States.

At the same time, China is expanding its economic and strategic reach into the Indian Ocean region, with Xi visiting Bangladesh on Friday en route to Goa where he is expected to sign loans worth $24 billion.

"Overall, it will be an awkward summit," said Shashank Joshi, a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

He added that, for India, "diplomatic isolation of Pakistan will be the most important objective."

Source: dawn.com/news/1289952/pak-india-tensions-seen-dominating-indian-brics-summit

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CJP says country being run like monocracy

October 14, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali said on Thursday the country was being run like a “monocracy” in the name of democracy.

“This court has repeatedly been saying that monocracy exists in this country in the name of democracy, but it is for the people who voted the [current] rulers to power to stand up against them,” said the chief justice of the Supreme Court during a hearing on the case about the Punjab government’s ambitious Rs45 billion Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT).

Heading a five-judge bench of the court, Chief Justice Jamali observed that mockery and not democracy was being practised in the country, where bad governance was in vogue in the name of governance.

The court asked the petitioners as well as the respondents to propose by Friday (today) the names of three international consultants each who could advise the bench regarding technical matters.

SC asks petitioners, respondents to propose names of experts who could assist it in Lahore train case

These experts would be asked to re-verify the environmental assessment reports on which the Punjab government was relying in the case, namely the reports submitted by the National Engineering Services Pakistan Ltd (Nespak), Dr Pamela Rogers, Dr Uppal, the University of Civil Engineering and the Advisory Committee on the OLMT project.

The court had taken up identical appeals moved by the Punjab government, Lahore Development Authority, the Punjab Mass Transit Authority and Nespak against the Lahore High Court’s order for suspension of the construction work within 200 feet of 11 heritage sites in the provincial capital. The order was issued on a petition filed by civil society activist Kamil Khan Mumtaz.

The heritage sites concerned are the Shalamar Garden, Gulabi Bagh Gateway, Buddhu ka Awa, Chauburji, Zebunnisa’s Tomb, Lakshmi Building, General Post Office, Aiwan-i-Auqaf, the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and Baba Mauj Darya Bukhari’s shrine.

“We do not want to say much, otherwise it will go too far,” the chief justice observed in response to a statement by Advocate Azhar Siddiq, one of the respondents in the case, who alleged that it had become routine for the Punjab government to initiate a project first and seek the no-objection and other certificates from the departments concerned later.

“Who elected the Punjab government, if not the people of the province,” the chief justice said. But he made it clear that during the hearing of the case the court would limit itself to determining whether or not the OLMT project would adversely affect the heritage sites.

A leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf from Lahore, Walid Iqbal, withdrew his petition seeking to become a party in the case after Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed declared categorically that the court would not allow anyone to vandalise the city.

At the outset of the hearing, senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan, representing one of the appellants, proposed that the matter be referred to a third-party consultant for technical assessment regarding the environmental aspects of the project.

At this, Justice Saeed said: “Lahore is not close to your heart alone, but also to ours.” He said that not only were his father and grandfather buried there but he also would like to be laid to rest there.

He asked the counsel to satisfy the court that there would be no damage to the historic sites due to the project. The counsel assured the court that there would be no real damage.

Source: dawn.com/news/1289880/cjp-says-country-being-run-like-monocracy

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Africa

Kenya sets up body to manage push into Islamic finance

14.10.2016

Oct 14 Kenya launched an office dedicated to oversee its fledgling Islamic finance industry and help prepare for the issue a debut sovereign shariah-compliant bond, known as a sukuk.

With the government estimating that 11 percent of the population is Muslim, Kenya has seen the emergence of Islamic institutions in recent years, including two banks, five Islamic banking windows offered by commercial lenders, insurance firms and a unit trust fund.

The government in the East African nation wants to build up the industry as part of a long-term plan to turn Nairobi into an International Financial Centre.

"We have a real opportunity to attract local investment and capital inflows both from Muslim and non-Muslim locally and internationally," Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary at the Treasury, said in a statement.

The statement called the new body the Islamic Finance Project Management Office.

Finance that complies with Islamic sharia law shuns payment of interest rate in favour of sharing profit.

Kenya, which has applied to become a member of the Islamic Financial Services board, is carrying out legal and policy reforms to facilitate the growth of the industry.

"After the implementation of these reforms, among other things, the government will consider issuing a sovereign Sukuk," Thugge said.

Source: in.reuters.com/article/kenya-islamicfunds-idINL8N1CK1JE

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4 Killed as Convoy Ambushed in Central Mali, Army Says

OCT. 13, 2016

BAMAKO, Mali — A Mali army spokesman says four soldiers have been killed and nine wounded when armed men attacked a convoy in the central Segou region.

Col. Abdoulaye Sidibe said an army vehicle hit a land mine Thursday, and assailants then shot at the convoy traveling between Diabaly and Nampala. He said three of nine wounded soldiers are in serious condition.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, though it is similar to others by the Macina Liberation Front, which has attacked security forces in Mali's Segou and Mopti regions. It has ties to the al-Qaida-linked Ansar Dine extremist group.

Islamic extremists took control of northern Mali in 2012. Though a French-led intervention drove them from strongholds in 2013, attacks by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and allied groups are common.

Source: nytimes.com/aponline/2016/10/13/world/africa/ap-af-mali-violence.html

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Nigeria: Iran Seeks To Replace Boko Haram

October 13, 2016

With Boko Haram fading from the headlines Shia Islamic terrorism is becoming more visible. Iran backed groups were always advised (often via training in Iran) Nigerian Shia radicals to maintain a low profile, especially if Sunni Islamic terrorists were active. Since the 1980s Iran has been sponsoring (paying for) Nigerian Shia to make religious or educational visits to Iran where many were recruited to receive training in how to form political and para-military organizations. This low key approach paid off as there are now a lot of Nigerian Shia willing to defend Shia Islam in Nigeria with violence (organized or otherwise). This is another victory for the Iranian Quds Force (which supervises Iranian sponsored terrorism overseas). This Quds involvement became visible in 2010 when Nigeria reported to the UN that Iran had illegally smuggled weapons to Nigeria. Iran first insisted that it was all a misunderstanding, and that the weapons were actually purchased by an unnamed Nigerian politician. Most Nigerian politicians maintain private armies. These forces are illegal, and are usually criminal gangs in the pay of local politicians. Iran then changed its story and denied that the arms shipment was from Iran at all (despite all the shipping documents and witnesses indicating otherwise.) Full report at:strategypage.com/%5Cqnd%5Cnigeria%5Carticles%5C20161013.aspx

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Kaduna Governor demands arrest of attackers of Shia in Nigeria

October 14, 2016

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The governor cautioned security officers while urging them to immediately arrest the irate youths who took part in the act.

Nine people were martyred in the attack in the state and El-Rufai says those who participated in it must be brought to justice just as he warned against actions that would cause the death of anyone in the state.

The attack in that part of Kaduna was said to have been carried out by irate youths from the state, however our sources informed that thugs with the support of police, demolished the Shia’s Islamic school in the area.

Premium Times reports that the spokesperson of the Shia group, Ibrahim Musa, had been arrested on the order of the Kaduna state government.

A statement signed by Samuel Aruwan, the spokesperson El-Rufai, said the governor was challenging the security agents to uphold law and order as well as investigate and arrest anyone found culpable in the act.

Nigerian thugs and Police opened fire on mourners of Imam Hussein in Center of the Islamic movement in Kaduna Nigeria, after the successful procession the security operatives went to zango road, tudun wada kaduna were the annual Ashura Mourning Gatherings take place daily they open fire.

At least 9 martyred at Funtua town in Katsina State, 1 in Sokoto, 3 in Kaduna and the IMN center there was set ablaze. Also report reaching us the security operatives hired thugs and gave them N5,000 to kill any Shia seen in Kaduna Nigeria.

Combine of the Nigerian securities and other thugs had just set ablaze the Kaduna center of the IMN immediately after the Ashura procession, they have detained so many members of the Islamic movement in Nigeria today.

Source: en.abna24.com/service/africa/archive/2016/10/14/785386/story.html

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North America

Appetite for halal food to reach $1.9 trillion by 2021

Friday, 14 October 2016

Halal products in Malaysia are about to get easier to identify, as a Malaysian organization has launched a logo to denote products made by Muslim businesses, which, according to the organization will support the export of those products, strengthen the purchasing power of consumers and encourage non-Muslim firms to enter the halal market.

Standardization

Launching a logo, though might benefit the national economy and reduce costs in the long run, is also considered a stumbling block by existing authorities who certify products, Halal Food Authority is one of them. Its Chief Executive Officer, Saqib Mohammad voiced his concerns about the halal logo, saying that it will increase production costs, which will be passed on to importers.

Abdullah Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center, begs to differ, he believes that standardization is key to supporting the Islamic Economy, be it the standardization of logos, producing or packaging. He added, that the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology also launched a halal logo in 2014.

Halal Food Sector

Countries’ efforts to regulate and improve the halal food sector is unsurprising, given its size and the opportunities it presents; food and beverage topped Muslim spending by category last year, exceeding the spending of the world’s largest economies, United States of America (US), China and Japan.

Spending is expected to further accelerate, as shown in the most recent report about the state of the Islamic economy, published by Thomson Reuters and Dinar Standard, which expected Muslim spending on food and beverage to grow from $1.17 trillion last year to $1.9 trillion by 2021.

Workers wait for customers at their fast food outlet in London January 20, 2011. (Reuters)

Challenges

Opportunities and challenges are two faces of the same coin, and with the growing appetite for investing in the Islamic economy, namely by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Islamic banks have unfortunately lost their appetite in lending to them, given the current economic conditions that are neither on one’s side.

Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank linked the recovery of the SME sector to that of the economy as a whole in which he expects will start to take place mid next year.

On the other hand, Halal Food authority strongly believes the biggest challenge ahead is the new accreditation system being launched by the GCC Standardization Organization.

United States’ new found love for halal food

Halal food sector is not restricted to Muslims or Islamic Economies, and the figures have proved it, according to reports, the number of halal restaurants in the US jumped from a mere 200 in 1998 to 7600 now, and customers include Muslims and non-Muslims.

Additionally, Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America forecasts the total sales of halal food and beverages and supermarket products to increase by a third this year compared with 2010 reaching 20 billion dollars.

Islamic finance drove the growth of the Islamic economy in the last few years, but as the numbers have shown, there is a new driver in town, and it is definitely made of food.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/business/economy/2016/10/14/Appetite-for-halal-food-to-reach-1-9-trillion-by-2021.html

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Clinton says Muslims have been in America since George Washington

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left, talks as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump watches her during the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP)

A Muslim woman at the second presidential debate asked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton how they would help millions of Muslims in the United States "deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country."

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said that Muslims have to report problems, because "if they don't do that, it's a very difficult situation for our country." And Clinton, his Democratic rival, won’t use the term "radical Islamic terrorism," Trump said, which we have said is misleading.

Clinton said she wanted Muslims to feel included in the country, "part of our homeland security."

"We've had Muslims in America since George Washington," Clinton said. "And we've had many successful Muslims. We just lost a particular well-known one with Muhammad Ali."

We wondered about Clinton’s remarks about Muslims being in America since the nation’s first president, more than 200 years ago.

There are about 2.75 million Muslims in America, according to estimates by Pew Research Center. Islam is the second-largest religion in the world after Christianity and the fastest growing.

Muslims were singled out this election cycle when Trump in December 2015 called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," until U.S. representatives "can figure out what is going on."

Trump’s statement came a few days after a husband and wife in San Bernardino, Calif., fatally shot 14 people and wounded more than 20 others. The woman was from Pakistan and on the day of the attack pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a terrorist group also known as ISIS.

In June 2016, Trump said he was revising his plan, and would suspend immigration from areas with "proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats."

After the mass shooting in California and other attacks in Paris, hate crimes against Muslims spiked in the United States, the New York Times reported.

Given statements about banning Muslims from coming to the United States and the attacks some already in the country are facing, Clinton’s comment about their presence in the country dating back hundreds of years seemed relevant.

Muslim slaves

Clinton’s campaign pointed us to a Feb. 9, 2015, opinion piece in the New York Times by Peter Manseau, who has written about American history and religions.

"No matter how anxious people may be about Islam, the notion of a Muslim invasion of this majority-Christian country has no basis in fact," Manseau’s New York Times piece said. "Moreover, there is an inconvenient footnote to the assertion that Islam is anti-American: Muslims arrived here before the founding of the United States — not just a few, but thousands."

Muslims have been "overlooked because they were not free to practice their faith," Manseau wrote.

Manseau’s piece discusses a man called Estevanico who was raised in Azemmour, a Moroccan city that was once a "Muslim stronghold against European invasion." In 1528, an enslaved Estevanico and Spanish explorers were shipwrecked near present-day Galveston, Texas. Estevanico eventually escaped his Christian captors and lived in the Southwest, Manseau wrote.

In the 1700s, Louisiana plantation owners "made it a point to add enslaved Muslims to their labor force, relying on their experience with the cultivation of indigo and rice," the New York Times piece said.

Arabs in America, a project at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, also says scholars believe Estevanico was a practicing Muslim, "though he nominally converted to Catholicism to appease his Spanish masters."

The Clinton campaign also sent over a Q&A page on Tolerance.org about Muslims that says they arrived in America more than 400 years ago as slaves and that many practiced their faith in secret. They also pointed to a PBS feature on Islam in America that says 10 to 15 percent of African slaves were believed to be Muslims.

Experts also backed up Clinton’s claim.

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, a professor of religion and humanities at Reed College, also noted that the National Portrait Gallery includes a portrait of Yarrow Mamout, identified as an African-American Muslim man and former slave.

"His portrait reminds us that Muslims have been a part of the fabric of this nation since the beginning," Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a July 2016 press statement when it was announced the portrait would be added as part of the museum’s annual rotations.

Scholars also referred us to a post about the Founding Fathers and Islam by James H. Hutson, chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress.

"Readers may be surprised to learn that there may have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Muslims in the United States in 1776 — imported as slaves from areas of Africa where Islam flourished," Hutson wrote. "Although there is no evidence that the Founders were aware of the religious convictions of their bondsmen, it is clear that the Founding Fathers thought about the relationship of Islam to the new nation and were prepared to make a place for it in the republic."

Washington said he would welcome Muslims to Mount Vernon (his home) "if they were ‘good workmen’," Hutson said. Washington also "suggested a way for Muslims to ‘obtain proper relief’ " from a proposed bill in Virginia levying taxes to aid Christian worship, according to Hutson.

The post goes on to detail how the Founding Fathers in 1780 made sure the Constitution afforded "the most ample liberty of conscience … to Deists, Mahometans, Jews and Christians’," Hutson wrote.

"I think that what Secretary Clinton was suggesting by her reference to George Washington was that not only have Muslims lived in the U.S. for centuries, but that our Founding Fathers — not only George Washington but also Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and the men who wrote the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution — believed that Muslims should be free to practice their own religion, and they tried to guarantee this freedom and protect it in some of our Founding documents," said Jan Ellen Lewis, a history professor at Rutgers University who has contributed $700 to Clinton’s campaign.

Our ruling

Clinton said, "We've had Muslims in America since George Washington."

History scholars, studies and information from the Library of Congress say Muslims have been in the United States for hundreds of years, certainly dating back to Washington. Though Muslims were brought to America as slaves from Africa, experts believe many were not able to freely practice their religion. The Founding Fathers eventually outlined freedom of religion, among other rights.

We rate Clinton’s statement True.

Source: politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/13/hillary-clinton/clinton-sys-muslims-have-been-america-george-washi/

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Expert on Islam speaks at Neenah High School

Friday, October 14th 2016

NEENAH (WLUK) -- This week Neenah High Schoolers are learning about Islam and conflicts in the Middle East from a renowned expert and he just happens to be a Neenah graduate.

During Thursday's assembly at Neenah High School Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser explained the root issue in the Middle East unrest.

"A fruition of 50 to 100 years of imprisonment, dictatorship, tyranny," said Jasser who is the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

Jasser is a Muslim and the son of Syrian immigrants. He graduated from Neenah High School in 1985.

Since then he's gone on to serve as a military doctor and become a foremost authority on Islam.

According to Jasser, radical Islam is the result of politicizing the religion.

"Until Islam goes through a reformation, a separation of mosque and state, the way Christianity did with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that created this great country, you're gonna continue to see radical Islam," he explained.

He addressed the current situation in Syria, with half a million people now dead. Jasser told us the U.S. needs to help in the refugee crisis, but only if our government scans for radical ideologies.

Wisconsin was one state that pushed back against accepting Syrian refugees.

"Maybe do a six month pause and then start bringing them in. I mean, I can tell you I have family I'm trying to get here that are in Aleppo," suggested Jasser.

According to Jasser the solution to radical Islam starts with Muslims and honest conversations here in America.

He told us he hopes he had an impact on the students.

"I hope they understand that this is the most significant issue for national security in the 21st Century and that places like Neenah can have within them the solution," Jasser told FOX 11.

Students told us they do.

"We very much agree on what the solution should be, is that Muslims in America are not the problem, they're the solution," said senior Kiara Vandenlangenberg.

"The first step towards combatting anything, like he referred to when he was speaking, is to learn about what you're talking about, to learn about what you're fighting about," said senior Haafsah Fariduddin.

Dr. Jasser is currently a cardiologist living in Arizona.

He will be inducted into the Neenah Schools' Hall of Fame this weekend.

Source: fox11online.com/news/local/fox-cities/expert-on-islam-speaks-at-neenah-high-school

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-scholars-denounce-gülenist-terror-group,-its-clout-in-eurasia/d/108858

 

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