New Age Islam
Thu Dec 03 2020, 05:26 AM

Islamic World News ( 4 Nov 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim youth offers Rs 25,000 for blackening Kamal Haasan’s face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: A Muslim youth leader from Aligarh announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for anyone who blackens Kamal Haasan's face.

 

Egyptian cleric claims Sharia law allows a man to marry his own daughter if she is an illegitimate child

Turkish Daily: US Plotting to Divide Iraq, Syria into 7 Small States

Tariq Ramadan accused of ‘seducing his teenage students’

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India

Muslim youth offers Rs 25,000 for blackening Kamal Haasan’s face

Hindus, Muslims join hands for open defecation-free zone

Suspected ISIS operative arrested in Mumbai

NIA to send team to Manila to interrogate ISIS recruiter

Hyderabad's signature cuisine: Biryani, Tirupatiladdoo&idli-dosa get India Post stamp

Uttar Pradesh civic polls: BJP fields 25 Muslims in first phase

Another Assam armyman told to prove citizenship

Army foils infiltration bid on LoC, two terrorists killed

Freelance Muslim Spokesmen Offer Advantage To BJP

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Africa

Egyptian cleric claims Sharia law allows a man to marry his own daughter if she is an illegitimate child

Crime: Again, Boko Haram’s Shekau named among most powerful Muslims

Libyan Comic Con raided by armed militants for ‘attack on Islam and fascination with foreigners’

Mutharika attends Ijtima festival for Malawi Muslims: Call for continued religious co-existence

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Mideast

Turkish Daily: US Plotting to Divide Iraq, Syria into 7 Small States

Research centre launches directory on Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group

IRGC Commander: US Not Even Thinking of Using Force against Iran

Five Additional Islamic Jihad Fighters Declared Dead From Israel Strike on Gaza Tunnel

Advisor to Iranian FM: Saad al-Hariri's Resignation Ordered by Trump, Saudi Crown Prince

Iranian People Voice Support for IRGC, Urge Enhancement of Defense Capabilities

Bosnia to support Iran nuclear deal along with other EU states: Official

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Europe

Tariq Ramadan accused of ‘seducing his teenage students’

Paris terror attacks, two years on: What we know

Glasgow withdraws honour from Suu Kyi over Rohingya crisis

Manchester bomber flown to Libya after UK mosques refuse his body

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Pakistan

Pakistani university holds seminar to promote Quran, Sunnah

Police seek clerics’ help against honour killings

Anti-Pak protest by PoKgovt employees in Muzaffarabad

Policy soon to resolve party rifts, Sharif tells aides

Ahsan Iqbal dismisses any possibility of martial law

51 stolen vehicles recovered in 'largest ever' operation in Pakistan: Sindh Rangers

Top Pak army officials discuss Islamabad’s interactions with Afghanistan and US

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North America

American Muslims fear backlash after New York attack

Sikh mayoral candidate called terrorist in flyers in US

US Sets up Another Military Base in Syria

UN Practicing Double Standards as Israel is Found Guilty of Apartheid

Ruler of Sharjah arrives Cairo and delivers Egypt 354 pharaonic and Islamic artifacts

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Arab World

Saudi Arabia arrests princes, ministers in sweeping purge

ISIS car bombing kills dozens of displaced in Syria: Report

Lebanese prime minister resigns, says his life in danger

Saudi minister says has 'confirmed information' on plot to kill Lebanese PM

Six killed as Al Qaeda suspects hit Yemen security in twin suicide attacks

Missile from Yemen intercepted near Riyadh airport

Iraqi Official: Baghdad Pressured by Washington Not to Liberate Al-Qaim

Kirkuk undergoing sectarian campaign of forced demographic change under Shia militias: Talabani

Syrian Army Dispatches Hundreds of Soldiers to Southwestern DeirEzzur

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South Asia

Senior Taliban commanders among several killed in Kunduz and Faryab

Outrage in Afghanistan over government's suspension of WhatsApp, Telegram

Security guards of Gen. Dostum sentenced to jail by primary court in Kabul

NATO reaffirms support to Afghanistan as US forces lose soldier in Logar operations

Afghanistan reacts at UK Ambassador’s remarks regarding Durand Line

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Southeast Asia

Bob Rae on Rohingyas: 'Somebody has to be held responsible'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-youth-offers-rs-25,000-for-blackening-kamal-haasan’s-face/d/113124

 

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Muslim youth offers Rs 25,000 for blackening Kamal Haasan’s face

Anuja Jaiswal | TNN | Updated: Nov 4, 2017

AGRA: While right wing Hindu activists have been criticising cinestar Kamal Haasan for his controversial remarks, perceived against the community, a Muslim youth leader from Aligarh has also joined the bandwagon and announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for anyone who blackens his face.

Dubbing Kamal Haasan an "anti-national", who was trying to create a wedge between Hindus and Muslims, MohdAamir Rashid, president of Muslim Youths Association in Aligarh said that he would pay the reward to anyone who blackens his face.

Talking to TOI, Rashid said that if Hindus turn "extremists" then no other community in the country would be safe. He said anyone trying to create differences between two communities by such remarks needed to be silenced by cutting his "tongue" too.

He made it explicit that Kamal Haasan wanted to enter politics by making such "strong and provocative" statements.

In his column in a Tamil magazine that hit the stands on Thursday, the 62-year-old actor without mentioning any names had alleged that right-wing outfits had "changed course".

He had said, "Earlier such Hindu right-wingers, without indulging in violence against those belonging to other religions, made the latter indulge in violence through their arguments and counter arguments". However, since "this old conspiracy" had begun to fail, the groups are indulging in violence, he wrote. "Extremism is in no way a (mark of) success or growth for those who call themselves Hindus," wrote the Tamil film icon.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/muslim-youth-offers-rs-25000-for-blackening-kamal-haasans-face/articleshow/61510479.cms

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Egyptian cleric claims Sharia law allows a man to marry his own daughter if she is an illegitimate child

November 4, 2017

A prominent Egyptian Salafist cleric has sparked outrage after he suggested it is permissible for men to have sex with their illegitimate daughters and marry them.

Mazen Al-Sersawi claims prominent Muslim scholar Imam Al-Shafi said Islam allows the relationship between a father and an illegitimate daughter because children who are born out of wedlock are not legally recognised as the man's off-spring.

Al-Sersawi, who teaches at the prestigious Egypt's Al-Azhar University, claims Al-Shafi'I says a girl born in an adulterous relationship is 'not really his daughter'.

Because an illegitimate daughter does not carry her father's name, 'she is not his daughter according to Sharia. She is not officially attributed to him'.

The shocking claims were made by Al-Sersawi in a video which was made in 2012, but has recently gone viral as the public express their revulsion and condemnation at the suggestion that an incestuous relationship could be deemed acceptable in any culture.

Earlier this year, another Egyptian cleric Muftah Mohammad Maarouf, caused outrage when he said even new-born babies could be married off as in Islamic Sharia there is no set age for marriage for girls.

In the televised speech he insisted that as long as 'no harm' is done to the child, there is no problem 'preventing her from getting married'.

ibtimes.co.uk/egyptian-cleric-claims-sharia-law-allows-man-marry-his-own-daughter-if-she-illegitimate-child-1645942

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Turkish Daily: US Plotting to Divide Iraq, Syria into 7 Small States

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US is preparing to legitimize the Peshmerga and Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) by declaring several small countries in Iraq and Syria, a Turkish daily reported on Saturday.

YeniSafak newspaper quoted a commander who held a senior position in the Syrian army for an extended period of time and shifted to opposition ranks in 2013 as saying, "I was told that in the second half of 2018, a total of seven boutique states would be declared in Syria and Iraq.”

The opposition commander added that officials from the US State Department and Pentagon had held meetings with them in Turkey’s Hatay province’s Reyhanlı district.

He said that the US officials underlined that "Sunnis should be more active, otherwise they will suffer more victimization”.

"The Americans who met with us told us that they were our allies and that if we followed their conditions the opposition would be more strongly supported in line with the 2012 vision. America’s aim is to enable Israel to gain more of the Lebanon-Syria border and block Hezbollah’s passageway,” said the opposition commander, who highlighted that federal status would be granted along the Golan and as-Sweida line for Israel’s security and the security of the Druze community was a guise.

“Of the active petrol regions in Syria, 65 percent has been delivered to the PKK. The area that the US reserved for the Sunnis is narrow and does not take into account the population,” the commander said.

The Syrian commander, who said that the US would resort to various provocations along the border, stressed that Washington was also trying to aggravate civilians against Turkey.

According to YeniSafak, the US included the Latakia-Tartus-Damascus line in the Nusayri federal region, and reserved the Sweida-Golan-Quneitra line for the Druze community. Aleppo, Idlib and Hama were allocated to the Sunnis in the divisive map plotted by the US.

The map foresees al-Hasakah, Northern DeirEzzur, Raqqa, Manbij and Qamishli to the PKK. Iraq’s Tikrit-Salah ad Din-Anbar-Falluja for the Sunnis, Erbil-Duhok-Halabja- Sulaymaniya for the Peshmerga and Baghdad-Nassriya- Kadisiyye-Najaf corridor for the Shiites.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813001501

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Tariq Ramadan accused of ‘seducing his teenage students’

November 4, 2017

Tariq Ramadan is said to have seduced four of his teenage pupils in shocking new allegations against the prominent Islamic scholar.

According to The Tribune de Geneve newspaper, the incidents took place in the 1980s and 1990s when he was teaching in his hometown of Geneva.

Four of his former students have come forward with this new information. One of them claimed that he tried unsuccessfully to seduce her when she was just 14 years old. He allegedly targeted three others, who were aged between 15 and 18 years old at the time, according to the newspaper's report.

It is the latest in a string of damning allegations about Mr Ramadan, who is a professor at Oxford University and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Three women have accused him of rape or sexual assault in the past two weeks, providing graphic details in interviews and on social media. After the first accusation, Mr Ramadan issued a strong denial and filed counter-charges for libel.

The Tribune de Geneve said that four Swiss women, all non-Muslim, had agreed to testify about their former teacher’s alleged behaviour towards them when they were just teenagers.

They described how they felt Mr Ramadan, who worked as the professor of French and Philosophy at the Cycle of Coudriers and then at the College de Saussure in Switzerland, exercised a strong psychological influence on them.

One, known as Sandra, was 15 when Mr Ramadan made advances towards her. She said he told her: “I feel close to you. You are mature. You are special. I am surrounded by many people but I feel lonely.” She started spending time with him outside of school, and “two or three times we had intimate relationships. At the back of his car”. She added: "He said it was our secret.”

Another, Lea, said she was 14 years old when the teacher approached her during a trip. "He put my hand on my mouth telling me he knew I was thinking about him in the evening before falling asleep. Which was wrong. It was manipulation. He said he thought of me but he was married.”

In her case, she says nothing physical happened. She described him as a “crooked, intimidating man who used perverse relational ploys and abused the trust of his students. There was such an impression on us.”

A third woman, known as Agathe, was 18 and described being “captivated by the speech of this charismatic teacher”. She said Mr Ramadan invited her for a coffee outside of school, “and then I had sex with him. He was married and a father. This happened three times, especially in his car. It was consented but very violent. I had bruises all over my body.”

Agathe says the scholar threatened her and demanded she tell no one about the encounters. “It was an abuse of power, pure and simple.”

The fourth woman, Claire, was 17 when the pair started a relationship and 18 when they first had intercourse. “I was fascinated, under his control. He took me, threw me, established a relationship of dependence.”

None of these incidents were made public before now, with one of the women expressing a feeling of “disgust” and “shame” which made her stay quiet.

Several former officials contacted by the Tribune de Geneve said they had heard rumours of Mr Ramadan’s predatory behaviour, but denied actual knowledge of the acts.

"If the facts are true, we are deeply shocked," Pierre-Antoine Preti, head of communications at the Department of Education, told the newspaper.

The latest revelations suggest that Mr Ramadan may have been abusing women, including underage girls, long before the recent cases in France. The Paris authorities have opened an investigation after two women accused him rape and a third accused him of sexual assault.

Last Saturday, Mr Ramadan wrote on his Facebook page: “These accusations are simply false, and betray all the ideals I have long strived for and believed in.”

Supporters of Mr Ramadan are describing the accusations against him part of a Zionist plot to destroy his name.

But other former friends have come forward to detract him in recent days.

Stephane Lathion, a Swiss specialist in Islam who spent years accompanying Mr Ramadan on his trips across Europe, told the Tribune de Geneve that he had heard various rumours and suspicions about his former close associate’s behaviour over the years.

He shared his opinion with the paper, saying: “I'm not surprised to see testimonials coming from everywhere. Not only are the reported facts shocking, but they also reveal the discrepancy between his attitude and his discourse on a moralising Islam, which advocates sexual relations in the exclusive context of marriage.”

He continued: "Tariq Ramadan is a predator who has abused his power as a teacher, preacher and intellectual to seduce women and girls, who have suffered.”

thenational.ae/world/europe/tariq-ramadan-accused-of-seducing-his-teenage-students-1.673066

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India

Muslim youth offers Rs 25,000 for blackening Kamal Haasan’s face

Anuja Jaiswal | TNN | Updated: Nov 4, 2017

AGRA: While right wing Hindu activists have been criticising cinestar Kamal Haasan for his controversial remarks, perceived against the community, a Muslim youth leader from Aligarh has also joined the bandwagon and announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for anyone who blackens his face.

Dubbing Kamal Haasan an "anti-national", who was trying to create a wedge between Hindus and Muslims, MohdAamir Rashid, president of Muslim Youths Association in Aligarh said that he would pay the reward to anyone who blackens his face.

Talking to TOI, Rashid said that if Hindus turn "extremists" then no other community in the country would be safe. He said anyone trying to create differences between two communities by such remarks needed to be silenced by cutting his "tongue" too.

He made it explicit that Kamal Haasan wanted to enter politics by making such "strong and provocative" statements.

In his column in a Tamil magazine that hit the stands on Thursday, the 62-year-old actor without mentioning any names had alleged that right-wing outfits had "changed course".

He had said, "Earlier such Hindu right-wingers, without indulging in violence against those belonging to other religions, made the latter indulge in violence through their arguments and counter arguments". However, since "this old conspiracy" had begun to fail, the groups are indulging in violence, he wrote. "Extremism is in no way a (mark of) success or growth for those who call themselves Hindus," wrote the Tamil film icon.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/muslim-youth-offers-rs-25000-for-blackening-kamal-haasans-face/articleshow/61510479.cms

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Hindus, Muslims join hands for open defecation-free zone

MohdDilshad | TNN | Nov 5, 2017

Forgetting the scars left behind by the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, Hindus and Muslims have come together in a village here to turn it into an open defecation-free (ODF) zone.

Barwala has about 25% Muslims, the rest are primarily Jats. A month ago, two dozen people from both the communities for med what its village pradhan, Santander Balian, likes to call his "ODF flying squad". The men have a common mission: to make the village open defecation free and build as many toilets as possible. Already, their consorted efforts have resulted in 50 new toilets being made in the area.

Balian said, "Members of the flying squad go around the village in the morning and evening to catch people who defecate in the open.The squad also has a media team, which has made seven short films on the ODF issue and circulated them on social media."

The pradhan added: "Our flying squad even goes to the jungle nearby to find out if anyone is breaking the rules.They try to put some sense into the defaulters. The drive has yielded good results.While 50 toilets have been made so far, 108 people have come forward to say they want to build a toilet for their families."

Liyakat Ali, a villager said, "Both communities are together in this. There are more than 2,500 Muslims among the 12,000 people living in Barwala. All villagers have shown interest in the campaign. I built a toilet, too, recently as I didn't have one before and went out."

The "media team" has made fictional films on the theme using its own members as actors. RampalKashyap, who plays the role of the village pradhan in one of the documentaries, said, "Social media is a good platform to send out a strong message and villagers are responding very positively to it. Many people are joining us. It is our duty to circulate our films through WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter."

Nadu Kumar, a member of the flying squad, said, "People do get angry at us sometimes, but we manage to explain to them the benefits of having a toilet at home. If someone is building or renovating a house, we ask them to build a toilet too."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/hindus-muslims-join-hands-for-open-defecation-free-zone/articleshow/61515902.cms

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Suspected ISIS operative arrested in Mumbai

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested suspected ISIS terrorist Abu Zaid from the Mumbai Airport, a top police official said today.

Zaid was arrested yesterday on his arrival from Saudi Arabia.

"Abu Zaid, suspected ISIS terrorist was arrested by the ATS team from Mumbai Airport yesterday after he came from Saudi Arabia," ADG (Law and order) Anand Kumar told reporters here.

He said Zaid was residing in Riyadh and formed a social media group to allegedly radicalise youths and lure them to ISIS.

2h

ANI UP  @ANINewsUP

We have arrested a terror suspect Abu Zaid from Mumbai airport: ADG (LO) Anand Kumar pic.twitter.com/8o00VZk9VM

 ANI UP @ANINewsUP

We have brought the terror suspect on transit remand to Lucknow from Mumbai. He was the ideologue of his group: ADG (LO) Anand Kumar pic.twitter.com/JGA9XUYBG5

1:07 PM - Nov 5, 2017

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"He will be brought to Lucknow on a transit remand and will be produced in the court. We will take him in police custody for interrogating him," the ADG said.

In April, the ATS had arrested four suspected ISIS terrorist Umar alias Nazim, Ghazi Baba alias Muzammil, Mufti alias Faizan and Jakawan alias Eihtesham. Zaid's name had cropped up during interrogation.

"They used to talk via an application on the Internet and Zaid was their ideologue," the ADG said.

(With inputs from PTI)

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/suspected-isis-operative-arrested-in-mumbai/articleshow/61516790.cms

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NIA to send team to Manila to interrogate ISIS recruiter

Neeraj Chauhan | TNN | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

The NIA team will interrogate a notorious woman recruiter for the ISIS who radicalised several Indians through social media.

Sources said the NIA was already in touch with investigators in Manila following her arrest last month.

Officials feel Hamidon’s interrogation could provide crucial leads about other Indian “foreign fighters” who may have joined IS.

The NIA was already in touch with investigators in Manila following Hamidon's arrest last month.NIA to send team to Manila to interrogate ISIS recruiter

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has decided to send a team to Manila in the Philippines to interrogate a notorious woman recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) terror group, Karen Aisha Hamidon, who radicalised several Indians in the last three years through social media. Sources said the NIA was already in touch with investigators in Manila following her arrest last month.

A proposal for the planned visit would be sent soon through the ministry of home affairs. Officials feel Hamidon's interrogation could provide crucial leads about other Indian "foreign fighters" who may have joined IS since 2014 and more recruiters radicalising Indian youths through platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook etc.

TOI had first reported on October 21+ that Hamidon, whose name is mentioned in two NIA chargesheets as an "online motivator", was arrested by the Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). It was the NIA that first found out about her activities and informed the Filipino authorities last year.

The development comes even as Hamidon reportedly claimed before the department of justice in Manila on Friday that she was being "framed". According to reports in Manila-based newspapers, Hamidon told reporters she was just a "blogger" and a "Muslim missionary" against whom false accusations had been levelled by police.

"I'm into journalistic articles, composition, and a writer ... I'm an Islamic propagator, I'm a Muslim missionary, the counterpart of a Christian missionary. I only use the social media as my avenue to spread the message of Islam for religious purposes, for maximum audiences," she said, "They (police) have already sensationalised my story because I have reached the pinnacle of international notoriety with the usage of the social media."

The NBI has reportedly recovered from Hamidon, the wife of a slain leader of AnsarulKhalifa Philippines (AKP), Mohammad JaafarMaguid, several chats and messages propagating IS activities, and electronic evidence showing her association with many suspected terrorists. The NIA is hoping to get this evidence from the Philippines.

The NBI has charged Hamidon on 14 counts of violations of Article 138 (inciting a rebellion or insurrection) of the Revised Penal Code and Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 of the Philippines. In its judicial request last year to the Philippines, the NIA had provided her address as Diego Shilang village in Taguig City, Metro Manila, her phone numbers, her identity as Karen Aisha Al-Muslimah, and her online ID as @KarenAishaHamidon.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nia-to-send-team-to-manila-to-interrogate-isis-recruiter/articleshow/61513455.cms

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Hyderabad's signature cuisine: Biryani, Tirupatiladdoo&idli-dosa get India Post stamp

Syed Akbar | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

HYDERABAD: The aroma of Hyderabad's trademark cuisine biryani, baghare baingan and seviyan -may 'waft' through the air the next time you receive a mail from the India Post. These three signature dishes of Hyderabad have made their way into India postage, with the Department of Post on Friday issuing stamps with photos of these dishes.

These stamps are part of the postage on 24 different Indian dishes, including the famous Tirupatiladdu. Andhra dishes — idlidosa and pongal - have also been honoured with exclusive stamps. Stamps on Hyderabadi dishes have come as a tribute to the rich and varied cuisine of the city two months ahead of the 500th anniversary of the construction of Golconda Fort and foundation of QutubShahi dynasty. Biryani was nurtured in the royal kitchens of QutubShahis and AsafJahis.

"Biryani in Persian means fried onion. The fables surrounding the origin of biryani are many . Emperor Babar was credited with bringing biryani to north India. In the south, QutubShahis, who were of Iranian descent, introduced several Persian and Turkish dishes. The AsafJahis, who were influenced by Moghuls, added more dishes to Hyderabadi cuisine," said city historian Dr Mohammad Safiullah, who is doing research on the foods of Hyderabad.

He said the Hyderabadi cuisine was also enriched by Sufi saints. Those in the `Khanqah' of Sufi saints brought with them their own recipes. There was interchange of recipes leading to new dishes with different flavour. Thus Hyderabadi biryani, though of Persian origin, turned native with a dash of local spices.

Bagare baingan is a hallmark dish of royal kitchens of Hyderabad. As brinjal is a native Indian plant, it had always formed part of the Indian cuisine. Tomato is a later entrant into the Indian kitchen and forms an important ingredient in Andhra Pulao, which is also of Persian-Central Asian origin. Cuisine experts are not sure when seviyan became part of Id-ul-Fitrcelebrations.Seviyan was introduced into Deccan by the QutubShahis.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hyds-signature-cuisine-biryani-tirupati-laddoo-idli-dosa-get-india-post-stamp/articleshow/61514034.cms

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Uttar Pradesh civic polls: BJP fields 25 Muslims in first phase

Rajiv Srivastava | TNN | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

LUCKNOW: BJP has given tickets to nearly 25 Muslims for the first phase of local body polls in UP. The number is all set to go up significantly for the second and third phase of polls which will cover most of west UP districts.

The party has given tickets to five Muslim candidates for Lucknow's Malihabadnagar panchayat.

In Amethi, BJP has fielded Muslims candidates in Mishrauli, Babaganj South and Ghosiyana wards in Musafirkhananagar panchayat. The party has also given tickets to a few Muslim candidates in the Pratapgarh district.

BJP spokesman Chandramohan Singh told TOI that the ticket distribution is in accordance with the party's 'SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas' policy.

BJP has given tickets to five Muslim candidates from Lucknow's Malihabadnagar panchayat elections. It has fielded Atiya from Joshin Tola, Ali Mohammad from MohammadanTola, Imran Ansari from Chaudhrana, Naziya from Kewalhar ward and AzraBano from Samda ward. Similarly, Abdul Gafoor Khan has been made BJP candidate from Kurshatnagar panchayat of Unnao. In Sonebhadra district, BJP has given ticket to Sarafat Ali from Hameednagar Mahal ward. In Amethi, the saffron party has fielded Tarzan Khan from Mishrauli ward, Shahadat from Babaganj South and Sikander Ahmed from Ghosiyana in Musafirkhananagar panchayat. In Ghazipur, Mushtaq has got BJP ticket from Jamaniya, Akhtar Jamal from Ansari Mohalla and Feroz from Muhammadabad.

The BJP has also given tickets to a few Muslim candidates in Pratapgarh district. Even in Meerut Municipal Corporation, the BJP has chosen Shaukat Ali and Tanseen Ansari as corporator candidates.

However, with list of candidates for Muzaffarnagar, Amroha, Hapur in West UP still to be declared, it is believed that more Muslim candidates would be given tickets if the party has to fare well.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/up-civic-polls-bjp-fields-25-muslims/articleshow/61515147.cms

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Another Assam armyman told to prove citizenship

TNN | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

GUWAHATI: An armyman from Assam, who served as a havildar for 18 years, and his wife have been asked to prove their citizenship by a foreigners' tribunal in Barpeta district of the state.

Mahiruddin Ahmed (53), who retired from the Indian Army in 2004, and his wife, Husniara, were served notices by the tribunal on September 16 saying that both of them entered India after March 25, 1971, without any valid papers. He has been asked to appear in court on November 6.

"This is pretty unfortunate after you devote your life for the nation. I would describe it as harassment. No one in my family has ever got such a notice," a shocked Ahmed told TOI.

Last month, AzmalHaque, a junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the army, suffered a similar fate at Chaygaon in Assam's Kamrup district. Later, Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay had said that it was a case of mistaken identity.

Ahmed, who joined the Army in 1986, has served in various places across the country. At the time of his retirement in 2004, he was posted at Bathinda in Punjab. He is a resident of Khablarbhita village which comes under Barpeta Police Station

Interestingly, one of Ahmed's siblings - Jalal Uddin Ahmed - retired as an assistant sessions judge. The other one, Alaluddin Ahmed, is working with BSNL. Husniara was born at Howly in Barpeta district in 1972 and the name of her parents featured on the voters' list of 1966.

Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay has asked Barpeta SP ShiladityaChetia to do an investigation and report at the earliest. "The case dates back to 1998. Many such cases are pending in the Illegal Migrants (Determination) Tribunals. Later, these were shifted to Foreigners Tribunals. This is one of those cases," said Chetia.

According to government data, there are altogether 1,41,733 'doubtful' voters in Assam. An official document published by the Assam government in October, 2012, says in more than 92% of resolved cases of 'D' voters, those involved have been declared as genuine Indian nationals.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/another-assam-armyman-told-to-prove-citizenship/articleshow/61514991.cms

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Army foils infiltration bid on LoC, two terrorists killed

IANS | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

SRINAGAR: Two terrorists were killed on Sunday on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district as the Army foiled an infiltration bid, a defence official said.

Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said: "The terrorists were killed in Uri sector after alert troops foiled the infiltration bid

"A search operation is ongoing in the area."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/army-foils-infiltration-bid-on-loc-two-terrorists-killed/articleshow/61515011.cms

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Freelance Muslim Spokesmen Offer Advantage To BJP

Nov 05, 2017

It is one of the great ironies of our times that Muslims are a problem for all political parties, except the BJP. In a totally different way, for Mamata too. Without Muslims as a foil, there would be no Hindutva gameplan. If, by some miracle, Indian Muslims were to vanish into thin air, the social edifice erected so far, around which politics is spun, would collapse. Communities and castes would splinter. A new adhesive would be required to put Humpty Dumpty together again.

For the Congress, Muslims are a squeezed lemon. It would be indiscreet for them to say so but it is a fact they have internalized. Having been copiously used, the Muslim can now be discarded. The party may discard them but the far right, for its own reasons, can still allege a Congress collusion with minorities: “look they are silent on Love Jihad, how our women are being exploited.”

Confronted with this “have you stopped beating your wife question”, the Congress looks the other way. The other day, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India expressed his exasperation with what he called the “Muslim question”. To navigate politics past communalism, it is important to set aside “the Muslim question” he said. I suppose “setting aside” means ignoring the issue, not talking about it.

This is easier said than done. How do you set aside a community whose would-be leaders pop up, like eager beavers, on the most aggressive channels only to be brutalized by the anchors. They may imagine their being willingly pummeled earns them brownie points with the Qaum and for their own next life, but in this life their rants only swell the ranks of the BJP. As a function of deep strategy, the Muslim must shut up.

That the BJP-led government has appointed an interlocutor for Kashmir is welcome because any talk is an advance on the jam in which Kashmir is. But anyone with minimal common sense knows that the interlocutor has not been appointed to proceed towards any resolution of the issue. That would require reaching out to Pakistan.

Such a scenario is unthinkable before the 2019 general elections. And for a very simple reason. Indo-Pak talks would bring down the communal temperature. It would cause the saffron in the air to turn pale. National Anthem, VandeMatram, lynching for the cow, Love Jihad, Ram Temple are all nudging the nation towards a crescendo, a climactic clashing of the Cymbals. This carefully crafted backdrop would begin to fray if the interlocutor were to be infused with serious purpose.

In this national mood, with saffron as the dominant shade, political parties can quite sensibly avoid responding to issues the Hindutva tribe is tossing up to provoke Muslims, a sort of invitation for their most willing but least articulate spokesmen to rush to TV studios.

It is a tossup whether these solo operators do more harm to the Muslim cause or the collective called the Muslim Personal Law Board. Both are self-appointed and both, by the sheer quality of and frequency of their utterances, serve as multipliers for the Hindutva cause. A contrived feeling of pre-eminence in the wider community is so heady for this lot that it blinds them to the harm they do. It serves the Hindutva purpose to confer recognition on this growing multitude of spokesmen in the clerical mould, supremely identifiable as the “other”.

It is not that the Hindutva spokesmen on show are God’s gift to brilliant debates. They are quite as hopeless as the counterparts they have been set up to tease. Their job is to peg away at a nagging length on an issue in such a way as to invite bumbling responses and thereby add a few shades to the saffron already in the air.

If I am being carried away it is because the imagery in my mind derives largely from the Hindi belt, Maharashtra and Gujarat. There being no monoliths in India, the communal interplay in the South, for instance, is different, except Telengana where memories from Nizam’s rule have faded but attitudes linger.

Communal politics in Kerala became possible because currents came together in the 1980s. The quadrupling of oil prices attracted labour from Malabar who returned with irritating new wealth some of which went into the building of garish villas, the Dubai houses, quite out of character with Kerala’s austere skyline. Along with the nouveau riche came nouveau Islam, complete with hijab and other marks of assertion. The phenomena coincided with Nizam-e-Mustafa in ZiaulHaq’s Pakistan. The huge play given to the 1981 Meenakshipuram conversions in neighbouring Tamil Nadu was the final cherry on the communal cake.

The RSS has therefore gained but not enough to break its duck in the State Assembly. But it is making inroads through its undeclared B-team, the Congress. The purpose of this configuration is to smash the CPM.

It is this RSS-Congress interplay, which peaked during K. Karunakaran’s Chief Ministership, that makes CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury’s proposed line for the 2019 elections so reckless. He sees Narendra Modi as the ogre which all democratic forces, primarily the Congress, must combine to crush. His heavy weight Politburu comrade, Prakash Karat, says “plague on both their houses”. How can the CPM support the Congress which it fights tooth and nail in Kerala? And you never know when they start playing toeytoey with each other.

Yechury’s basic anxiety is to recover the Kingdom of West Bengal lost to Mamata Banerjee. For this reason, the CPM coordinated with the Congress for 2016 Assembly elections and came a cropper.

Mamata has mobilized the state’s 30 per cent Muslim as the central column of her support. While Mamata, with cent per cent Muslim support, is willing to stand on the secular democratic platform against Modi, Yechury sees Mamata as the main enemy.

To take advantage of the confusion, the BJP has rushed to preempt the opposition by announcing November 8, the first anniversary of Demonetization, as Black Money Day. Congress, JDU, RJD, DMK, SP, BSP, Trinamool etcetera have sworn to dwarf BJP with their very own “Day of Shame”. Why is the Left missing from this galaxy? Because the CPM is unwilling to stand on the same platform as Mamata.

Instead, the Left will have their own show – a day of Protest. Does this not weaken the opposition against Modi?

No, no, no, Yechury’s voice wafts across. We shall walk separately but strike together.

milligazette.com/news/15949-freelance-muslim-spokesmen-offer-advantage-to-bjp

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Africa

Egyptian cleric claims Sharia law allows a man to marry his own daughter if she is an illegitimate child

November 4, 2017

A prominent Egyptian Salafist cleric has sparked outrage after he suggested it is permissible for men to have sex with their illegitimate daughters and marry them.

Mazen Al-Sersawi claims prominent Muslim scholar Imam Al-Shafi said Islam allows the relationship between a father and an illegitimate daughter because children who are born out of wedlock are not legally recognised as the man's off-spring.

Al-Sersawi, who teaches at the prestigious Egypt's Al-Azhar University, claims Al-Shafi'I says a girl born in an adulterous relationship is 'not really his daughter'.

Because an illegitimate daughter does not carry her father's name, 'she is not his daughter according to Sharia. She is not officially attributed to him'.

The shocking claims were made by Al-Sersawi in a video which was made in 2012, but has recently gone viral as the public express their revulsion and condemnation at the suggestion that an incestuous relationship could be deemed acceptable in any culture.

Earlier this year, another Egyptian cleric Muftah Mohammad Maarouf, caused outrage when he said even new-born babies could be married off as in Islamic Sharia there is no set age for marriage for girls.

In the televised speech he insisted that as long as 'no harm' is done to the child, there is no problem 'preventing her from getting married'.

ibtimes.co.uk/egyptian-cleric-claims-sharia-law-allows-man-marry-his-own-daughter-if-she-illegitimate-child-1645942

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Crime: Again, Boko Haram’s Shekau named among most powerful Muslims

Posted By: Editoron: November 05, 2017

MYNATION NEWS – It is gathered that the Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto, AbubakarSaad; and Boko Haram leader, AbubakarShekau, have again been listed among the most powerful Muslims in the world.

Meanwhile this is contained in a Muslim publication, The Muslim 500 in its 2018 edition.

The publication according to a statement obtained by our correspondent, noted that there were approximately 1.84 billion Muslims in the world, making up 24.38 per cent of the world’s population.

Last year, the trio also made the list of most influential Muslims in the world.

The publication is an annual compilation of the good, the bad, and the ugly in the Islamic world.

Buhari and the Sultan were ranked 19th and 23th, respectively among the first top 50 Muslims in the world.

It explained that Shekau, the head of Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Nigeria had carried out a number of atrocities.

The publication added that Shekau speaks Hausa, Arabic, and English and claimed to have undergone theological training.

Others Nigerians listed in the publication are Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; JAMB registrar, Prof.IshaqOloyede and former justice minister, Prince Bola Ajibola.

mynationnews.com/2017/11/05/crime-again-boko-harams-shekau-named-among-most-powerful-muslims/

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Libyan Comic Con raided by armed militants for ‘attack on Islam and fascination with foreigners’

Published time: 5 Nov, 2017

A comic convention was deemed blasphemous in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where an Islamist paramilitary group shut down a gathering of superhero fans for "inciting violence," detaining and reportedly beating some 20 participants.

The second Libyan Comic Con opened in Tripoli on Thursday, bringing together local comic book lovers and cosplayers who dressed up as their favorite heroes. The party, however, was crashed on Friday by the so-called RADA Special Deterrence Forces (SDF) paramilitary group, which raided the event, detained some 20 people and seized computers and other equipment.

“They arrested over 20 people. Organizers, participants and visitors. Anyone who was wearing a badge, including visitors, were arrested – thinking they were organizers because they wore a badge,” an organizer told the Libya Herald online daily, speaking on condition of anonymity.

People walk past a stall during the Libya Comic Convention © Mahmud Turkia / AFP

The militants told the detainees, according to the anonymous organizer, that they had committed an impressive number of crimes against public morals, which included agnosticism, atheism, masonic ideas, believing in Halloween, distorting the minds of youth and even abandoning Islam altogether.

The SDF militants said they were "rescuing" the youth from Comic Con, an event they called "destructive" and “foreign” to Islam and Libya. “This sort of festival imported from abroad exploits the weakness in their religious faith and their fascination with foreign cultures,” the SDF statement read.

The purported dangers include “dissemination of pornography” and even encouraging young people to use “sharp tools and kill.” As evidence, the statement cited artworks depicting violent scenes.

SDF had no problem with real world violence, though. ‘‘Some of those who were released had received a beating, had had their head shaved bald and were given a religious lecture. They were told that Libya was a Muslim country not a free/liberal country,” the organizer told the Libya Herald.

The Comic Con movement began in the United States in the 1970s as a convention of a small number of fans who exchanged superhero magazines in San Diego, California. The event has spread around the world since then, making it even to such ultra-conservative countries as Saudi Arabia for the first time this year.

The SDF paramilitary group originates from a hardline Islamist fighting unit which participated in toppling Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Gaddafi’s ouster and assassination effectively locked the country in a perpetual civil war. The Islamist unit was later reformed and expanded into a special police force for the western UN-backed Tripoli Government of National Unity. The government is challenged by the Tobruk-based eastern administration, which is supported by military strongman KhalifaHaftar.

rt.com/news/408816-libya-comic-con-blasphemy/

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Mutharika attends Ijtima festival for Malawi Muslims: Call for continued religious co-existence

November 4, 2017

President Peter Mutharika has vowed to safeguard the freedom of worship Malawi is enjoying, saying this is a gift that must be guarded jealously.

nd population, AtupeleMuluzi commended Mutharika saying this freedom of worship is not only enjoyed by Moslems and Christians, but rather; it encompasses all religious beliefs

He made the commitment when he officially opened the 2017 Ijtmah at Mama Khadija Orphanage Centre in Lilongwe.

Ijtima is the annual gathering of Muslims where they share experiences on various developmental projects and challenges affecting their religion.

Mutharika said the peaceful co-existence and tolerance he cherishes among Moslems, Christians and members of other faiths must continue adding that this is only the case in other countries.

He assured this would never end under his watch.

“There was a time in Malawi when people from other religious denominations (Jehovah’s Witnesses) were persecuted just because they worshiped differently.

“I want to assure you that never will this country go back to religious oppression. Liberty of worship will continue in this country because religion is a gift that must be guarded jealously,” said Mutharika.

He said Islam and Christianity both have the same guiding principles of love and respect for humanity which unifies both believers.

Mutharika added that the mutual love and respect that exists between members of the different religious denominations must be extended in order to continue building the bonds.

He however counseled that any freedom one enjoys comes with great responsibilities.

“There is no freedom without responsibility and similarly there is no freedom of worship without responsibilities that come along with it. Let us promote this freedom by observing mutual respect.

“Religion must never be used to bring about chaos and pain in the country but should be used to promote peace and prosperity and development. When we do that, it means we are using religion to develop God’s people and I am happy you chose this theme (The Role of Muslims in Economical and Educational Development in Malawi),” said Mutharika.

He subsequently thanked the Muslim community on what he said were various commendable works in food security, water and education amongst others which complement government’s efforts in developing Malawi.

Mutharika who has graced the previous two Ijtimah’s of 2015 in Thyolo and 2016 in Mangochi said he looks forward to being part of future Ijtimah’s as well.

Minister of health and population, AtupeleMuluzi commended Mutharika saying this freedom of worship is not only enjoyed by Moslems and Christians, but rather; it encompasses all religious beliefs.

Muluzi added that by the virtue that president Mutharika is always available during the numerous religious ceremonies proves how Mutharika respects and values freedom of worship.

Also speaking during the ceremony was the National Chairman of the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM), Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad who said Mutharika has shown in different ways that he is a true friend to the Muslim community.

He said not only does Mutharika attend the Ijtimahs, but he also helps a lot in their preparations.

“On the other hand, he delivers everything that he promises. For example, when we were in need; he promised us a piece of land in Mangochi and as of now we have already been given that land.

“As a leader of the Muslim community in Malawi, I want to assure you that we will always be with you and support you in good and bad times.

“Problems will always be there but we will provide you with advice and we will not go behind your back because we are not hypocrites and also because Islam teaches us to stand by and respect our leaders,” he said.

Other people who spoke on the day were Sheikh Muhammad Osman; Chairman of the Ijtimah main committee, Sheikh Saleem Banda who provided a key note address and guest speaker, Dr Al-Tamaam.

Almost all of the speakers expressed gratitude to president Mutharika for the recent approval by the Reserve Bank of Malawi for banks to be able to introduce an Islamic Banking Window in their banks. This is a banking system that follows the teachings of Islam which amongst others forbids interests.

nyasatimes.com/mutharika-attends-ijtima-festival-malawi-muslims-call-continued-religious-co-existence/

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Mideast

Turkish Daily: US Plotting to Divide Iraq, Syria into 7 Small States

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US is preparing to legitimize the Peshmerga and Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) by declaring several small countries in Iraq and Syria, a Turkish daily reported on Saturday.

YeniSafak newspaper quoted a commander who held a senior position in the Syrian army for an extended period of time and shifted to opposition ranks in 2013 as saying, "I was told that in the second half of 2018, a total of seven boutique states would be declared in Syria and Iraq.”

The opposition commander added that officials from the US State Department and Pentagon had held meetings with them in Turkey’s Hatay province’s Reyhanlı district.

He said that the US officials underlined that "Sunnis should be more active, otherwise they will suffer more victimization”.

"The Americans who met with us told us that they were our allies and that if we followed their conditions the opposition would be more strongly supported in line with the 2012 vision. America’s aim is to enable Israel to gain more of the Lebanon-Syria border and block Hezbollah’s passageway,” said the opposition commander, who highlighted that federal status would be granted along the Golan and as-Sweida line for Israel’s security and the security of the Druze community was a guise.

“Of the active petrol regions in Syria, 65 percent has been delivered to the PKK. The area that the US reserved for the Sunnis is narrow and does not take into account the population,” the commander said.

The Syrian commander, who said that the US would resort to various provocations along the border, stressed that Washington was also trying to aggravate civilians against Turkey.

According to YeniSafak, the US included the Latakia-Tartus-Damascus line in the Nusayri federal region, and reserved the Sweida-Golan-Quneitra line for the Druze community. Aleppo, Idlib and Hama were allocated to the Sunnis in the divisive map plotted by the US.

The map foresees al-Hasakah, Northern DeirEzzur, Raqqa, Manbij and Qamishli to the PKK. Iraq’s Tikrit-Salah ad Din-Anbar-Falluja for the Sunnis, Erbil-Duhok-Halabja- Sulaymaniya for the Peshmerga and Baghdad-Nassriya- Kadisiyye-Najaf corridor for the Shiites.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813001501

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Research centre launches directory on Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group

 

SHARJAH, 4th November, 2017 (WAM) -- The Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre has launched the world's largest directory on the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group.

The 1,300-page directory, entitled "The International Muslim Brotherhood Directory," was launched on Saturday during the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair 2017. It was compiled by a team of 50 research specialists and editors from various nationalities, with contributions by Dr. Salem Humaid, Chairman of the Centre.

The directory sheds light on the Muslim Brotherhood group and its branches around the world. It also exposes its agenda, founded on politicising religion.

"We felt there is a pressing need for such a directory because the Muslim Brotherhood group projects itself in an ideal image while hiding its real political goals," Dr.Humaid said.

wam.ae/en/details/1395302644176

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IRGC Commander: US Not Even Thinking of Using Force against Iran

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami underlined Iran's undeniable power in the region, noting that Washington no more speaks of the military option against Tehran.

"The US officials don’t even think of the military option anymore and the US knows that if the capacities of Jihad are activated with all its capabilities, then there will be no Israeli regime left in the near future and if any new war is waged, it will be the US forces who should leave the region," General Salami said, addressing the participants in rallies on the occasion of Student Day and the National Day of Campaign against Arrogance in the Central city of Qom on Saturday.

Stressing Iran's regional power, he said, "Today Iran's role and power is clear and undeniable in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq."

Millions of people, including school and university students, in different cities across the country participated in massive rallies, chanting "Down with the US" and "Down with Israel" slogans to show their strong condemnation of Washington's policies against Iran.

The Iranian people from all walks of life, including school and university students, took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the US embassy takeover in 1979 and commemorate the National Day of Campaign against Global Arrogance and the National Student Day in massive rallies on Saturday.

Participants in the annual rally in front of the former US embassy in Tehran known by the Iranians as 'the den of spies' carried placards deploring the US hegemonic policies in the world, and vowed to follow the path of late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini, and renewed allegiance to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

They also blasted the US for non-commitment to its undertakings based on the last year nuclear deal with Iran, and called on the Iranian officials to keep vigilant against Washington's deception.

Also, during the rallies, one of Iran's most powerful missiles named Qadr was displayed which is a 2000km-range, liquid-fuelled ballistic missile and can reach territories as far as Israel.

The missile can carry different types of ‘Blast’ and ‘MRV’ (Multiple Reentry Vehicle) payloads to destroy a range of targets. The new version of Qadr H can be launched from mobile platforms or silos in different positions and can escape missile defense shields due to their radar-evading capability.

The rallies were held two days after Ayatollah Khamenei blasted the US for continued hostility towards Iran, stressing that the only way to confront it is resistance.

"Giving in to the US will make it impudent; the only way is to resist," Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing thousands of school and university students in Tehran on Thursday on the occasion of the national Student Day.

Referring to the continued US enmities towards Iran, he said, "They are using all the wickedness to destroy the fruit of the nuclear talks, i.e. the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)."

"The US is literally the nefarious and major enemy, and it is a fact established not through bias and pessimisms, but through experience, realization of issues, and field facts,' said Ayatollah Khamenei.

Commenting on the US President Donald Trump's calling Iranians a "terrorist nation", the Leader said, "These absurd words show that not only are the Americans an enemy of Iran's leader and government, but they also hold a grudge against Iranian people who have tirelessly resisted against them."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813001382

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Five Additional Islamic Jihad Fighters Declared Dead From Israel Strike on Gaza Tunnel

Jack Khoury Nov 05, 2017

The announcement brings the total death toll to 12; such tunnels have been used in the past to attack or capture Israelis

Hamas security force secures the site while Palestinian bulldozers and Israeli backhoes search the destroyed tunnel for the missing of five Islamic Jihad militants near the Israeli border. Adel Hana/AP

Israel uses tunnel incident to bargain with Hamas

Analysis Israeli strike on cross-border Gaza tunnel may have been too successful

Israeli minister revealed details on Gaza tunnel strike the army wanted under wraps

Five additional Islamic Jihad men were declared dead from a recent IDF strike on a tunnel the militants were building to cross into Israel, Islamic Jihad's miltiary arm announced Friday.

This brings the number of those killed in the tunnel collapse to 12. Thirteen men were also injured when the tunnel caved in on their men, Al Aqsa Brigades said in their statement.

The five were members of two of Islamic Jihad's elite military forces, the logistics unit and the tunneling unit. Among the others whose deaths were already announced was a commander and his deputy.

“We announce that the brigades have lost five more heroic fighters who worked for years digging freedom tunnels as part of a massive effort,” the statement said. “The five men fell as a result of the criminal strike on Monday evening this week, and they joined the soil that has previously embraced dozens of the dead, their fathers and grandfathers, who fought for the freedom of the Palestinian people,” the statement said.

The statement said the Israeli strike would not impact their ongoing struggle against Israel, including tunneling which is intended to which they consider a deterrent strategy and key to the release of Palestinian prisoners.

An Islamic Jihad operative in Gaza told Haaretz that the statement was released before the five bodies were found. They did this, he said to send an explicit message to Israel that they reject Israeli attempts to broker a deal in which Palestinian search and rescue teams would be allowed to approach the border fence in exchange for the release of information about the bodies of missing Israeli soldiers being held in the Gaza Strip.

A senior Islamic Jihad official, Khaled al-Batash, said last week in interviews with Gaza media outlets and the tunnel that was attacked was intended for operational action to gain the release of Palestinian prisoners, and hinted that the plan was to abduct Israeli civilians or soldiers, with the likely goal of using them as a bargaining chip to win the release of their men behind held in Israel.

Palestinian militants in the past have used tunnels to dig underground into Israeli territory in order to attack and capture Israelis.

According to search and rescue officials in Gaza, some of the injured and dead are senior Islamic Jihad commanders who arrived at the scene shortly after the strike to help extricate their comrades. According to them, they were killed in the second wave of the IDF strike.

But the Israeli army has said that the Palestinians were not killed intentionally by the IDF, but rather from smoke inhalation when they tried to enter the tunnel to recuse those stranded inside.

Islamic Jihad has said they were reserving the right to strike back in revenge, but the IDF has said it was not interested in an escalation along its southern border with Gaza.

Israel is not alone in hoping to avoid a new flare—up on a border that has been mostly quiet since the 2014 Gaza War between Israel and Hamas.

Egypt too is concerend a new wave of violence would destroy the reconcilliation agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah to form a Palestinian unity government after ten years of de—facto cold war between the rival Palsetinian factions.

read more: haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.821091

haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.821091

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Advisor to Iranian FM: Saad al-Hariri's Resignation Ordered by Trump, Saudi Crown Prince

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Advisor to the Iranian foreign minister Hossein Sheikholeslam underlined that US President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman have coaxed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri into declaring his resignation in a foreign country.

"Al-Hariri's resignation was done in coordination with Trump and Mohammed bin Salman to foment tension in Lebanon and the region," Sheikholeslam said on Saturday.

Noting that the resignation was planned by the Americans to make up for their losses after the ISIL was defeated in the region, he said it was better for al-Hariri to respect the Lebanese nation and submit his resignation inside the country and not from a foreign state, Saudi Arabia.

Al-Hariri resigned during a trip to Saudi Arabia in a surprise move that plunged the country into uncertainty amid heightened regional tensions.

In a televised address from Riyadh, al-Hariri launched a vicious tirade against Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group for what he claimed was their meddling in Arab affairs.

Al-Hariri was appointed prime minister in late 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity cabinet.

Al-Hariri’s resignation on Saturday was expected to sharply raise tensions in the country.

In his speech, he claimed he feared for his life and that the atmosphere in the country is similar to the one that existed before his father, the late prime ministerRafik al-Hariri, was assassinated in 2005.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813001616

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Iranian People Voice Support for IRGC, Urge Enhancement of Defense Capabilities

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Millions of Iranian people and students in their Saturday rallies asked the Islamic Republic to bolster the country's military and defense programs, describing the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a strong dam against enemies' plots.

"The Iranian nation considers the IRGC as a strong dam against enemies' influence, a power to foil the arrogance system's plots in the region and a thorn in the eyes of the US, the illegitimate and fake Israeli regime and the anti-revolutionary forces," they said in a resolution at the end of rallies held to mark the national Student Day and the National Day of Campaign against Arrogance across Iran on Saturday.

"Therefore, we demand strengthening and enhancing the country's military and defense capabilities and the Armed Forces, consider the powerful IRGC as a source of honor for the Iranian nation and voice decisive and all-out support for this revolutionary body," the resolution added.

Noting that the Iranian nation views the criminal US as its number one enemy, it condemned US President Donald Trump's insulting remarks against the Iranians and the IRGC and his use of a fake name for the Persian Gulf.

The resolution also underscored the necessity for reliance on the internal capabilities and forces regardless of the new US disloyalties and sanctions in defiance of the 2015 nuclear deal, describing the economy of resistance as the only way to fight the US and its allies' plots against Iran.

Since the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, Iranians have been celebrating the occasion every year by holding rallies on the anniversary and marking it as the National Day against the 'Global Arrogance'.

November 4 marks three important events in Iranian history: the takeover of the former US embassy in Tehran by Muslim students following the Imam's line in 1979 and the exile of Imam Khomeini by the Shah in 1964. It also marks the massacre of a large number of Iranian school students by the army of the former Pahlavi regime during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranian university students took over the US embassy building to thwart what they called Washington's plots against the Islamic Revolution.

Inside the embassy, the students found shredded documents which proved their convictions.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813001059

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Bosnia to support Iran nuclear deal along with other EU states: Official

November 5, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - A member of presidential council of Bosnia-Herzegovina said on Saturday that his country will throw its weight behind the 2015 Iran nuclear deal along with the other European states.

BaqerEzzatBegovich made the remarks in a meeting with Iran’s Ambassador to Sarajevo Mahmoud Heidari.

During the meeting, Begovich praised Iran’s adherence to the deal, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and its efforts to establish peace and stability in the region, saying that it is a major deal reached between Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) under the supervision of the international circles.

He hoped that all the parties will remain committed to the international pact and it will be implemented well.

Heidari, for his part, referred to the US measures to dismantle the deal and undermine the great contemporary diplomatic achievement, saying that Iran has been in full compliance with the deal, which was on several occasions verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

He further noted that Iran’s commitment to the deal will be in place until the time the deal would be honored by all other parties, and said Iran enjoys its legitimate and legal interests under the deal.

Commenting on Iran’s effective counter-terrorism moves, Heidari said that terrorist groups such as ISIS have been weakened severely due to the resistance of the regional nations and strong steps taken by Iran.

During the meeting, both officials discussed bilateral relations as well as the need to facilitate cooperation, especially in the field economy and encouraging private sectors of the two countries.

en.abna24.com/news/europe/bosnia-to-support-iran-nuclear-deal-along-with-other-eu-states-official_864702.html

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Europe

Tariq Ramadan accused of ‘seducing his teenage students’

November 4, 2017

Tariq Ramadan is said to have seduced four of his teenage pupils in shocking new allegations against the prominent Islamic scholar.

According to The Tribune de Geneve newspaper, the incidents took place in the 1980s and 1990s when he was teaching in his hometown of Geneva.

Four of his former students have come forward with this new information. One of them claimed that he tried unsuccessfully to seduce her when she was just 14 years old. He allegedly targeted three others, who were aged between 15 and 18 years old at the time, according to the newspaper's report.

It is the latest in a string of damning allegations about Mr Ramadan, who is a professor at Oxford University and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Three women have accused him of rape or sexual assault in the past two weeks, providing graphic details in interviews and on social media. After the first accusation, Mr Ramadan issued a strong denial and filed counter-charges for libel.

The Tribune de Geneve said that four Swiss women, all non-Muslim, had agreed to testify about their former teacher’s alleged behaviour towards them when they were just teenagers.

They described how they felt Mr Ramadan, who worked as the professor of French and Philosophy at the Cycle of Coudriers and then at the College de Saussure in Switzerland, exercised a strong psychological influence on them.

One, known as Sandra, was 15 when Mr Ramadan made advances towards her. She said he told her: “I feel close to you. You are mature. You are special. I am surrounded by many people but I feel lonely.” She started spending time with him outside of school, and “two or three times we had intimate relationships. At the back of his car”. She added: "He said it was our secret.”

Another, Lea, said she was 14 years old when the teacher approached her during a trip. "He put my hand on my mouth telling me he knew I was thinking about him in the evening before falling asleep. Which was wrong. It was manipulation. He said he thought of me but he was married.”

In her case, she says nothing physical happened. She described him as a “crooked, intimidating man who used perverse relational ploys and abused the trust of his students. There was such an impression on us.”

A third woman, known as Agathe, was 18 and described being “captivated by the speech of this charismatic teacher”. She said Mr Ramadan invited her for a coffee outside of school, “and then I had sex with him. He was married and a father. This happened three times, especially in his car. It was consented but very violent. I had bruises all over my body.”

Agathe says the scholar threatened her and demanded she tell no one about the encounters. “It was an abuse of power, pure and simple.”

The fourth woman, Claire, was 17 when the pair started a relationship and 18 when they first had intercourse. “I was fascinated, under his control. He took me, threw me, established a relationship of dependence.”

None of these incidents were made public before now, with one of the women expressing a feeling of “disgust” and “shame” which made her stay quiet.

Several former officials contacted by the Tribune de Geneve said they had heard rumours of Mr Ramadan’s predatory behaviour, but denied actual knowledge of the acts.

"If the facts are true, we are deeply shocked," Pierre-Antoine Preti, head of communications at the Department of Education, told the newspaper.

The latest revelations suggest that Mr Ramadan may have been abusing women, including underage girls, long before the recent cases in France. The Paris authorities have opened an investigation after two women accused him rape and a third accused him of sexual assault.

Last Saturday, Mr Ramadan wrote on his Facebook page: “These accusations are simply false, and betray all the ideals I have long strived for and believed in.”

Supporters of Mr Ramadan are describing the accusations against him part of a Zionist plot to destroy his name.

But other former friends have come forward to detract him in recent days.

Stephane Lathion, a Swiss specialist in Islam who spent years accompanying Mr Ramadan on his trips across Europe, told the Tribune de Geneve that he had heard various rumours and suspicions about his former close associate’s behaviour over the years.

He shared his opinion with the paper, saying: “I'm not surprised to see testimonials coming from everywhere. Not only are the reported facts shocking, but they also reveal the discrepancy between his attitude and his discourse on a moralising Islam, which advocates sexual relations in the exclusive context of marriage.”

He continued: "Tariq Ramadan is a predator who has abused his power as a teacher, preacher and intellectual to seduce women and girls, who have suffered.”

thenational.ae/world/europe/tariq-ramadan-accused-of-seducing-his-teenage-students-1.673066

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Paris terror attacks, two years on: What we know

AFP | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

PARIS: Two years after the terror attacks on Paris nightspots that left 130 people dead, seven people are in custody in France while key figures remain at large and may be dead.

Among the 10 jihadists who wreaked havoc on the French capital on November 13, 2015, the only survivor is Salah Abdeslam, who is refusing to talk to investigators.

The probe into the Paris bloodbath, which was planned in Belgium, overlaps considerably with an investigation into attacks on the Brussels airport and metro four months later that claimed 32 lives.

Abdeslam's capture in Belgium and transfer to France in April 2016 has not been the boon investigators had hoped for, since the 28-year-old petty criminal-turned-jihadist has refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Against all expectations however, he has said he wants to appear at a trial in Brussels to face charges of attempted murder of police officers during his arrest in the Belgian capital, but there too he may refuse to answer questions.

Most members of the jihadist cell responsible for both the Paris and the Brussels attacks have been killed or arrested.

Requests have gone out across Europe as well as to Turkey and north Africa in an effort to piece together the network that enabled the conspirators to infiltrate the flow of migrants into Europe in the summer of 2015 and plan attacks ordered by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Fifteen suspects have been charged or are being sought with arrest warrants.

Six people besides Abdeslam are in custody in France including two men suspected of having been selected to take part in attacks: Adel Haddadi, an Algerian, and Muhammed Usman of Pakistan.

The two men, who travelled from Syria along with two of the jihadists who attacked the national stadium on the outskirts of Paris, were arrested in Austria a month after the carnage.

Three associates of Abdeslam accused of helping him flee to Belgium the day after the Paris attacks and a man accused of providing fake IDs to the jihadists are also being held in France.

Five suspects are in custody in Belgium who are also wanted for trial in France. One of them, Mohamed Abrini, dubbed "the man in the hat" from CCTV video at the Brussels airport, was transferred briefly to France in January to be charged.

Jawad Bendaoud, who lodged Paris attacks ringleader AbdelhamidAbbaoud, will be tried along with two other defendants in a regular criminal court instead of France's special terror court early next year.

A suspected logistician for the November 13 attacks, Mohamed Bakkali, was arrested in Belgium and is wanted in France.

He was charged Tuesday in Brussels over an August 2015 attack on a Paris-bound Thalys train that left two passengers injured.

France is also seeking the extradition of another suspected logistician, Ahmed Dahmani, a Belgian of Moroccan origin who was arrested in Turkey just after the Paris attacks and thought to be headed to Syria.

A suspected kingpin of the network, OussamaAtar, has been identified from a photograph by one of the men arrested in Austria as the mastermind of the Paris attacks, operating from Raqa, the former Syrian "capital" of IS.

The 32-year-old Belgian and Moroccan national, who is at large, is a relative of the El Bakroui brothers who blew themselves up in the Brussels attacks and the brother of YassineAtar, who is being held in Belgium and also wanted in France.

Conversations found on a computer revealed the "central role" that Atar played in planning attacks in Europe, according to Belgian investigators.

Also on the run is Ahmad Alkhad -- thought to be an alias -- suspected of making the bombs and suicide belts used in the Paris and Brussels attacks.

His DNA was found on a suicide vest worn by one of the assailants who blew themselves up outside the Paris stadium.

The fall of IS strongholds in Syria and Iraq has kindled investigators' hopes of ensnaring some of the ringleaders of the Paris and Brussels attacks, if they are still alive.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/paris-terror-attacks-two-years-on-what-we-know/articleshow/61514915.cms

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Glasgow withdraws honour from Suu Kyi over Rohingya crisis

PTI | Nov 3, 2017

LONDON: The Glasgow City Council on Friday became the latest UK institution to withdraw an honour bestowed upon Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the wake of the Rohingya crisis.

The council had offered Suu Kyi the Freedom of Glasgow in 2009, when she was still under house arrest as Myanmar's pro- democracy leader.

"I and the Leader, Councillor Susan Aitken, recently wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi voicing the city's concerns about the human rights atrocities occurring under her watch and urging her to intervene. The response we received was disappointing and saddening," said Glasgow's Lord Provost Eva Bolander.

The Scottish council said that withdrawing such an honour was "unprecedented" and its decision had not been taken lightly.

Glasgow's decision follows a similar decision by the city of Sheffield, which stripped Suu Kyi of the Freedom of Sheffield earlier this week, saying she had shown "wilful ignorance" of the crisis.

"In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Myanmar of the Rohingya people, various UK cities have revoked the Freedom of the City from Aung San Suu Kyi. I'm delighted there was cross-party support for my motion," said Councillor Soryia Siddique from Sheffield Council.

Meanwhile, the London School of Economics (LSE) has taken the first step towards withdrawing an honorary presidency bestowed upon Myanmar's de-facto leader.

The Students' Union has moved a motion to withdraw the honour, which will come up for debate next week.

A spokesperson for the LSE Students' Union said: "Suu Kyi's choice to prioritise her tenure in office over anything else has come at too significant a cost - her complicity in the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people.

"We condemn the Muslim genocide in Myanmar, we condemn all Islamophobia, and we will actively work against any system which is complicit in supporting the violence."

A series of UK institutions have been distancing themselves from the Nobel Peace laureate in the wake of Myanmar Army's repression of the Rohingya minority, nearly 1 million of whom have fled their homes to refugee camps in Bangladesh.

A portrait of the leader hanging prominently at the entrance of St Hugh's College, Oxford University, was moved into storage back in September.

While the move was not overtly linked to the Rohingya crisis, it is widely believed that the allegations of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar were behind the decision to remove the portrait from the college where Suu Kyi had studied.

Last month, Oxford City Council voted unanimously in favour of revoking the Freedom of Oxford granted to the Myanmar chief in 1997 for her "long struggle for democracy".

The City of London Corporation has also been debating revoking Suu Kyi's Honorary Freedom, bestowed upon her earlier this year.

However, the University of Glasgow, which awarded an honorary degree to Suu Kyi in 1997, has said it had no plans to revoke the award.

The Myanmar leader has come under severe criticism for her failure to openly condemn Myanmar's armed forces, and instead claimed there had been "no conflicts since September 5 and no clearance operations" against the country's Muslim minority.

She visited the Rakhine province of Myanmar this week for the first time since violence erupted in the state in late August and was criticised for failing to address the issue of refugees who have fled across the border.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/glasgow-withdraws-honour-from-suu-kyi-over-rohingya-crisis/articleshow/61497844.cms

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Manchester bomber flown to Libya after UK mosques refuse his body

Sunday 5 Nov 2017

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi has been buried in Libya after UK mosques refused to deal with his body.  Abedi killed 22 people and injured 120 when he detonated a bomb outside the Ariana Grande concert in May. Pervert tried to meet underage girls wearing Batman pyjamas He was born in Britain to Libyan parents and regularly attended a mosque in Didsbury – but British mosques refused to have anything to do with his funeral rights after the atrocity. His family could could not find a mosque which would deal with his remains so flew them to Tripoli where they were buried in a secret location without a full Islamic service. The Daily Mail reported Noman Benotman, of anti-extremist think tank Quilliam, revealed the fate of Abedi’s remains last night. Salman Abedi, when he studied the Quran at a Didsbury mosque, when he was a teenager (Picture: PA) Mr Benotman tweeted: ‘After Manchester mosques refused to bury the remains of terrorist Salman Abedi, British authorities allowed his family to move him to Libya, where he was buried in Tripoli.’ Abedi had been a student at Salford University and studied a business and management course, however, he dropped out before going to Libya where it is believed he was radicalised. Greater Manchester Police last week issued an arrest warrant for Abedi’s younger brother Hashem, 20. Hashem Abed, brother of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi (Picture: PA) He has been held in Tripoli by Libyan militia who have also arrested a Libyan cleric called Abdel RazzaqMushaireb, who is accused of leading a militant youth group believed to have trained Abedi.

metro.co.uk/2017/11/05/manchester-bomber-flown-to-libya-after-uk-mosques-refuse-his-body-7054292/?ito=cbshare

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Pakistan

Pakistani university holds seminar to promote Quran, Sunnah

November 4, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Pakistan’s Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) held a national seminar at its main campus in Islamabad to motivate its 1.3 million students across the country to seek aspirations from Quran and Sunnah to ensure a better life.

Senate Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul GhafoorHaideri was the chief guest on the occasion. In his address on the occasion, he called for a pro-active role of educational institutions in promoting Quranic teachings and inculcating the Islamic spirit in the younger generation.

He emphasized that Muslims must be prepared to properly read, understand and implement the teachings of the Holy Quran and ‘Seerat-un-Nabwi (PBUH)’ to pave the way of realizing the objectives for which Pakistan came into being about 70 years back.

The seminar, arranged by the University’s department of Abdul WadoodCenter for Quranic Sciences, was also addressed by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui, eminent NaatKhawanQari Syed Buzurg Shah Al Azhari, IIU Department of Quran and Tafseer Chairman Dr Qari Taj Afsar, AIOU Social Sciences Dean Dr Samina Awan and QuraniCenter Chairman Abdul BasitMujahid.

In his welcome address, Dr Shahid Siddiqui highlighted the university’s consistent efforts of projecting research-based studies that help to resolve socio-economic problems of Pakistan. "The AIOU is only university in the country that published fourteen research journals in the last three years. Of these, there are two journals one on Seerat Studies and other on Maarif-e-Islamic,” he said.

The AIOU, he added, has been turned into center of academic, literary and social activities in order to create awareness among its students and the faculty members about the new challenges, while seeking aspirations from the teachings of Quran and Sunnah.

Maulana Abdul GhaoorHaideri praised the AIOU for focusing on the study of Qurani sciences through its Quranic Centre. He hoped that the educational institutions would follow it and contribute to establishment of a true Islamic welfare state.

en.abna24.com/news/central-asia-subcontinent/pakistani-university-holds-seminar-to-promote-quran-sunnah_864581.html

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Police seek clerics’ help against honour killings

November 05, 2017

MANSEHRA: The Hazara police have sought the help of religious leaders to check the honour-related killings in the highly conservative Upper and Lower Kohistan districts.

“In Kohistan, ulema influence the people’s opinions and therefore, I urge them to issue a decree against the honour-related killings, which is not only a social stigma but also totally violate Islamic injunctions,” deputy inspector general of police, Hazara range, Saeed Wazir told Dawn at the conclusion of his Kohistan visit on Saturday.

Mr Wazir, who addressed congregations of ulema in Dasu, the district headquarters of Upper Kohistan, and Pattan, the district headquarters of Lower Kohistan, said the police had registered cases of 23 honour-related killings in Kohistan during the last five years suggesting 46 people were killed in such crimes.

He said many honour-related cases were not reported to the police.

“The incidence of such crimes is very high and therefore, I pleaded ulema to play their proactive role in bringing it down,” he said.

Mr Wazir said the police had been taking all possible measures to eliminate honour killings from the two highly conservative districts with the help of ulema and others, who influenced the people’s opinions.

He said the mega development projects launched under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative would push the land prices in the region up and therefore, more killings over land disputes were feared with the people labeling them as honour killings as a cover-up.

The official said three such cases happened in Kohistan recently in which men and women were killed for land and money but were declared honour killings to escape retaliations.

He said the sense of deprivation among the local residents, corruption and low literacy rate were to blame for honour-related crimes.

“In a positive development, 10 Kohistani illiterate girls have applied for the posts of women police constables in the region. This has happened for the first time in local history. I have taken up the matter with the inspector general of police for relaxation of the laws to induct them into the police force,” he said.

dawn.com/news/1368495/police-seek-clerics-help-against-honour-killings

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Anti-Pak protest by PoKgovt employees in Muzaffarabad

ANI | Nov 5, 2017

MUZAFFARABAD (PAKISTAN-OCCUPIED KASHMIR): Government employees working on contract basis in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) staged a protest in Muzaffarabad demanding clearance of their monthly emoluments. It has been several months that these employees have not received their salaries.

Blaming Islamabad for its discriminatory policies against them, the protestors, who are working in health, education and other government sectors in PoK, have been demanding regular jobs.

"One of our colleagues who had not received salary for the past 8 months died because of illness. In July 2017, the government assured us to provide regular salaries as it was passed in the assembly. But, we have not received our salaries," said SydaSarvarAbbasi, a woman protester.

"In Pakistan's all four provinces the workers are getting regular salaries, but here, we have not received our pay for the past 8 months," she added.

Shamim Bibi, another woman protester said, "Whenever we come to protest, they give us 3-4 months' salary. We don't want salaries. We demand regular jobs. We have been doing all sort of work. In July 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared that our jobs should be made regular and the Government will give our salaries. Now, we will go to Supreme Court of Pakistan, which will decide our fate". Another protestor questioned why were they being punished and for what reason.

Blaming the politicians, the protester said, "They (politicians) have increased their salaries manifold whereas our salaries are very less".

Tall promises have been made by the Pakistani establishment to bring development in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, but, corrupt administrative system has made it one of the most backward regions under its rule.

Pakistan occupied Kashmir, has a Prime Minister and a President, but is ruled from Islamabad.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan is the chairman and chief executive of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council that manages all affairs related to PoK.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/anti-pak-protest-by-pok-govt-employees-in-muzaffarabad/articleshow/61515611.cms

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Policy soon to resolve party rifts, Sharif tells aides

November 05, 2017

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif held consultations with senior party leadership here on Saturday and assured them that he would frame a policy to iron out all internal differences within the party cadre.

Although Mr Sharif and his younger brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif have time and again rejected reports of internal rifts, the PML-N has been marred by a tug of war between the next generations of the Sharifs, Maryam and Hamza, a disgruntled former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, unwelcoming remarks of federal minister RiazPirzada who questioned the election of Mr Sharif as party president and so many similar issues.

Mr Sharif, who arrived here from Islamabad the day before, consulted various PML-N leaders to discuss the future line of action in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict in the Panama Papers case, the subsequent accountability process and the party’s internal issues.

Decision to launch mass contact drive

National Assembly Speaker SardarAyazSadiq, Railways Minister Khawaja SaadRafiq and Chaudhary Munir, among others, called on the ex-PM at the latter’s house in Raiwind.

Apparently worried and looking to catch up with the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Peoples Party preparing for the upcoming general elections, the leaders decided it was time to take the PML-N into election mode and launch a mass contact drive.

Rally in Abbottabad on 12th

Those who were consulted by the PML-N president also felt that since the PTI and PPP had already begun their election campaigns, it would not be wise for the PML-N to procrastinate.

Sources said the first public meeting would be held in Abbottabad on Nov 12, while the schedule for other meetings would be announced later.

Apparently, the participants of the meeting were united in their decision to focus their attention on south Punjab, where the PTI has been organising its events.

Speaker Sadiq apprised the PML-N chief about the apparent reasons behind why opposition parties were now backing out after arriving at an agreement regarding the delimitation of constituencies in light of the recently held population census.

The former PM was quoted as urging the NA speaker to use his good offices to remove the reservations, if any, regarding the draft law so that the issue would not delay the general election which is due in nine months.

Later while speaking to journalists, Mr Sadiq said he had convened a meeting in Islamabad on Monday to address the reservations of some parties, particularly from Sindh, on the issue of delimitations. The meeting will also be attended by the officials of the Statistics Division.

Responding to a question, he said there was no room for a technocrats’ set-up in the Constitution. Those who could not come to power through votes were trying to introduce the set-up so that they could enjoy power. He jibed at “those who had gotten their sherwanis stitched” (those ready to take oath as ministers), saying that they could forget about a technocrats’ set-up for at least the next 30 years.

About the PTI chief’s threat to stage another sit-in, Mr Sadiq said the previous sit-in had not born the PTI any fruit, and neither would another sit-in.

To a question about the protocol provided to Mr Sharif during his accountability court appearances, the NA speaker said those who were being critical about the issue ought to remember that Mr Sharif was a thrice-elected prime minister who had fought the all-important war against terrorism, which is why he needed tight security.

Talking to journalists separately, the railways minister warned the parties opposing the draft delimitation law that their actions could jeopardise the government’s efforts to hold the general elections on time. He also asked PTI chairman Imran Khan to take a break from public meetings and work to get the delimitation law passed so that the election could be held as soon as possible.

dawn.com/news/1368507/policy-soon-to-resolve-party-rifts-sharif-tells-aides

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Ahsan Iqbal dismisses any possibility of martial law

Dawn.comUpdated November 04, 2017

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday clarified that there was no possibility of a martial law being imposed on the country.

Talking to Geo News, Iqbal stated: "Imposing martial law would be equivalent to tearing the country apart, which is something that no patriot would ever want."

"The army has clearly stated that it supports the Constitution and democracy," the interior minister stressed. "A martial law will be devastating not only for the system but for the military as well."

Iqbal accused the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf of trying to sabotage the upcoming Senate elections.

"He [Imran Khan] is hoping for an early election, which is why he wants to create chaos so that he can mobilise people and get them to vote for him," he explained,

The interior minister was of the view that personal differences must be overcome in order to counter the "severe external challenges" that the country was facing.

"As the interior minister, I want to tell you that right now the country is facing serious external challenges, and in order to counter them we need to put our differences aside and avoid getting into internal conflicts.”

Iqbal said the incumbent government was aware that the sit-ins staged by the PTI and Pakistan AwamiTehreek in 2014 were engineered by a "certain faction", however, Nawaz Sharif did not take legal action at that time because he wanted to follow a policy of reconciliation.

“It was Sharif's political wisdom that he preferred to maintain stability," Iqbal claimed, adding that any legal action at that time would have been "bad for the economy".

Iqbal insisted that the government's goal was to maintain "internal stability" in the country. He, however, said that the law enforcement agencies will arrest Imran Khan if it was ordered by the court.

He turned down the speculations that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was going against the PML-N and repeated the party's stance that the former interior minister was only giving his personal opinion.

Referring to the recent controversy surrounding the Election Bill 2017 — that allowed a disqualified person to head a political party — Iqbal said that only the party members had the right to elect their leader.

He went on to say that though the PML-N has accepted the Supreme Court's decision, it did not consider it as fair.

dawn.com/news/1368413/ahsan-iqbal-dismisses-any-possibility-of-martial-law

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51 stolen vehicles recovered in 'largest ever' operation in Pakistan: Sindh Rangers

November 04, 2017

Sector Commander Sachal Rangers revealed on Saturday that 51 stolen vehicles have been recovered in a province-wide operation, which he termed the "largest" in the country's history.

Sector Commander Brigadier Naseem, flanked by Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) East Irfan Baloch, said that the police and Rangers arrested two individuals — QaziMuneeb Ahmed Siddiqui and Mohammad Shiraz — with weapons and a stolen vehicle during snap checking in Nazimabad a few days ago.

"Initial investigation disclosed unexpected revelations as the two were found to be active members of an inter-provincial car-theft group," Naseem said. The arrest followed an earlier recovery of four vehicles from different parts of Sindh.

Following the revelations, a detailed strategy was created and a team was formed to ensure the cars were recovered and given to their original owners, he said.

During the operation, it was revealed that "a group is stealing a large number of vehicles and sending them to other parts of the country," he said. While the real owners are being deprived of their vehicles, the new buyers are also unaware that they are stolen, he added.

Naseem informed the media that a total of 16 people were arrested during the operation which has been going on for around six months. While 10 of those arrested have been released, others are being kept in detention for further investigation, he said.

A total of 86 cases of stolen vehicles have been registered in the province, of which 51 vehicles have been recovered. The vehicles will be handed over to the real owners following legal procedure and court orders, he said.

dawn.com/news/1368373/51-stolen-vehicles-recovered-in-largest-ever-operation-in-pakistan-sindh-rangers

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Top Pak army officials discuss Islamabad’s interactions with Afghanistan and US

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Nov 04 2017

Top army officials of Pakistan held a meeting in their headquarters to discuss the latest developments with special focus on interactions of Islamabad with the United States and Afghanistan.

“205th Corps Commanders’ Conference was held at GHQ today presided by General Qamar JavedBajwa, Chief of Army Staff,” a statement by the media wing of the Pakistani military, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The statement further added that the forum took review of geo-strategic security environment with special focus on recent interactions with Afghanistan and US authorities.

“Internal security situation, progress of ongoing counter terrorism operations and its projection to achieve enduring peace and stability was also discussed. The forum concluded that security apparatus shall continue to perform its role in line with national interest,” the statement added.

This comes as pressures on the rise on Pakistan regarding the terror safe havens, particularly the Haqqani terrorist network and Taliban group leaderships which the Afghan and US officials are saying operate from their safe havens from Pakistan.

According to reports, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the US and Pakistan had been engaged in “a very healthy exchange of information on terrorists” since his visit to Islamabad last week.

Tillerson has further added that further information will also be shared with Pakistan in the future to include information on “specific location on any given day of where certain individuals or certain cells may be located.”

According to reports, the Haqqani terrorist network is on the top of the list shared with Islamabad as the US officials are saying that the network has safe havens in Fata and uses them to launch attacks into Afghanistan.

But the Pakistani officials reject the claims by Washigton and insist that no such safe havens exist in the country.

khaama.com/top-pak-army-officials-discuss-islamabads-interactions-with-afghanistan-and-us-03772

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North America

American Muslims fear backlash after New York attack

 

The seven-million strong American Muslim community fears a backlash after the Tuesday (Oct. 31) attack in New York where a driver plowed a truck through crowds in lower Manhattan killing eight and injuring a dozen more.

Imam Mohammad Qatanani, spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County (N.J.), said: "People here feel they will be blamed as a religion and as a people. Because this guy was a Muslim, Muslims will be blamed anywhere and everywhere."

According to Pittsburg Post-Gazette the Islamic Center of Passaic County had already received eight telephone threats, prompting police to assign extra patrols to the area.

"They say they're going to kill us, they're going to burn the place down, all using extremely foul language," said the mosque's president, Omar Awad. "They say, 'We're going to come rip your ... beard off.'"

The New Jersey office of the Council on American Islamic Relations reported threats had also been made against the Omar Mosque, next door to the apartment house where lived SayfulloSaipov, the man who is accused of plowing a rental truck into bikers and pedestrians.

Tensions have flared within the Muslim community as well, with two men getting into a fistfight at a mosque in a dispute over the cause of Saipov's alleged radicalization, according to Post-Gazette.

"When we figured out he was from Paterson, we knew trouble was coming," Rami Abadi, a 32-year-old graphic designer told Washington Post. Abadi attends the mosque next to the apartment building where Saipov was living. "All eyes are going to be on Paterson now. Because of one psycho," he added.

Little Istanbul: Paterson is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States. Islamic leaders in the city of 147,000 people estimate Paterson's Muslim population at 25,000 to 30,000.

Neighborhoods have been dubbed Little Ramallah or Little Istanbul for their respective Arab and Turkish residents. Peru has a consulate in the city to serve the large number of Peruvians.

Paterson was an engine of the Industrial Revolution, its factories churning out textiles and embroidery that helped earn it the nickname Silk City. But many of the industrial jobs are gone, and nearly a third of Paterson's population lives in poverty, the city beset by crime and drugs.

It has been in this environment that the Muslim community established itself over decades, with a mix of Arab, Asian, African-American and European members of the faith. The Islamic Center of Passaic County, formed nearly three decades ago in Paterson, draws about 2,000 people for Friday communal prayers.

Now, some are afraid they will be made to answer for the actions of a man many leaders of the community say they didn't know.

Pittsburg Post-Gazette quoted Qatanani as saying that Saipov did not attend the Passaic County mosque. As for the Omar Mosque, congregants disagreed over whether he prayed there.

The Omar mosque had been targeted by the New York Police Department, which conducted broad surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey, New York and beyond after 9/11, a program uncovered by The Associated Press in 2011. An NYPD report from the surveillance found no evidence of criminal activity at the Omar Mosque, Pittsburg Post-Gazette said.

opednews.com/articles/American-Muslims-fear-back-by-Abdus-Sattar-Ghaza-American-Muslims_Backlash_Diversity_Halloween-171104-375.html

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Sikh mayoral candidate called terrorist in flyers in US

Nov 5, 2017

NEW YORK: A Sikh mayoral candidate in the US has been labelled a terrorist in slanderous flyers left on car windshields only days before the election, according to a media report.

The flyers targeting RavinderBhalla, the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey, were placed on car windshields on Friday night, New York Daily News reported.

They have a photo of New Jersey Councilman Bhalla. In red letters above him, the flyers read, "don't let terrorism take over our town!"

The report alleged that the leaflets appear to be a modified version of mailers sent out by another Hoboken mayoral candidate, Mike DeFusco. The original flyers accused Bhalla of having a potential conflict of interest.

Officials in New Jersey are condemning flyers that paint the Sikh politician running for the mayor of Hoboken as a terrorist.

DeFusco condemned the altered flyers in a statement yesterday.

"Today I spoke out not only against the racist, disgusting flyers targeting Ravi Bhalla that appeared last night and was made to look like it came from my campaign, but also against the rest of the hate that has been shamefully displayed throughout this race," DeFusco said.

DeFusco said he has also been the victim of hateful rhetoric accusing him of being a part of a "crime family" and attacking his sexuality, the report said.

He would be Hoboken's first gay mayor if elected.

Bhalla addressed the terrorism flyers yesterday, calling them "troubling" in a statement.

"We won't let hate win in Hoboken," he said.

"I want to use this incident as an opportunity to affirm to each other and our children the value of living in a diverse community where we are judged by the content of our character - not by the colour of our skin or how we worship," Bhalla said in the statement.

Senator Cory Booker posted a photo of the flyers to his Twitter account. He called it "vile" and "hateful" and said, "We all must condemn bigotry & hate!"

Six candidates are vying to replace outgoing Mayor Dawn Zimmer in the election on Tuesday.

The flyers appeared days after racist campaign mailers attacking two Asian school board candidates in Edison evoked the campaign slogan of President Donald Trump and claimed Chinese and Indian residents are "taking over" the town.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/sikh-mayoral-candidate-called-terrorist-in-flyers-in-us/articleshow/61516266.cms

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US Sets up Another Military Base in Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US has established a new military base in the regions that are under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), continuing to occupy Syrian territory, an SDF official said on Saturday.

A senior SDF official, who requested to remain anonymous, said that the US had set up a military base in Raqqa city in Northeastern Syria, which was recently liberated from the ISIL.

"The United States is building military bases in areas freed by our forces from ISIL. We consider it to be the right strategy. Recently, the US forces established a military base at the entrance to the territory of Raqqa, in the Jezraneighborhood," the official added.

He explained that the neighborhood was chosen by the US army because it was slightly damaged during a military operation in Raqqa and can now be seen as the city's safest area.

"The base and the adjacent territory are reliably protected by the US soldiers. No one, except these soldiers and SDF fighters, has access to the base," the official concluded.

Footage released in July revealed that the US was operating an airbase in the Eastern parts of Aleppo near the provincial border with Raqqa.

The footage showed a large US plane taking off and plenty of Humvees protecting the site.

Also, an American flag was hoisted above the air field which was located in the territory controlled by the SDF.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813000897

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UN Practicing Double Standards as Israel is Found Guilty of Apartheid

By S.M.Mohamed Idris

Nov 05, 2017

Many have criticised the United Nations for practicing double standards and the withdrawal of a report on the apartheid practices of Israel from the website of a UN body; the Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) fortifies this belief. The report found that, on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of imposing apartheid on the Palestinian people. It is indeed disappointing that a well-researched report on Israeli practices of apartheid can be buried by the United Nations without any discussion on the veracity of the findings.

When the report was published, the US and Israel caused a huge uproar without a justifiable critique of the report’s content. They chose to intimidate the United Nations and the Secretary-General into removing the exceptionally researched and well-documented report and launched an attack on the authors, Virginia Tilley and Richard Falk, prominent experts in international law. This manoeuvre is a strategic attempt by these parties to draw attention away from the contents of the report.

The Secretary-General, regrettably, gave in and took administrative action in suppressing the report. This led to the immediate resignation of ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf from her prestigious position, citing that her duty to the peoples of the region and the United Nations is to not silence the testimony about a crime that causes such suffering to so many human beings.

The UN does not have any reservations in censuring poor nations, but when it comes to rich and powerful States, the United Nations fails to do its job. Israel is blatantly violating human rights and international law in imposing an apartheid regime. Therefore, the actions of the Secretary-General have serious implications on the credibility of the United Nations, and the future of global security.

The UN needs to approach this matter with renewed multilateral engagement and clearly articulated objectives to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes. As long as the UN does not take serious action, it could be condoning their crimes and encouraging States to enjoy impunity for their crimes. The inaction of the United Nations is directly detrimental to peace in West Asia. The Secretary-General must staunchly defend the principles of human rights, embodied in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and hold the culprits accountable for their actions.

milligazette.com/news/15950-un-practicing-double-standards-as-israel-is-found-guilty-of-apartheid

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Ruler of Sharjah arrives Cairo and delivers Egypt 354 pharaonic and Islamic artifacts

November 5, 2017

Egypt received on Saturday 354 antiquities belonging to different periods of Pharaonic and Islamic civilization from the ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, who arrived in Cairo heading a delegation to attend the World Youth Forum in Sharm al-Sheikh.

The artifacts were seized and confiscated by the customs authorities at Sharjah International Airport. The collection is of great importance with historical and archaeological value dating back to the Pharaonic and some Islamic periods.

This collection also includes limestone slabs and a number of stone-sized obelisks containing hieroglyphics and inscriptions, as well as Oshepti statues.

Qasimi stressed that the handover of these historical artifacts should be carried out directly under his personal supervision. The Egyptian side was represented by the Ministry of Antiquities who received the artifacts upon the arrival of Qasimi at Cairo International Airport.

The Minister of Antiquities, Khalid al-Anani, witnessed the unboxing and registering of the artifacts received in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Anani praised the generous initiative of the Ruler of Sharjah and expressed his deep appreciation to His Highness and the UAE authorities.

He pointed out that some of these pieces will be displayed in a temporary exhibition in the Egyptian Museum after the registration of all the pieces.

A statement from the Ministry of Antiquities said the recovered pieces include a bronze statue of ancient Egyptian goddesses of various sizes, including a statue of the god Osiris and another goddess Isis, as well as a pot with the name of King Ramses III and parts of statues of Diorite in the form of the Sphinx.

egyptindependent.com/ruler-sharjah-arrives-cairo-delivers-egypt-354-pharaonic-islamic-artifacts/

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Arab World

Saudi Arabia arrests princes, ministers in sweeping purge

AFP | Updated: Nov 5, 2017

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia arrested 11 princes, including a prominent billionaire, and dozens of current and former ministers, reports said, in a sweeping crackdown as the kingdom's young crown prince consolidates power.

Separately, the head of the Saudi National Guard, once a leading contender to the throne, as well as the navy chief and the economy minister were replaced in a series of high-profile sackings that sent shock waves in the kingdom.

The crackdown was reported immediately after a new anti-corruption commission, headed by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was established by royal decree late Saturday.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported that the princes, four current and dozens of former ministers were arrested as the commission launched a probe into old cases such as floods that devastated the Red Sea city of Jeddah in 2009.

State-run Saudi Press Agency said the commission's goal was to "preserve public money, punish corrupt people and those who exploit their positions".

Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal was among those arrested, Saudi news websites said though there was no official confirmation. The prince was not reachable for comment.

An aviation source told AFP that security forces had grounded private jets in Jeddah, possibly to prevent any high-profile figures from leaving.

Meanwhile, the kingdom's top council of clerics tweeted that anti-corruption efforts were "as important as the fight against terrorism", essentially giving religious backing to the crackdown.

"The breadth and scale of the arrests appears to be unprecedented in modern Saudi history," said Kristian Ulrichsen, a fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

"The reported detention of Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, if true, would send shock waves through the domestic and international business community," Ulrichsen told AFP.

The purge comes less than two weeks after Prince Mohammed welcomed thousands of global business titans to Riyadh for an investment summit, showcasing his economic reform drive for a post-oil era.

It follows a wave of arrests of influential clerics and activists in September as the 32-year-old prince, often known as MBS, cements his grip on power.

Analysts said many of those detained were resistant to Prince Mohammed's aggressive foreign policy that includes the boycott of Gulf neighbour Qatar as well as some of his bold policy reforms, including privatising state assets and cutting subsidies.

The latest purge saw Prince Miteb bin Abdullah sacked as the head of the National Guard, an elite internal security force. His removal consolidates MBS's control of the kingdom's security institutions.

To analysts, MBS's meteoric rise has seemed almost Shakespearean in its aggression and calculation. In June, he edged out a 58-year-old cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, to become heir to the throne.

At the time, Saudi television channels showed the bearded MBS kissing the hand of the older prince and kneeling before him in a show of reverence. Western media reports later said that the deposed prince had been placed under house arrest, a claim strongly denied by Saudi authorities.

Already viewed as the de facto ruler controlling all the major levers of government, from defence to the economy, the prince is widely seen to be stamping out traces of internal dissent before a formal transfer of power from his 81-year-old father King Salman.

At the same time, he has projected himself as a liberal reformer in the ultra-conservative kingdom with a series of bold moves including the decision allowing women to drive from next June.

Foreign diplomats predict MBS, set to be the first millennial to occupy the Saudi throne, could well be in control of Saudi Arabia for at least half a century.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-arrests-princes-ministers-in-sweeping-purge/articleshow/61514144.cms

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ISIS car bombing kills dozens of displaced in Syria: Report

AFP | Nov 5, 2017

BEIRUT: A car bombing carried out by the Islamic State group killed dozens of displaced people in the eastern Syrian province of DeirEzzor today, a monitor said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack targeted people displaced by fighting in the oil-rich province who had gathered on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, adding that dozens more were wounded.

The attack comes as Syrian and allied forces converged yesterday on holdout IS fighters in the border town of Albu Kamal, a day after Russian-backed regime forces took full control of the provincial capital, also called DeirEzzor, which was the last Syrian city where IS still had a presence.

"The Islamic State group targeted with a car bomb displaced people on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, killing dozens and wounding dozens of others," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said he could not immediately gave a specific toll of how many people were killed and wounded in the attack.

Abdel Rahman said the victims had fled battlegrounds in DeirEzzor province, where the US-backed Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance is also on the offensive against IS.

The SDF is attacking IS on the eastern bank of the Euphrates which cuts across the province, while Russian-backed Syrian forces are battling the jihadists on the western bank of the river.

The parallel offensives have sent thousands of civilians fleeing for their lives, some straight into the desert.

Sonia Khush, Syria director at the Save the Children charity, said an estimated 3,50,000 people have fled the recent fighting in DeirEzzor province, half of them children.

"The situation in the city, and surrounding countryside, has been especially bleak with civilians trapped between the fighting and all too often caught in the crossfire," she said

The Euphrates Valley border area was the heart of the "caliphate" IS proclaimed in 2014 and is now its last redoubt, where a US-led coalition supporting the military effort said around 1,500 jihadist fighters remained.

Despite being driven out from large parts of DeirEzzor, IS still controls 37 per cent of the province and its fighters are deployed in the eastern side.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/isis-car-bombing-kills-dozens-of-displaced-in-syria-report/articleshow/61513790.cms

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Lebanese prime minister resigns, says his life in danger

Reuters | Updated: Nov 4, 2017

BEIRUT: Lebanese prime ministerSaad al-Hariri resigned on Saturday, saying in a televised broadcast he sensed a plot to target his life and criticising Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

"We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of (his father the late prime minister) martyr Rafik al-Hariri. I have sensed what is being plotted covertly to target my life," he said.

In his statement, Hariri said Iran was "losing in its interference in the affairs of the Arab world", adding that Lebanon would "rise as it had done in the past" and "cut off the hands that wickedly extend into it".

Hariri became Lebanon's prime minister late last year after a political deal that also brought Hezbollah ally Michel Aoun to office as the country's president.

Hezbollah is politically dominant in Lebanon, but its ties to Iran and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have angered some Lebanese.

Hariri has visited Saudi Arabia, a political foe of Iran and Hezbollah, twice in the past week, meeting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior officials.

Beirut-based al-Jadeed television reported Hariri's resignation statement was made and broadcast from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/lebanese-prime-minister-resigns-saying-his-life-in-danger/articleshow/61508459.cms

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Saudi minister says has 'confirmed information' on plot to kill Lebanese PM

Reuters | Nov 5, 2017

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan said the personal security detail of Lebanese prime minister Saad al-Hariri, who resigned on Saturday, had "confirmed information" of a plot to kill him.

Speaking in an interview on Future, an Arabic television channel owned by Hariri, he said Hariri was in Riyadh, adding there were "security threats to the prime minister and the kingdom is keen on his safety".

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 24, 2017.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/saudi-minister-says-has-confirmed-information-on-plot-to-kill-lebanese-pm/articleshow/61514951.cms

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Six killed as Al Qaeda suspects hit Yemen security in twin suicide attacks

November 05, 2017

Suspected Al-Qaeda militants staged twin suicide bombings and took hostages on Sunday in Aden, officials said, striking at the heart of the Yemeni government after suffering a string of setbacks.

Six security officers were killed in the attacks on the security headquarters and criminal investigations unit in the central district of KhorMaksar in Aden, where the internationally recognised government is based.

A high-ranking official with the state security forces said an explosives-rigged car driven by an Al-Qaeda operative blew up outside the security headquarters, killing the six officers along with the driver.

A second attacker was killed in a shootout between police and gunmen that followed.

Militants also stormed the building and set alight files and archives, the official said.

Moments later, gunmen stormed the Aden criminal investigations unit, next door to security headquarters, as a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in the building, a source in the unit said.

Another attacker was also killed at the scene.

The gunmen took hostage an unknown number of police detectives in the criminal investigations unit, the security source said.

Two policewomen were killed in execution-style slayings by the attackers, who were also believed to be linked to Al-Qaeda.

Sunday's attacks spell an abrupt end to a period of relative calm that has reigned in Aden, where the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has been based since it was driven out of the capital Sanaa by a rival rebel camp in 2014.

Yemen's complex war, which pits the Saudi-backed Hadi government against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Houthi rebel allies, has allowed Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to flourish in the south of the country.

Yemeni forces allied with a Saudi-led coalition have closed in on AQAP strongholds in recent weeks, driving them out of pockets of the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa.

Special forces trained by the United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States launched a “major operation” in early August against the militants in Shabwa province.

A senior military official said at the time that the militants had staged a “tactical retreat” from the province without engaging in any major clashes.

The military operations have also seen the Al-Qaeda insurgents pull back from parts of Abyan province. The United States, which considers AQAP the most dangerous branch of Al-Qaeda, also regularly conducts drone strikes on southern Yemen.

More than 8,600 people have been killed in Yemen since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the war in 2015 to support government forces, according to the World Health Organization.

dawn.com/news/1368543/six-killed-as-al-qaeda-suspects-hit-yemen-security-in-twin-suicide-attacks

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Missile from Yemen intercepted near Riyadh airport

AFP | APUpdated November 05, 2017

Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near Riyadh's international airport after it was launched from conflict-torn Yemen, in an escalation of the kingdom's war against Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The missile attack was the first aimed by the rebels at the heart of the Saudi capital, underscoring the growing threat posed by the raging conflict in Yemen.

Read more: Six killed as Al Qaeda suspects hit Yemen security in twin suicide attacks

A loud explosion was heard and smouldering debris landed inside the King Khalid International Airport, just north of Riyadh, after the missile was shot down but authorities reported no major damage or loss of life.

“This evening a ballistic missile was fired from Yemeni territory towards the kingdom,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki as saying late Saturday.

“The missile was launched indiscriminately to target the civilian and populated areas. Shattered fragments from the intercepted missile landed in an uninhabited area of the airport and there were no injuries,” he added.

Houthi rebels, who fired the missile from Yemeni territory more than 1,200 kilometres from Riyadh, said they were targeting the airport, according to the Houthis' Al-Masirah television channel.

Civil aviation authorities said the airport was functioning normally and that flights were operating as scheduled, though residents said security vehicles had closed off some roads.

Saudi forces have shot down rebel missiles before with Patriot surface-to-air missiles purchased from the United States, but few have come so close to a major population centre.

The brazen attack could escalate the conflict in Yemen.

The bitter regional tensions were underlined earlier Saturday when Lebanon's Saudi-allied Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned while on a trip to Riyadh, citing Iran's “grip” on his country and threats to his life.

Escalating conflict

The missile attack in Riyadh highlights how the war in Yemen is increasingly spilling across the border since a Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention in 2015.

Saudi Arabia led the intervention to prop up the government of President AbdRabbu Mansour Hadi after the Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

But two years later, the kingdom appears to be in a quagmire. Although it hoped for a quick victory, Riyadh has so far been unable to remove the Houthis from Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Aside from occasional missiles, Saudi territory has also been hit repeatedly by the rebels' cross-border incursions, raising fears the conflict could drag out yet further.

In towns along the southern border, thousands of mortar rounds and crude rockets have struck schools, mosques and homes, forcing thousands to be evacuated.

Saudi Arabia does not officially disclose military fatalities, but state media has frequently featured funeral notices for “martyred” soldiers.

United Nations-backed talks have failed to broker a political settlement to end the fighting in Yemen, which has left more than 8,600 people dead since the coalition intervened.

A cholera outbreak has claimed more than 2,100 lives in Yemen since April as hospitals struggle to secure supplies amid a coalition air and sea blockade.

The UN has warned that Yemen now stands on the brink of famine.

dawn.com/news/1368536/missile-from-yemen-intercepted-near-riyadh-airport

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Iraqi Official: Baghdad Pressured by Washington Not to Liberate Al-Qaim

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military Spokesman of Iraq's Hezbollah Brigades Ja'far al-Hosseini revealed that the US pressured the Iraqi government to stop efforts to take back the strategic city of al-Qaim from the ISIL but the resistance forces foiled Washington's plots.

"Liberation of al-Qaim materialized the goal of contacting the Syrian side and coordination with the resistance front in the entire region and thwarted the US plot to create distance among members of the resistance front," al-Hosseini was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel on Saturday.

He also revealed that "Washington pressured the Iraqi government not to liberate al-Qaim".

Noting that the Iraqi forces will also participate in the anti-ISIL battle in Syria's Albukamal, al-Hosseini said, "Albu Kamal is within the range of the Iraqi missiles deployed in al-Qaim."

A military source announced that the Iraqi forces on Friday managed to capture the city of al-Qaim near the Syrian border from the ISIL group.

The commander stressed that Iraqi forces have also established control over the nearby al-Qaim border crossing.

Liberation of al-Qaim means that the ISIL militants in Iraq are now in control of just the smaller neighboring town of Rawa and surrounding pockets of barren desert along the Euphrates river.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813001243

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Kirkuk undergoing sectarian campaign of forced demographic change under Shia militias: Talabani

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kirkuk is witnessing a new campaign of forced changes in demographics, this time of a sectarian nature, according to a Kurdish official.

Head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council RebwarTalabani on Saturday told Kurdistan 24 that Kirkuk was now suffering from a campaign led by Iranian-backed Shia militias to transform the diverse province into a Shia stronghold.

“Kirkuk is not experiencing Arabization but instead a ‘Shia-ization’ after it was taken over by Shia militias,” Talabani said.

“This almost makes us feel sorry for the Baath party: for 35 years, they sought to Arabize Kirkuk and failed to do so,” he stated. “But the Baath and Saddam regime did not attempt a sectarian change.”

Kirkuk is an oil-rich, multi-ethnic and diverse province home to a mix of Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians along with a Kurdish majority. Under Saddam and the former regime, Kirkuk was subjected to a number of Arabization campaigns where Kurdish families were forcibly displaced from the now disputed territory.

Now, Sunnis are the target of reported intimidation at the hands of the Hashd al-Shaabi - Kurds who are overwhelmingly Sunni, as well as the Sunni Arab population of the city. The ostentatious sectarianism, amid acts of violence, has a strategic objective: to transform the city’s population and force Sunnis to flee.

Talabani, who is in Erbil, said the neighborhoods have been divvied up between Shia factions within the Hashd al-Shaabi.

He went on to say that these Shia security authorities spread around Kirkuk are openly recruiting new members and opening the door for volunteers, just as they have previously done in Baghdad, Fallujah, Diyala, and Anbar.

“Mosul and Kirkuk are the latest targets of the Shia conversion and recruitment campaign,” he added.

On Oct. 16, the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia and Iraqi Forces launched an assault on Kirkuk and other disputed areas. As of Nov. 2, over 183,000 civilians have been displaced since the attack, most of them Kurds, with 79,000 people having fled the city of Kirkuk according to the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.

Shia militias are also engaged in “kidnappings and robberies,” lootings and arson, creating panic and fear among the population.

kurdistan24.net/en/news/eb92a78b-307a-4ccf-9e60-00fa13ba75ef

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Syrian Army Dispatches Hundreds of Soldiers to Southwestern DeirEzzur

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army has forwarded hundreds of fresh forces to Southwestern DeirEzzur to join their comrades to launch the final phase of the liberation operation in the ISIL-held town of Albu Kamal amid the US-backed SDF's attempts to conquer the key town before the the gov't forces' arrival, military sources said Saturday.

The sources said that a massive convoy of the Syrian army soldiers departed from the provincial capital of DeirEzzur for the T2 Oil Pumping Station in the Southwestern part of the province.

They further said that the large convoy heading towards the T2 Oil Pumping Station was comprised of several tanks, infantrymen and military equipment, adding that the reinforcements will be participating in the ongoing offensive to liberate the ISIL de facto capital, Albu Kamal, near the Iraqi border.

The Syrian military sources confirmed on Friday that DeirEzzur city, the biggest in the country's East and the last stronghold of the ISIL terrorist group, came fully under government control.

After the three-year-long siege of DeirEzzur was broken on September 5, the Syrian government forces announced on Friday that they cleared the city from last ISIL fighters, which marked another key defeat for the terrorist group, which recently lost most of the territory it occupied in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Earlier a news service run by the Syrian army's ally Hezbollah had reported that the Syrian army gained control of al-Hamidiyeh, Sheikh Yassin, al-Arzi and al-Roshdiyeh districts, and prepared to enter the final district held by terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960813000526

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South Asia

Senior Taliban commanders among several killed in Kunduz and Faryab

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Nov 04 2017

Several Taliban militants were killed or wounded in the latest counter-terrorism operations of the Afghan national defense and security forces in the northern parts of the country.

According to the Afghan military, the operations were conducted in the past 24 hours in the vicinity of Kunduz and Faryab provinces.

The 209th Shaheen Corps in the North said at least two senior commanders of the Taliban group were among those killed.

A statement by Shaheen Corps said at least six Taliban insurgents were killed during the operations in Esa Khel village located in Chahar Dara district of Kunduz.

The statement further added that two senior commanders of the group identified as Mullah Tufan and QariZahir were among those killed.

At least thirteen Taliban insurgents were also wounded during the operations and ten different types of landmines were confiscated during the operations, Shaheen Corps added.

In the meantime, Shaheen Corps of the Afghan army said at least eight Taliban insurgents were killed and twelve others were wounded during the airstrikes in northern Faryab province.

The airstrikes were conduted in Sherin Islam Qalam, Zaqoom, and Tapa-e-Qeshlaqvilages located in Khwajah Sabs Posh and SherinTagab districts, the statement said.

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

khaama.com/senior-taliban-commanders-among-several-killed-in-kunduz-and-faryab-03651

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Outrage in Afghanistan over government's suspension of WhatsApp, Telegram

November 05, 2017

Afghanistan has ordered the suspension of WhatsApp and Telegram to resolve “technical problems”, officials said on Saturday, sparking an outcry among social media users.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Telegram are popular messaging apps among smartphone-using Afghans, including Taliban and Islamic State (IS) militants.

So far state-owned Salaam Network is the only internet provider to obey the order, which applies from November 1 to November 20, telecommunications ministry spokesman NajibNangyalay told AFP.

“We are testing a new technology and WhatsApp and Telegram will be temporarily blocked,” Nangyalay said.

“It is not a blow to the freedom of communication in Afghanistan, we have access to Facebook, Twitter. We are committed to the freedom of expression.”

Acting telecommunications minister ShahzadAryobee said the move was in response to dissatisfaction with the services, something industry insiders rejected.

“In order to improve the services and solve the technical problems of these two programmes the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology is considering to introduce a new technology,” Aryobee said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Testing is “time-consuming” and required the temporary stoppage of WhatsApp and Telegram.

The move has ignited a firestorm on social media with users describing the move to block the messaging services as an assault on their right to free speech.

“Blocking WhatsApp and Telegram is the beginning of censorship by the Afghan government and bringing the virtual world under their control in Afghanistan. I think this is intolerable,” Facebook user Abdullah wrote.

Another user Mahdi Yasir said the quality of WhatsApp and Telegram “are great” and urged the government to focus on closing “factories producing Pakistani suicide bombers” instead.

A telecommunications official scoffed at the government's claim to be developing a new technology.

“They are not going to match an international standard app,” he said.

“WhatsApp is very popular because it uses less data and the quality is very good. It could be security-related [but] if they block it people can access VPNs,” he added, referring to virtual private networks.

Around eight million people, largely in Afghanistan's major cities, can access the internet, up from almost none during the Taliban's repressive 1996-2001 regime. Most do so through mobile phones.

The Taliban frequently use WhatsApp to post statements in Afghanistan while IS militants favour Telegram.

dawn.com/news/1368450/outrage-in-afghanistan-over-governments-suspension-of-whatsapp-telegram

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Security guards of Gen. Dostum sentenced to jail by primary court in Kabul

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 05 2017

Seven security guards of the first vice president General Abdul Rashid Dostum have been awarded jail terms for their involvement in sexual abuse of ex-governor Ahmad Khan Ishchi.

Sources privy of the development have said the seven security guards of Gen. Dostum were found guilty of the involvement in the torture and abuse of Ishchi by the primary court of the police district of the city.

The sources further added that the court procedure of the seven men concluded three days ago upon which they were awarded jail terms.

According to the sources, each of the accused guard has been awarded a jail term of five years for their involvement in the incident.

The office of the first vice president and his associates have not commented in this regard so far.

Dostum is currently in Turkey amid reports he is undergoing treatment with the Afghan officials earlier saying that the first vice president has left the country after receiving approval and permission from the Attorney General Office.

The Attorney General Office said earlier in July that the case of the first vice president has been referred to the court.

The US embassy Charge d’Affaires had earlier also called for thorough investigation in the torture and sexual abuse case of Ahmad Khan Ishchi involving the first vice president General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

khaama.com/security-guards-of-gen-dostum-sentenced-to-jail-by-primary-court-in-kabul-03652

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NATO reaffirms support to Afghanistan as US forces lose soldier in Logar operations

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 05 2017

The commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan General John Nicholson reaffirmed the support of the alliance to Afghanistan as the US forces lost a soldier during the counter-terrorism operations in central Logar province of Afghanistan.

Gen. Nicholson who is also in command of the US forces in Afghanistan, said “On behalf of U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of our fallen brother.”

Reaffirming the alliance’s strong support to Afghanistan, Gen. Nicholson said “Despite this tragic event, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the Afghan people and to support them in our mutual fight against terrorism.”

The alliance in a statement said U.S. service member has died as a result of wounds sustained during operations in Logar province, Saturday afternoon.

No further details have been given regarding the identity of the deceased soldier, saying more information will be released as appropriate.

This comes as the US forces based in Afghanistan have stepped up counter-terrorism operations during the recent months.

Announcing the new US strategy for South Asia late in August, President Donald Trump also emphasized on continued counter-terrorism efforts of the US forces in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/nato-reaffirms-support-to-afghanistan-as-us-forces-lose-soldier-in-logar-operations-03654

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Afghanistan reacts at UK Ambassador’s remarks regarding Durand Line

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Nov 05 2017

The Afghan government officials have reacted at the remarks of the British Ambassador to Afghanistan regarding the Durand Line, insisting that the line has never been a formal border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Officials in the ministry of borders and tribal affairs of Afghanistan called the remarks of Nicholas Peter Kay against the principles of diplomacy.

The deputy minister of borders and tribal affairs NangialaiQalatwal has told RFE that the Durand Line was never a formal border and will never be, insisting that the stance of the Afghan government is clear in this regard and the remarks of the British Ambassador are incorrect.

According to reports, the British Ambassador to Afghanistan Nicholas Peter Kay had earlier said that the Durand Line is the formal border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He has reportedly made the remarks during an interview with the BBC, saying that the international community and Britain recognizes Durand Line as the formal border between the two countries.

In his remarks regarding the fencing of the line by Pakistan, the British envoy has said that Pakistan has the right to fence the border.

This comes as the Pakistani military is busy fencing the Durand Line despite the objections of Afghanistan.

The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had also reacted regarding the fencing work along the line and said last month that the fencing of the line will not separate the nations residing along the Durand line.

Speaking during a gathering in Pakia province, President Ghani said the love, blood relations, and history cannot be changed by fencing and only some scissors would be enough to remove the barriers.

khaama.com/afghanistan-reacts-at-uk-ambassadors-remarks-regarding-durand-line-03655

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Southeast Asia

Bob Rae on Rohingyas: 'Somebody has to be held responsible'

 

Rohingya Muslims who have fled persecution in Myanmar wait along the border for permission to move further towards refugee camps near Palong Khali, Bangladesh, Thursday, Nov. 2 2017. (AP Photo/BernatArmangue)

“People are so deeply traumatized and hurt by what’s happened,” said Rae, who was appointed special envoy to Myanmar on Oct. 23.

Without cameras and staff present, Rae met with 12 Rohingya women who shared their experiences in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. He says the refugees detailed horrific violence including sexual assault, aerial bombings, beheadings and attacks on children with machetes. Rae says the nature of these harrowing stories has been consistent.

'Where are all the men?'

Another thing that has struck the special envoy: “Where are all the men?" he says. "What happened to them?”

One man in the camp, Jahid Hossain, told CTV News that he managed to escape only because he had a warning.

“My boss is a good man and he told me to take my wife and kids and leave because there would be a massacre," Hossain said.

It’s stories like these that Rae will present to officials in Myanmar and to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of next week's APEC meeting in Vietnam.

“I think Mr. Trudeau is known throughout the world as a good-hearted man, and I think he’ll be very heavily impacted by what he sees and what he hears,” Rae said.

“Somebody has to be held responsible for this,” he added.

Despite the mounting refugee population flowing into Bangladesh’s camps, Rae calls the community’s resilience and courage “extraordinary.” Children, who make up more than half of the refugee population, are carrying on with everyday life. Refugees are building homes and mosques, and schooling is being provided.

Concerns over camp conditions

“Life goes on – it has to go on, but the point is it has to go on in better conditions than this,” Rae said. “I had one wonderful conversation with a few men who were standing around, and they said ‘why are you here?’ and I said ‘we need to make this place livable … and that’s a big challenge because this is the fastest growing group of refugees anywhere in the world right now.”

Among the concerns Rae discussed were that of health care and poor infrastructure. Rae says there’s a potential for landslides and localized flooding at the camps. And with a growing population and limited access to good health care, the spread of disease is also a threat.

During his time in Bangladesh and Myanmar, Rae says he’ll mainly be spending his trip speaking with NGOs who have a lot of information from the ground.

Jean-Jacques Simon, UNICEF South Asia’s regional chief of communication, is happy he’s there.

“It’s important that Bob Rae comes here, speaks for the authorities, sees for himself what’s happening here, the needs,” Simon said.

With regard to restitution efforts, Rae says Canada should be closely involved in establishing relationships that make “real progress.”

“I think there’s a lot of work for us to do to work with the government of Bangladesh and to work with the government of Myanmar, along with a number of other likeminded countries to say ‘we’re not going to go away. We’re not going to just disappear. This is not just one trip on one day,’” Rae said.

“And I think anybody who sees a picture of these kids; you can’t leave a place like this and not have a sense of obligation to do whatever you can to make a full life for them possible.”

With a report from CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian in Bangladesh

ctvnews.ca/politics/bob-rae-on-rohingyas-somebody-has-to-be-held-responsible-1.3663836

 

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