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Islamic World News ( 22 Jan 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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New King Salman Pledges No Change in Saudi Direction

 

 

  

Shahi Imam (Priest) Punjab issued a Fatwa (decree) against France asking Muslims across the world to not buy French made products.

 

 

 

Arab World

New King Salman Pledges No Change in Saudi Direction

Egypt Hails Late Saudi King as 'Just' Leader, Declares Week of Mourning

Rights defenders in the dark over Egypt's president's annual pardon

Islamic State deadline on Japanese captives passes with no word on fate

Zoosadism — Cruelty to animals can be a warning sign

Prince Moqren: Saudi's next heir a close confidant of Abdullah

In Mosul, Islamic State turns captured city into fortress

Life in IS-ruled Mosul under scanner

 

Africa

Jihadists Claim To Set Up Base in Beida

Nigerians Face Killings, Hunger In Boko Haram’s ‘State’

Media in Libya not impartial says EU envoy

 

North America

Safe Havens within Pak Not Acceptable, 26/11 Attackers Must Face Justice: Obama

Kerry Facing Summons On Lawsuit for Designating RSS

US officials detail Islamic State kills, but hard part ahead

NS, Conservative Leaders Praise Jindal for Standing Up To Sharia Law

US has no confirmation on JuD and Haqqani Network ban: Spokesperson

Snowden: Mass Surveillance Doesn't Stop Terrorism

 

South Asia

Bangladesh Govt Asks TV Channels Not To Sensationalise Violence

Bank of Maldives Introduces Islamic Banking Services

ISIS not a major threat to Afghanistan, National Directorate of Security says

Japan rules out military strike on Isis

Dual citizenship an ‘excuse’ for barring Afghan Cabinet nominees

Japanese reporter’s bid to save friend led to IS abduction

Arrests in China’s mainly-Muslim Xinjiang nearly doubled in 2014: report

Nasheed urges President Yameen to convene all-party talks

 

India

Shahi Imam Punjab issues Fatwa Asking Muslims Not Buy French Made Products

No One Can Change History - We Are the Same People, Says Pakistani Author

ISI trying to push in LeT terrorists to launch attacks, say intelligence inputs

'Bangladeshi Muslims behind significant rise in Muslim population of the country'

Waqf Boards' Property to Be Registered For Minority Welfare: Najma Heptullah

President Condoles Saudi King’s Death

BSF, Pakistani Rangers exchange gunfire in Samba sector

Peshawar school attack changed Pakistan’s strategy on terror, say experts at Jaipur LitFest

At least two killed, 16 injured in bomb blast in Bihar’s Arrah Session court

 

Pakistan

Militant Media: Writers Stymie Action on Hate Literature

NA Speaker Urges World Bodies to Stop Insult of Religious Beliefs

Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Writes to Heads of State on Blasphemy

US must respect international laws in war against terrorism: Pakistan

Wah bomber was Lal Masjid student

Charlie Hebdo attack: Pakistani pens 'apology' for the world on behalf of Muslims

War on terror is not a war on Islam: speakers

JuD not banned, only its accounts frozen: Pak. envoy

Regional peace: Pakistan pressed US to tame India

 

Europe

France Plans Civility Lessons and ‘Day of Secularity’

Anti-Muslim Acts Soar in France since Attacks

Coalition ‘Needs 2 Years to Kick Out IS From Iraq’: UK Foreign Secy

French court upholds stripping citizenship in terror case

France tackles discrimination, inequalities after attacks

Austria's first trial of alleged Islamic State fighter starts

 

Mideast

Erdoğan Vows to Replace Gülen Schools Abroad With Turkish Ministry Schools

Hamas Calls On Hezbollah to Unite Fight against Israel

Palestinian Envoy: Iran's Independence Honour for Islamic Ummah

Iranian Minister: Western Religious Bodies Blast Charlie Hebdo

Yemen lawmakers to meet Sunday after president quits

 

Southeast Asia

Sex, Money and Power Lure Would-Be Jihadists to Isis, Say Malaysian Cops

Convert If You Want To Use ‘Allah’, Muslim Group Tells Christians

To Indonesian Analysts, Obama’s Remarks on IS Are Lost in Translation

Between ‘divine’ punishments and taxpayers’ rights: PAS president

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/new-king-salman-pledges-no-change-in-saudi-direction/d/101175

 

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Arab World

 

New King Salman pledges no change in Saudi direction

23 Jan, 2015

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman, in his first public address, pledged on Friday no change in the kingdom's direction and called for unity among Muslims.

"We will remain with God's strength attached to the straight path that this state has walked since its establishment by King Abdul Aziz bin Saud, and by his sons after him," Salman said in televised remarks.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/121092/World/Region/New-King-Salman-pledges-no-change-in-Saudi-directi.aspx

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Egypt hails late Saudi king as 'just' leader, declares week of mourning

23 Jan, 2015

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared a week of mourning in Egypt for Saudi King Abdullah who passed away on Friday, praising him as a just leader who had devotedly defended pan-Arabism and Islam.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Arab nation has lost one of its most prominent leaders," read a presidential statement released shortly after the death of the king at 1am on Friday morning.

"History will record the numerous achievements of the deceased to defend Arabism and Islam with honour, justice, pride and courageousness," read the Egyptian statement.

The statement also hailed the late king's support for Cairo, saying, "Egyptian people will never forget King Abdullah's historical stances towards Egypt and its people which reflected wisdom and deep conviction of Arab unity."

Al-Ahram Arabic news website quoted "high-level sources" as saying that President El-Sisi, who is currently in Switzerland for a global economic meeting, would cut short his visit and fly to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom to take part in the funeral on Friday afternoon, and pay respects to the royal family.

Following the death of Abdullah, 90, which was announced on Saudi state television, the throne has passed to his brother Salman.

The late monarch was one of El-Sisi's closest regional allies, offering him vocal support when he came to power following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, and providing Cairo with cash aid and petroleum products.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/121073/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-hails-late-Saudi-king-as-just-leader,-declar.aspx

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Rights defenders in the dark over Egypt's president's annual pardon

23 Jan, 2015

This week Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said some Egyptians imprisoned on protest charges are being considered for an annual pardon given on 25 January, the fourth anniversary of Egypt's 2011 revolution.

The news could have sent hundreds celebrating, as Egyptian prisons fill with demonstrators serving sentences for breaking a strict 2013 demonstrations law, but a few days before and rights defenders are still guessing exactly who, or how many – if any – will come out.

"We presented on Wednesday a list of 600 names we want released, and we're praying," member of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights, George Ishaq, also a long time political activist, told Ahram Online.

Ishaq said the list includes different types of prisoners but mainly those who did not engage in acts of violence – a condition of the pardon – whether protesters or arrested randomly in the area around a protest, and especially students who are imprisoned pending trials.

The presidential pardon decision issued this week, however, specifies that only prisoners who have been handed a final verdict and served half the time are eligible for the pardon, but Ishaq seems unfazed.

"We asked for the release of all students and those awaiting trial, many of whom have been waiting for months."

The interior ministry's prison authority said on Thursday 584 prisoners will be released on the occasion of the 25 January anniversary, which is also Police Day.

Whether these will include those serving time for protesting is not yet clear.

Zizo Abdo, spokesperson for April 6 Youth Movement, whose leaders Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel were both sentenced to three years in prison in 2013 for illegally protesting, says the pardon may include them, as they fulfil its conditions of spending over half the prison time.

Amr Emam, a human rights lawyer who represents some of the Egyptians accused of protesting, was also oblivious.

"There's no clear legal process followed in such cases, when the state wants anyone released, it releases them one way or another, we're yet to see who'll get out," he told Ahram Online.

Unlike Emam, spokesperson for the liberal Constitution Party Khaled Dawood seems to believe that a process is followed.

Dawood thinks it improbable that protesters in the famous Shura Council case, wherein prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah is being tried, will be pardoned, as they're still facing a retrial after being sentenced to 3 to 15 years in jail.

He however believes the judiciary can release many whose trials are ongoing on legal grounds until a verdict is announced.

"We have presented several requests for their release," he said.

The Constitution Party has presented Ishaq with a list of nine of their members he says are eligible for release, but has no information whether they'll be pardoned.

The protest law has been vehemently criticised by political groups and commentators, who say it's being used to clamp down on political activity.

Unofficial estimates put the number of protesters arrested since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and subsequent arrest law above 40,000.

A government commissioned fact-finding report about violence in the year after Morsi's ouster put the figure at 13,000 charged with violence and protesting, over 3,700 of which were acquitted.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/121018/Egypt/Politics-/Rights-defenders-in-the-dark-over-presidents-annua.aspx

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Islamic State deadline on Japanese captives passes with no word on fate

23 Jan, 2015

Japan top spokesman says situation "extremely severe"; Japan top spokesman says negotiating through all channels; PM Abe's handling of crisis a test but few options

Japan said on Friday it was still trying to secure the release of two Japanese hostages held by Islamic State militants after a deadline to pay ransom for their release passed and there was no immediate word on their fate.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government considered whether planned legislative changes would give it the legal basis for a military strike on the Islamic State militants and concluded it did not, according to a briefing document reviewed by Reuters.

The capture of two Japanese citizens in Syria represents an "unacceptable act of terror", the document said.

But it concluded the situation would not meet the legal conditions for the dispatch of Japanese forces, whose activities abroad are constrained by the pacifist, post-war constitution, even under planned changes to the current interpretation of the charter.

In an online video released on Tuesday, a black-clad figure holding a knife stood between journalist Kenji Goto and troubled loner Haruna Yukawa, threatening to kill them if Tokyo did not pay Islamic State $200 million within 72 hours.

Mr. Abe has said saving the men's lives is paramount but that Japan will not bow to terrorism. Japanese officials have declined to say if they would pay any ransom, a move that would put Tokyo at odds with close ally the United States.

"Despite the fact that the situation is severe, we are continuing to seek cooperation from all countries, tribal leaders and religious representatives who might have contacts with an aim to secure the early release of the two Japanese," chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Mr. Goto's mother pleaded for his release just hours before the deadline passed.

"My son Kenji is not an enemy of the people of the Islamic faith. I can only pray as a mother for his release," Junko Ishido told a packed news conference, choking back tears. "If I could offer my life I would plead that my son be released, it would be a small sacrifice on my part.

"He only went to rescue his friend. He has always looked out for weaker people, he was always helping weaker children than him," she added.

Mr. Abe has ordered his government to make every effort to secure their safe release, setting off a flurry of activity among Japanese diplomats.

However, sources familiar with the matter said Japanese diplomats had told the families of the two captives prior to the video's release that no ransom would be paid.

The captor in the video, which resembles those showing previous Islamic State captives, said the ransom demand matched the $200 million in aid that Mr. Abe pledged to help countries fighting Islamist militants.

Humanitarian aid

Mr. Abe made the pledge during a multi-nation visit to the Middle East earlier this month. Islamic State militants have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria, and beheaded several Western captives.

Japan has stressed that its donation is for humanitarian aid, such as helping refugees, and insisted that it will not bow to terrorist threats.

In an address at Friday prayers at Tokyo's most prominent mosque, the Tokyo Camii and Turkish Culture Centre, the imam, Muhammad Rashid Alas, called for the "immediate release of the two Japanese hostages," quoting from the Quran on the need to show mercy.

The centre had earlier posted a statement saying Islamic State's actions are "totally against Islam and have a serious impact on Muslim communities all over the world and put Muslims in a precarious position".

Mr. Abe's handling of the hostage crisis — he must appear firm but not callous — will be a big test for the 60-year-old, but he appears to have few options.

Few Japanese are likely to blame Mr. Abe if the two captives are killed, but there could be questions raised over why he singled out countries battling Islamic State for the aid when it was known the group was holding two Japanese nationals.

"Just when they held hostages and considered what they should do about them, Mr. Mr. Abe offered something that would, in their (IS's) logic, raise the hurdle (for resolving the situation)," said Motohiro Ono, an opposition Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker who is a Middle East expert.

Yukawa, aged around 42 and who dreamed of becoming a military contractor, was captured in August outside the Syrian city of Aleppo. Mr. Goto, 47, a war correspondent with experience in Middle East hot spots, went to Syria in late October to try to help Yukawa.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/islamic-state-deadline-on-japanese-captives-passes-with-no-word-on-fate/article6815347.ece

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Zoosadism — Cruelty to animals can be a warning sign

23 Jan, 2015

THERE has been a noticeable increase in a disturbing trend among Saudi social media users of posting footage of animal torture online.

The ghastly videos of zoosadistic acts are being posted mostly by young men who seem to be vying against one another to torture animals — both wild and domestic.

In one video, two men torture a little stallion before finally shooting it dead, in another a fox is set on fire and the latest involved a man mercilessly running over a dog with his car.

Studies have shown that people who enjoy inflicting harm on animals are more likely to do so to humans.

One survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured dogs and cats found all of them had high levels of aggression toward people as well. According to a New York Times report, the FBI has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in crime records of serial rapists and murderers.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150123231363

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Prince Moqren: Saudi's next heir a close confidant of Abdullah

January 23, 2015

RIYADH: Prince Moqren, named last year as second in line to the Saudi throne, was a trusted confidant of the late King Abdullah with a reputation as a liberal.

Born on September 15, 1945 in Riyadh, Moqren is the youngest of the 35 sons of Abdulaziz bin Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia.

He graduated from Britain’s Royal Air Force College and served in the Saudi air force until taking on political roles from 1980.

He was governor of the northern province of Hail, and then of Medina in the west.

In 2005, Moqren was appointed head of Saudi intelligence, a post that helped the prince build a network of international contacts.

In 2012, King Abdullah named him as counsellor and special envoy, and the following year appointed him second deputy prime minister.

Diplomats say Moqren was very close to Abdullah and was frequently entrusted with sensitive assignments.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/826323/prince-moqren-saudis-next-heir-a-close-confidant-of-abdullah/

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In Mosul, Islamic State turns captured city into fortress

23 Jan, 2015

(Reuters) - In a government building in Mosul, a handful of Iraqi contractors gathered to compete for a tender last month.

It was the kind of routine session that happens in cities everywhere -- except here the contract was for fortifications ordered by the new rulers in town, Islamic State.

One member of the radical Islamist group grabbed a map and explained to those present what was required.

“Under Islamic State’s tender document, a trench two meters in depth and two meters in width needs to be dug around Mosul,” said a source in the city close to the tendering process.

The winning contractor will be paid the equivalent of $4,000 for each kilometre of trench, the source said.

The tender demonstrates Islamic State’s determination to defend the city that it conquered in June, as the extremists grabbed a large area of territory from Baghdad. Rich in Muslim history, Mosul stands at the centre of the group's aim to carve out a modern caliphate from large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Interviews with 11 Mosul residents, several of whom fled this month, reveal how Islamic State has created a police state strong enough to weather severe popular discontent and military setbacks, including the deaths of senior leaders.

Full report at:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/22/uk-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-idUKKBN0KV13120150122

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Life in IS-ruled Mosul under scanner

23 Jan, 2015

BAGHDAD: In a government building in Mosul, a handful of Iraqi contractors gathered to compete for a tender last month. It was the kind of routine session that happens in cities everywhere — except here the contract was for fortifications ordered by the new rulers in town, Islamic State.

One member of the radical group grabbed a map and explained to those present what was required.

“Under Islamic State’s tender document, a trench two meters in depth and two meters in width needs to be dug around Mosul,” said a source in the city close to the tendering process.

The winning contractor will be paid the equivalent of $4,000 for each kilometer of trench, the source said.

Interviews with 11 Mosul residents, several of whom fled this month, reveal how Islamic State has created a police state strong enough to weather severe popular discontent and military setbacks, including the deaths of senior leaders.

Along with the planned trench, the militants have sealed Mosul’s western entrance with giant cement walls. They also blew up a bridge that Kurdish fighters could use to attack Mosul. “They will fight to the last drop of blood defending Mosul, and for them this battle could define their existence. Losing Mosul means a final defeat for Islamic State in Iraq,” said a retired army general living in Mosul.

In Mosul’s city center, in the old provincial council building, sits Islamic State’s religious court. Verdicts can be ruthless.

Last week, Islamic State in Mosul posted on the Internet its version of justice: the stoning of a woman accused of adultery; two men crucified, accused of armed robbery; and two men thrown from a building for allegedly being homosexual.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/693521

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Africa

 

Jihadists claim to set up base in Beida

23 Jan, 2014

Ansar Al-Sharia claims to have set up a Shoura Council of Revolutionaries in Beida, the seat of both the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni and the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA).  The aim, it says, is to break local support for Khalifa Hafter’s Operation Dignity and establish its own control over the town.

“The town has recently witnessed a wave of kidnappings, assassinations, theft of public money and the return of former regime figures”, Ansar said in a statement released yesterday.

It also claimed that the shortage of cooking gas and power cuts that have hit the entire east of the country were planned and carried out by former regime figures. It further alleged there was a deliberate shortage of flour and that the aim was to “subjugate” Beida’s residents.

It warned that everyone involved in such crimes would be target by the Shoura Council until the town changed its loyalities.

“To the people of Beida and the people of Beida suburbs, you must stop supporting the Operation Dignity that has brought hatred to Libyan brothers,” Ansar explained.

“We are with you and you will see what will make you happy,” Ansar promised all Libyans in the statement, adding that it was working with the Shoura Council of Revolutionaries of Benghazi and of Derna.

Full report at:

http://www.libyaherald.com/2015/01/22/jihadists-claim-to-set-up-base-in-beida/#ixzz3PbcUciBi

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Nigerians face killings, hunger in Boko Haram’s ‘state’

23 Jan, 2015

Boko Haram says it is building an Islamic state that will revive the glory days of northern Nigeria’s medieval Muslim empires, but for those in its territory life is a litany of killings, kidnappings, hunger and economic collapse.

The Islamist group’s five-year-old campaign has become one of the deadliest in the world, with around 10,000 people killed last year, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Hundreds, mostly women and children, have been kidnapped.

It remains the biggest threat to the stability of Africa’s biggest economy ahead of a vote on Feb. 14 in which President Goodluck Jonathan will seek re-election.

But while it has matched Islamic State in Syria and Iraq in its brutality — it beheads its enemies on camera — it has seriously lagged in the more mundane business of state building.

“The Islamic state is a figment of their imagination. They are just going into your house and saying they have taken over,” said Phineas Elisha, government spokesman for Adamawa state, one of three states under emergency rule to fight the insurgency.

Unlike its Middle East counterparts wooing locals with a semblance of administration, villagers trapped by Boko Haram face food shortages, slavery, killing and a lock down on economic activity, those who escaped say.

“(They) have no form of government,” Elisha, who saw the devastation caused by Boko Haram after government forces recaptured the town of Mubi in November.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/01/22/foreign/nigerians-face-killings-hunger-in-boko-harams-state-2/

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Media in Libya not impartial says EU envoy

23 Jan, 2014

Much of the media in Libya is taking sides in the current crisis and not providing the public with balanced, impartial information about events, according to the UN ambassador to Libya, Nataliya Apostolova.

“The media in Libya today is in many cases part of the problem, and is fueling division rather than promoting informed and responsible public discussions”, she said yesterday at a meeting between European ambassadors to Libya and members of the Libyan press currently in Tunis.

“Independent and reliable sources of news, open and responsible public debates on the way forward are essential in a society in transition, all the more so in highly polarized moments,” Apostolova told the journalists.

Full report at:

http://www.libyaherald.com/2015/01/22/media-in-libya-not-impartial-says-eu-envoy/#ixzz3Pbca8ZjZ

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North America

 

Safe havens within Pak not acceptable, 26/11 attackers must face justice: Obama

TNN | Jan 23, 2015

NEW DELHI: In an interview to the India Today magazine, US President Barack Obama said US had been unrelenting in its fight against terror — a fight in which Indians and Americans were united. Referring to the the 9/11 attack in New York and the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, Obama said the two nations stood together in defence of their security and way of life.

He went on to add, "I've made it clear that even as the United States works with Pakistan to meet the threat of terrorism, safe havens within Pakistan are not acceptable and that those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack must face justice."

India-US ties based on mutual respect: Obama (IANS)

Obama also said a good India-US relationship has to be based on mutual respect.

"On the most basic level, a good India-US relationship has to be based on the same principles as our successful partnerships with our other close partners and friends around the world," Obama said in the interview to India Today magazine.

"That includes mutual respect, where even as we acknowledge our different histories and traditions, we value the strengths that we each bring to our relationship," he said.

He said: "It includes recognizing our mutual interests that both our countries will be more secure, and our people will have more jobs and opportunities, when we are working together."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Safe-havens-within-Pak-not-acceptable-26/11-attackers-must-face-justice-Obama/articleshow/45990376.cms

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Kerry Facing Summons On Lawsuit for Designating RSS

23 Jan, 2015

A U.S. court has issued a summons to Secretary of State John Kerry calling for his response within 60 days to a lawsuit demanding that Indian party Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) be designated a “foreign terrorist organisation.”

Judge Laura Swain of the District Court of the Southern District of New York said in her summons that Mr. Kerry was required to answer the “declaratory lawsuit” filed by Sikhs For Justice, a human rights group that had earlier filed a case against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging culpability for his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, which occurred when Mr. Modi was the Chief Minister of the state.

That case was dismissed earlier this month when a judge of the same court affirmed that a “sitting head of state’s immunity from jurisdiction is based on the Executive Branch's determination of official immunity without regard to the specific conduct alleged,” effectively that Mr. Modi enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/kerry-facing-summons-on-lawsuit-for-designating-rss/article6812338.ece

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US officials detail Islamic State kills, but hard part ahead

23 Jan, 2015

LONDON: The US and its allies sought to put a good face on the coalition's deliberate campaign to roll back the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria on Thursday, boasting of having killed thousands of militants while acknowledging that ousting the group from key cities remains a distant aspiration.

Speaking to reporters in London alongside the British foreign minister and Iraqi prime minister, US Secretary of State John Kerry said nearly 2,000 air strikes had arrested the Islamic State group's momentum, squeezed its finances, killed “in the single digit” thousands of fighters and eliminated half of the group's leadership.

A US Central Command official said a conservative estimate would be 6,000 militants killed.

The official was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly, and so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1158929/us-officials-detail-islamic-state-kills-but-hard-part-ahead

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NS, Conservative Leaders Praise Jindal for Standing Up To Sharia Law

23 Jan, 2015

A number of high-profile national security and conservative movement leaders are publicly praising Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a conservative and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, for standing up to Sharia Law in a speech in the United Kingdom this week—and they’re calling on other potential presidential candidates to weigh in on the issue.

“We want to congratulate you for your recent remarks at the Henry Jackson Society in London in which you exhibited exemplary clarity of thought, commitment to truth and dedication to our Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees,” the group writes in a letter to Jindal, obtained by Breitbart News ahead of its public release.

The leaders who signed it include: retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, former chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andrew McCarthy, Ronald Reagan’s former Strategic Defence Initiative director Ambassador Henry Cooper, Center for Security Policy president Frank Gaffney, retired Navy Admiral James Lyons, Americans For Limited Government president Rick Manning, Conservative HQ’s George Rasley, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, American Family Association’s Sandy Rios and many more.

“The fact that you are being severely, and reprehensibly, attacked for doing so in connection with the central threat of our time – the Islamic supremacist doctrine of Shariah and the global jihad being conducted to impose it on all of us – is an indictment of your critics, not of you. To the contrary, such criticisms should be regarded as a badge of honour,” the letter adds.

Full report at:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/22/national-security-conservative-leaders-praise-bobby-jindal-for-standing-up-to-sharia-law/

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US has no confirmation on JuD and Haqqani Network ban: Spokesperson

23 Jan, 2015

WASHINGTON: The US said today it has no confirmation on Pakistan's banning of Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), and the Haqqani Network, even as it recognised that the country was reassessing its measures to root out extremism in the country, said a report published on NDTV.

When asked about the alleged ban on the two terror outfits, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington: "We recognise that Pakistan is working through the process of implementing measures to thwart violent extremism, including the national action plan. We don't have any confirmation of specific steps."

In light of international pressure to outlaw the terror groups JuD and the Haqqani Network, the government included both groups in the list of proscribed outfits and froze their assets on Thursday, a move seen as a significant step in the execution of the National Action Plan formulated to curb radicalism.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1158952/us-has-no-confirmation-on-jud-and-haqqani-network-ban-spokesperson

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Snowden: Mass Surveillance Doesn't Stop Terrorism

23 Jan, 2015

American whistleblower Edward Snowden reaffirmed his doubts about the effectiveness of massive wiretapping, citing the recent attacks in Paris as an example.

"France passed one of the most intrusive, expensive surveillance laws in all of Europe last year and it did not stop the attack," Snowden said in an interview broadcast by Dutch TV channel NOS on Wednesday. "This is consistent with what we have seen in every country," Xinhua reported.

The mass surveillance has not stopped a single attack in the United States, he said. "It didn't stop the attacks in London, didn't stop the attacks in Spain, didn't stop the attacks in Boston. "Snowden came to international attention in June 2013 after disclosing thousands of classified documents he acquired while working as a contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA). He is charged in the United States with espionage and was granted asylum by Russia in August 2013.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931102000194

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh Govt asks TV channels not to sensationalise violence

23 Jan, 2015

The government has urged the private television channels to present country's real situation and not to sensationalise any news on violence.

The call was made in a views-exchange meeting between the representatives of several private TV channels and some senior ministers with Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu at his ministry.

Inu said an open discussion was held with the representatives of some private TV channels.

The minister said they urged the media representatives to show the country’s real situation.

At the briefing, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said country’s trade and businesses are normal despite the ongoing violence.

“Some 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles are plying different roads and highways across the country every day but media is not aware of that,” Amu said.

Asked if they have given any specific direction to the TV channels over news telecast, the minister said: "No specific direction was given to them."

The BNP-led 20-party alliance has been enforcing a nationwide roads and waterways blockade since January 5.

The current blockade has been marked by violence and sporadic clashes between the police and protesters, leaving a number of people killed and injured. More than 30 people have been killed so far.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/jan/22/govt-asks-tv-channels-not-sensationalise-violence#sthash.PTeFPUKe.dpuf

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Bank of Maldives introduces Islamic banking services

23 Jan, 2015

The Bank of Maldives (BML) has introduced Islamic Banking Services today (January 22).

The service inaugurated by Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed will be operated under the name ‘BML Islamic’ which will offer its personal and business customers with deposit and financing products.

“This is a big and proud day for our Bank,” said BML’s CEO and Managing Director Andrew Healy. “Today we start to provide alternatives to those who wish to strictly follow Islamic principles in their banking.”

“We look forward to rolling out a broad range of products and services – for both personal and business customers – over the next two years”.

Islamic banking and capital market services – compliant with Islamic Shariah – were introduced in the Maldives in 2011, with the opening of the Maldives Islamic Bank.

The Capital Market Development Authority began reporting on the Islamic Capital Market for the first time last year, while Maldives Monetary Authority Governor Dr Azeema Adam said that the industry’s potential was still being realised.

“One of the reasons for the phenomenal growth of Islamic finance is the perception that it is more ethical, compared to conventional finance, which is traditionally viewed as predatory when needed,” Azeema told the Maldives’ first Islamic banking conference last September.

The new BML service will be provided by existing branches of the bank but Islamic bank accounts and finances will be “fully segregated from the rest of the Bank’s Services”, explained a BML press release.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/bank-of-maldives-introduces-islamic-banking-services-92295

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ISIS not a major threat to Afghanistan, National Directorate of Security says

23 Jan, 2015

The Afghan Intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief Rahmatullah Nabil has ruled out that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group poses serious threat to Afghanistan.

Speaking during a briefing in Afghan parliament on Thursday Nabil said the Afghan intelligence is competent enough in terms of capabilities.

In the meantime, Nabil said the ISIS group poses more threats to the neighboring countries as compared to Afghanistan.

Nabil reiterated that the Afghan national security forces are capable to thwart threats by terrorist groups.

The remarks by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) confirmed last week that a number of the Taliban militants have launched operations under the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in parts of Afghanistan.

The commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan Gen. John Campbell earlier also said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is recruiting militants in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/isis-daesh-not-a-major-threat-to-afghanistan-nabil-says-9276

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Japan rules out military strike on Isis

23 Jan, 2015

Japan's government considered whether planned legal changes would allow a military strike on Islamic State militants and concluded it did not, as officials scrambled to seek the release of two Japanese captured in Syria, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

The briefing document was compiled today by Japanese officials at the request of the prime minister's office, shortly before a deadline to pay ransom for the release of the two men. There was no immediate word on their fate after the 0550 GMT (1.50pm Malaysian time) deadline passed.

The capture of two Japanese citizens in Syria represented an "unacceptable act of terror," the document said. But it concluded the situation did not meet the legal conditions for the dispatch of Japanese forces.

Japan's pacifist constitution bans its troops fighting overseas, among other restrictions on the military.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/world/article/japan-rules-out-military-strike-on-isis#sthash.wI1rhWS5.dpuf

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Dual citizenship an ‘excuse’ for barring Afghan Cabinet nominees

23 Jan, 2015

Afghanistan’s Government of National Unity introduced new cabinet nominees to the Afghan lawmakers for a vote of confidence on Tuesday.

According to recent reports, the lower house refused to accept seven of the nominees for having dual citizenship, while the reports stated that amongst the 25 new cabinet members 11 have dual citizenship.

A former employee in the Lower House of Parliament – Wolesi Jirga, who wished not to be named highlighted facts that are influencing the decision-making of these parliamentarians.

Inside parliament, there are some groups and individuals who do not care about the best interests of the nation and instead act according to personal interest, making deals on any level based to promote their own business, the source said.

He said some of these MPs are not satisfied with the government leader’s decision, not to include their family members in the cabinet list, so they have raised the issue of the candidates’ dual citizenship to pressurize the government in the hope of having their own supporters in the next list.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/dual-citizenship-an-excuse-for--afghan-cabinet-nominees-8973

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Japanese reporter’s bid to save friend led to IS abduction

23 Jan, 2015

TOKYO: It is an unlikely friendship that ties the fates of war correspondent Kenji Goto and troubled loner Haruna Yukawa, the two Japanese hostages for whom Islamic State militants demanded a $200 million ransom this week.

Yukawa was captured in August outside the Syrian city of Aleppo. Goto, who had returned to Syria in late October to try to help his friend, has been missing since then.

For Yukawa, who dreamed of becoming a military contractor, traveling to Syria had been part of an effort to turn his life around after going bankrupt, losing his wife to cancer and attempting suicide, according to associates and his own accounts.

A unit at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been seeking information on him since August, people involved in that effort said. Goto’s disappearance had not been reported until Tuesday’s video apparently showing him and Yukawa kneeling in orange t-shirts next to a masked Islamic State militant wielding a knife.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/region/23-Jan-2015/japanese-reporter-s-bid-to-save-friend-led-to-is-abduction

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Arrests in China’s mainly-Muslim Xinjiang nearly doubled in 2014: report

23 January 2015

Arrests nearly doubled last year in China’s violence-torn, mainly Muslim Xinjiang region, state-run media reported Friday, adding that a crackdown has been extended to the end of this year.

Prosecutors in the far-western area, home to China’s 10-million-strong Turkic-speaking and mostly Muslim Uighurs, approved the arrest of 27,164 criminal suspects in 2014, up more than 95 percent on the previous year, the China Daily newspaper said.

“We’ve shortened the time between approving arrests and prosecution in major terrorist-related cases so the suspects can be tried as soon as possible to show the region’s determination to fight terrorism,” Xinjiang’s chief prosecutor Nixiang Yibulayin was quoted as telling the region’s legislature on Thursday.

Violence linked to Xinjiang has intensified over the past year, with at least 200 people killed in a series of clashes and increasingly sophisticated attacks in the resource-rich region and beyond it.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/asia/2015/01/23/Arrests-in-China-s-mainly-Muslim-Xinjiang-nearly-doubled-in-2014-report.html

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Nasheed urges President Yameen to convene all-party talks

23 Jan, 2015

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President Mohamed Nasheed has called on President Abdulla Yameen to conduct official talks with all political parties.

“As soon as possible, even if possible tonight, I urge President Yameen to commence talks with all political parties, especially with the inclusion of President Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom] in the talks,” said the former president.

“I urge President Yameen to hold discussions with President Maumoon, Honourable Gasim, even us and leaders of Adhaalath Party. Also to move away from actions that will push Maldives into chaos.”

Speaking to journalists on his return from an official trip to Abu Dhabi, Nasheed urged Yameen to abandon his strict and arbitrary policies and actions against other political figures.

Nasheed also called on President Yameen to bring any necessary legal or constitutional changes through dialogue with political parties.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/nasheed-urges-president-yameen-to-convene-all-party-talks-92318

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India

 

Shahi Imam Punjab issues Fatwa Asking Muslims Not Buy French Made Products

Shariq Majeed,TNN | Jan 23, 2015

LUDHIANA: Alleging that France hurt sentiments of the Muslim community through the "defamatory" cartoons published in Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, Shahi Imaam (Priest) Punjab issued a Fatwa (decree) against the country asking Muslims across the world to not buy French made products.

Shahi Imam Punjab Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Saani Ludhianvi also in a way justified the killing of the journalists of Charlie Hebdo saying that they committed biggest sin of making the "defamatory" cartoons of Prophet Muhammad which cannot be tolerated by any Muslim.

However, he asserted that he is against any form of terrorism but claimed that the act of the Charlie Hebdo journalists deserved a reaction.

Addressing a gathering at Shahi Mosque here on Friday, Shahi Imam said that for long Charlie Hebdo was publishing defamatory cartoons of Prophet as a result of which there was great anger among the Muslims across the world.

"We want to make it clear to the Goons in Europe that we will not tolerate any disrespect of our beloved Prophet (SAW). So I issue a fatwa against France and ask Muslims across the world to boycott French products and also not to fly by Air France," said Shahi Imam. He also appealed to Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) to insist on Islamic countries to close down their embassies in France as was done by Turkey.

Shahi Imaam said that no one will be allowed to defame Islam under the guise of Freedom of Expression. He added that those advocating Freedom of Expression in Europe should come to see that though freedom of Express is even in India but here no one is allowed to hurt the religious sentiments of any community.

"Though w are against any form of terrorism but those who made the cartoons of Prophet trying to disrespect him which we will not tolerate at any cost. The reaction was justified," said Shahi Imam. "The western countries should understand that through this sort of Freedom of Express they will convert the world into a battlefield".

In the meanwhile Muhammad Mustkeem, public relations officer of Shahi Imaam, told The Times of India that they will be sending a copy of Fatwa to OIC appealing them to ensure it's proper implementation.

There are around 25 Lakhs Muslims in the state of Punjab.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shahi-Imaam-Punjab-issues-Fatwa-against-France/articleshow/45990205.cms

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No One Can Change History - We Are the Same People, Says Pakistani Author

AARTI DHAR

23 Jan, 2015

The author of 'Historic Temples in Pakistan: a Call to Conscience,' Reema Abbasi is here to promote her book at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival.

"Lack of harmony impacts everyone, including the people in India and Pakistan," says Pakistani journalist-cum-author Reema Abbasi.

To drive home the point, she cites the examples of the dreaded December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya incident in New Delhi prompting women's groups in Pakistan to raise their voice, and the militant attack on an Army school in Peshawar on December 16 last year, when Indians stood up to condemn it.

The author of 'Historic Temples in Pakistan: a Call to Conscience,' Reema is here to promote her book at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. The book is, perhaps, one of its kind endeavour to document the remaining historical temples and shrines in Pakistan. The photographs have been captured by Madhia Aijai. It is yet to be formally launched but copies are available in a leading book store in Lahore.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/no-one-can-change-history-we-are-the-same-people-says-pakistani-author/article6812059.ece

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ISI trying to push in LeT terrorists to launch attacks, say intelligence inputs

TNN | Jan 23, 2015

NEW DELHI: Ahead of Obama visit, intelligence inputs on terror threats seem to be coming by the dozen. After inputs about five suspected terrorists having entered India to target Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai and six LeT operatives having infiltrated into Kathua in Jammu recently, now there is a fresh input that a major rank officer from Pakistan's spy agency- ISI- has been given the responsibility to push in two batches of five Lashkar terrorists each across the border.

There is information about the groups waiting at Rum (Sialkot) in Pakistan before being launched into India. The terrorists have been tasked to launch a fidayeen attack inside India during the visit, said home ministry sources.

Although there is no indication that any of these groups have been instructed to move to Delhi or launch an attack targeting the Republic Day, all infiltration attempts are being watched with utmost seriousness.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ISI-trying-to-push-in-LeT-terrorists-to-launch-attacks-say-intelligence-inputs/articleshow/45985852.cms

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'Bangladeshi Muslims behind significant rise in Muslim population of the country'

23 Jan, 2015

INDORE: Training their gun over Bangladeshi Mulsim yet again, state BJP chief of Madhya Pradesh Nanadkumar Singh Chouhan on Thursday said population of Muslims in the country has increased significantly mainly because of influx of Bangladeshi migrants, which is putting stress on national resources and emerged as a threat for national integration and security.

Chouhan was commenting on latest census data on the population of religious groups, set to be released shortly, which shows a 24% rise in the Muslim population between 2001 and 2011, with the community's share of total population rising from 13.4% to 14.2% over the 10-year period.

"Hindus who are being tortured in Pakistan and Bangladesh are welcome here, because they have no place to go. But people who have demanded a separate country and divided the nation are not welcome here. They should stay back where they are," said Chouhan adding that migrant Bangladeshi Muslims in West Bengal and Assam are linked with terror groups and working against the nation.

He went on to say that large number of Bangladeshi Muslims is living in the country and BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take appropriate action to check their infiltration, which is changing the demography of certain areas of the country.

Evading direct reply over Ghar Wapsi, Chouhan said party is against forceful conversion and they are in favour of enacting a strong anti-conversion law.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bangladeshi-Muslims-are-reason-behind-significant-rise-in-Muslim-population-of-the-country/articleshow/45980843.cms

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Waqf Boards' property to be registered for minority welfare: Najma Heptullah

23 Jan, 2015

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah today said that the property belonging to Muslim Sunni and Shia Waqf boards in the country will be registered and developed to fund minority welfare activities.

"Six lakh acres of waqf property is spread all over India. If we develop them according to the Sachchar Committee report they will provide anywhere between Rs 20,000 crore and 25,000 crore per annum. This money can be used for the welfare and upliftment of Muslims in the country," Heptullah said here.

She added that to make this happen, waqf boards in the country will be reconstituted and the property belonging to them will be registered to facilitate their digitisation. Linkages with 'Aadhaar' number will also be provided to bring in transparency in the activities.

"Some people may feel bad about these measures, but they are for the benefit of the Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has entrusted me to oversee their implementation. Our officers have started discussing it with waqf boards. They are doing it in Patna today," Heptullah said.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/455035/waqf-boards-property-registered-minority.html

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President condoles Saudi King’s death

23 Jan, 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the passing away of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

On Friday, the President tweeted “Heartfelt condolences to the Government, Royal family and people of Saudi Arabia over the sad demise of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. In his passing away, Saudi Arabia had lost a beloved leader, India a close friend and the world, an elder statesman."

Mr. Mukherjee said King Abdullah had genuine warmth and affection for India and its people and was personally committed to improving bilateral ties with India.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/president-pranab-mukherjee-condoles-saudi-kings-death/article6814756.ece

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BSF, Pakistani Rangers exchange gunfire in Samba sector

23 Jan, 2015

Pakistani Rangers and BSF troops briefly exchanged fire along the International Border in Samba sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

“On suspicion of (movement of) suspected persons, we fired few rounds and Pakistan posts also fired few rounds after hearing sound in Regaal Border Out Post (BoP) area along the IB in Samba sector last night”, a senior BSF officer said on Saturday.

“However, there was no specific movement or infiltration attempt from across”, he said.

“The firing continued intermittently for a brief period at 11 PM last night”, he said, adding there was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the exchanges.

On January 20, Pakistani Rangers violated the ceasefire by resorting to firing by small arms on Border Out Posts (BoPs) along the International Border in Jammu district, prompting the BSF to retaliate.

On January 13 and 12, there was small arms firing by Pakistani Rangers in Samba sector.Pakistan also resorted to firing of mortar shells and small arms along the IB in Hiranagar belt of Kathua district on January 11.

On January 6, there was ceasefire violation by Pakistan Rangers along the IB in Kathua district.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/bsf-pakistani-rangers-exchange-gunfire-in-samba-sector/#sthash.t0pn0ZmP.dpuf

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Peshawar school attack changed Pakistan’s strategy on terror, say experts at Jaipur LitFest

23 Jan, 2015

Eminent author and journalist Ahmad Rashid on Thursday said that the Peshawar school attack last December which killed over 140 has brought a change of heart in Pakistan Army, the ISI, the government and political parties vis-a-vis war on terror.

Speaking at a penal discussion at the Jaipur Literary Festival, Rashid said that the threat from the Tehrik-e-Taliban is so acute and severe that Pakistan Army has been forced to rethink its strategy towards extremist groups which it has supported for decades. Others on the panel during the discussion included Pakistan’s former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, author Anatol Lieven who writes extensively on Pakistan and former Indian diplomat G Parthasarathy.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/peshawar-school-attack-changed-pakistans-strategy-on-terror-say-experts-at-jaipur-litfest/#sthash.ttNhQu2E.dpuf

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At least two killed, 16 injured in bomb blast in Bihar’s Arrah district court premises

23 Jan, 2015

A police constable and a woman suspected of being a human bomb were killed and about 16 others, including lawyers, injured in a bomb blast at Arrah civil court premises in Bihar on Friday.

Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey told PTI that the explosion took place around 11:30 AM when a van carrying under-trials for production in the court entered the premises and they were being taken to the court lock-up.

The woman, suspected to be carrying the explosive, was aged about 35-40 years, the ADG said, adding there was a possibility that she could be a human bomb.

Bomb splinters have been found on her body and a mobile recovered from her person, he said.

Pandey, however, ruled out the possibility of the blast being a terror attack.

A police constable Amit Kumar (40) was the other person killed, he added.

Bhojpur District Magistrate Pankaj Kumar Pal said that about 16 people, including three lawyers and as many policemen, were injured and taken to the civil hospital.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/bomb-explosion-inside-bihar-civil-court-kills-one-injures-seven-others/#sthash.2BfzUdSZ.dpuf

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Pakistan

 

Militant Media: Writers Stymie Action on Hate Literature

 January 23, 2015

ISLAMABAD: While the government has announced plans to take action against the dissemination of hate literature as prescribed by the National Action Plan (NAP), this is proving a herculean task in the absence of any mechanism to monitor and counter the outreach of such media. The publication of hate literature is managed by sectarian groups, religious seminaries, militant organisations and banned outfits. An official in the interior ministry told The Express Tribune that these publications directly or indirectly glorify militancy and fuel support for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda.

Due to the writings of a number of ‘influential contributors’, these publications are deemed to be ‘worth reading’, the official said. Such contributors include former army chief General Aslam Baig, former DG ISI General Hamid Gul, an advisor to the prime minister Irfan Siddiqi, and columnist Aurya Maqbool Jan. An investigation revealed that one writer, ‘Abu Shams’, is actually Jamatudawa’s (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed while Jaish-e-Muhammad’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar goes by the pseudonym ‘Saadi’.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/826192/militant-media-writers-stymie-action-on-hate-literature/

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NA Speaker Urges World Bodies to Stop Insult of Religious Beliefs

23 Jan, 2015

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has called upon the UN, EU, OIC and other world forums for strict implementations of laws against the continued practice of insulting religious beliefs under the grab of “freedom of expression”.

The NA speaker was addressing the plenary session of 10th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the Islamic Countries (PUIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, a statement from the National Assembly secretariat said here on Thursday.

Sadiq said that there has been a sporadic outpour of anger in all Muslim countries due to printing of blasphemous caricatures in the French and other journals. “I strongly condemn the continued practice of insulting religious beliefs under the garb of freedom of expression, especially against the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him),” he said. He said that Islam is a religion of peace and the Muslims respect all prophets and Holy Scriptures. Therefore, “we expect the world to show similar grace,” he said.

The NA speaker urged the international community to come forward to make the world a better place by stopping such kind of condemnable activities, which provoke the sentiments of the Muslim world. He reminded that such type of actions are also a blatant violation of Article 20 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights of the UN and also of the Article 10 of the European Union’s Convention on Human Rights.

Sadiq urged the United Nations, EU and OIC and all important world forums to take measures to stop such evil practices. On the occasion, he also referred to the brutal incident of December 16, 2014, when some hate-mongers attacked the Army Public School Peshawar and massacred 143 helpless young students and their unarmed teachers including women.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Jan-2015/sadiq-urges-world-bodies-to-stop-insult-of-religious-beliefs

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Jamaat-e-Islami chief writes to heads of state on blasphemy

23 Jan, 2015

LAHORE – Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq in a letter addressed to twenty eight heads of states besides the secretaries general of the United Nations and the OIC, have strongly condemned the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France, and called for UN legislation prohibiting blasphemy of all the Prophets (AS) of Allah.

He has impressed upon the world community to declare due respect for all the Prophets (AS) and the revealed books as mandatory, and demanded that anyone, expressing faith in any religion, committing any such action, must be charged with crime against humanity and proceeded accordingly. The letter has been addressed to the heads of states including those of France, Denmark, Britain, Italy, Germany, the US and the secretaries general of the UN and the OIC.

In his communication, the JI chief said that the publication of caricatures of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and attempt to disgrace the Nobel Prophet had caused unrest and deep concern throughout the Muslim world and it was high time that necessary legal measures were taken to prevent the repetition of such a practice. He said that the Muslims had full respect for all religions, the Prophets (AS) of Allah and all human beings, therefore, the same right should also be conceded to the Muslim Ummah and its holiest personality, of the Muslim Ummah.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/22-Jan-2015/ji-chief-writes-to-heads-of-state-on-blasphemy-siraj

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US must respect international laws in war against terrorism: Pakistan

23 Jan, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan told the United States of America to respect the international laws in its war against terrorism.

The advice came as the Foreign Office confirmed having frozen the accounts of Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and other United Nations-proscribed organisations, saying the decision has been taken in compliance with Islamabad’s obligations towards the world body and in line with the National Action Plan (NAP). The erstwhile Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, a militant outfit that remained active in Indian-occupied Kashmir and now operating apparently as a charity under the name of JuD, the outfit has been in the list of UN-sanctioned organisations since 2009. “We take our obligations very seriously and try to meet these obligations scrupulously. Once any individual and organization proscribed by the UN, we are required to freeze their assets and enforce travel restrictions. We take that action. Bank accounts of such entities and individuals are frozen after SRO (statuary rule order) is issued,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told weekly media briefing.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Jan-2015/us-must-respect-international-laws-in-war-against-terrorism-pakistan

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Wah bomber was Lal Masjid student

23 Jan, 2015

TAXILA: Preliminary investigation has revealed that Kosar Ali, the suicide bomber who blew himself up at a police picket in Wah on Tuesday, had been a student at the seminary in Lal Masjid.

Police and other law enforcement agencies picked up seven people on Thursday in connection with incident.

Those arrested were taken to an undisclosed location for further investigation. Among those arrested are two brothers of the suicide bomber.

The brothers were arrested in a midnight operation conducted at their native village, Jabbi Kasran, in Fateh Jang. Kosar Ali has left behind a wife, three brothers and a sister who lives in Faisalabad. His mother told the police that he had left home some three months ago and had not been in contact with the family, including his wife, since.

Police said that another brother of Kosar Ali is in Attock jail for his involvement in a murder case. Two of Kosar Ali’s brothers were construction workers while one was working as a rickshaw driver.

Meanwhile, the bomber’s body has been shifted to the morgue for collection of DNA samples.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1158882/wah-bomber-was-lal-masjid-student

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Charlie Hebdo attack: Pakistani pens 'apology' for the world on behalf of Muslims

January 22, 2015

A young Pakistani, Shehzad Ghias, has penned a fitting apology for an attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for people world over from Muslims. Enough said, here it is:

“After the tragic Charlie Hebdo shootings, there has been a call by some people to make all Muslims all over the world apologise for the incident. I completely agree with the sentiment. It is the only way to root out terrorism for once and for all.

Nothing could make all the victims of terrorist attacks all over the world happier than watching every single Muslim in the world say ‘sorry.’ To really drive the point home, we can even send them greeting cards with our heartfelt apologies.

I am sure the world would reciprocate in kind. We can start an apology trend. Once every single Muslim in the world apologises for Charlie Hebdo then we can move on to making every single Christian in the world apologise for Hitler. Hitler’s moustache is for the Christians what an unkempt beard is for the Muslims. I have no idea why mass murderers are so keen on making fashion statements too.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/825794/charlie-hebdo-attack-pakistani-pens-apology-for-the-world-on-behalf-of-muslims/

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War on terror is not a war on Islam: speakers

23 Jan, 2015

LAHORE: Speakers at a seminar urged society to recognise real terrorists who are misusing the name of Islam and relating the war on terror to the war on Islam.

The seminar titled ‘Terrorism and National Resolve’ was held at the Punjab Institute of Languages and Culture (PILAC) here on Thursday. The seminar was addressed by former Punjab governor and Jazba Foundation President Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool, MNA Shaqat Mehmdood, Lahore Arts Council BOG Chairman Attaul Haq Qasmi, Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi and a large number of clerics, scholars and people from all walks of lives.

While speaking on the occasion, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi was of the view that some illiterate people were spreading terrorism as real Islam but they were totally wrong as they were misleading innocent followers. He said that it was the need of the hour to unite and spread the message of love and humanity, as this was the only solution to the current crises prevailing in the country. He was of the view that we had already presented several suggestions on how to counter terrorism, extremism and sectarianism in our society.

Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool in his key address said that war against terrorism should not be considered a war between Islam and liberalism, as some terrorists were using the name of Islam only for the achievement of their vested interests. He said that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and lays stress on the welfare of all segments of society, especially the poor and the weak segments. He said that this is a resilient society and sincere leadership is required to impress this fact on the world.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/23-Jan-2015/war-on-terror-is-not-a-war-on-islam-speakers

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JuD not banned, only its accounts frozen: Pak. envoy

23 Jan, 2015

Pakistan is proceeding strictly in accordance with UN resolution, he said

In a bid to clear the confusion over the ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said here on Friday that there is no ban on JuD but its accounts have been frozen and movement of its members restricted as per the United Nations resolution. The UN, however, had banned the outfit in 2008.

"We are proceeding strictly in accordance with UN resolution and Jamat's bank accounts have been frozen, there is a ban on travel abroad of its leadership. We are moving in accordance with whatever is required under the UN resolution. I do not see much else needs to be done,'' Mr. Basit said. He was speaking at ``India Today'' round table.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jud-not-banned-only-its-accunts-frozen-pak-envoy/article6815148.ece?homepage=true

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Regional peace: Pakistan pressed US to tame India

January 23, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has urged the United States to use its influence for making India behave as a responsible state in order to bring stability and peace in the region.

This issue was raised during the recent visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry, where he held in-depth discussions with Pakistani political and military leadership.

“Latest developments in the region particularly the ongoing operation against terrorism and the rising tension with India came under discussion,” sources privy to the meetings held with Kerry told this correspondent on the condition of anonymity.

“Kerry was asked that President Obama should take up Pakistan’s concerns related to India during his forthcoming visit to India,” sources said, adding that “Kerry was urged that President Obama should put pressure on Indian leadership for resumption of dialogue process with Pakistan in order to resolve all outstanding issues, including Kashmir”.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/826197/regional-peace-pakistan-pressed-us-to-tame-india/

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Europe

 

France plans civility lessons and ‘day of secularity’

KIM WILLSHER

23 Jan, 2015

French schoolchildren are to be given lessons in national symbols including the tricolour and the Marseillaise in an attempt to combat the spread of religious fundamentalism.

The government announced new measures including a “day of secularity” after concerns were raised that some children — notably those from migrant populations — were failing to understand the “values of the republic”.

This month teachers complained that some pupils refused to keep a minute’s silence in respect for the 17 victims of three terrorist attacks two weeks ago. Some schools also reported that a number of Muslim students rejected the Je suis Charlie movement after the Charlie Hebdo attack, saying the satirical magazine’s drawings of the Prophet Mohammed had insulted their religion.

Teachers are to be given training in transmitting republican values in an effort to stop young people dropping out of education and falling prey to extremists. Pupils will be given “civic and moral lessons” — including in civility and politeness — as well as “media instruction” as part of the scheme costing €250 million (£190 million) in the next three years. National “secularity day” will be on 9 December.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/france-plans-civility-lessons-and-day-of-secularity/article6812645.ece

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Anti-Muslim acts soar in France since attacks

23 January 2015

The number of anti-Muslim incidents in France has soared since the Paris attacks, with 128 such acts registered over two weeks, almost the same amount as all 2014, a watchdog said Friday.

The National Observatory Against Islamophobia said 33 acts against mosques in particular and 95 threats had been reported to authorities since the January 7-9 shooting spree by three French jihadists that killed 17, compared to a total of 133 such incidents in 2014.

The tally for the two weeks since January 7 do not include incidents in Paris and its surrounding region, where police have yet to release their figures.

The number of anti-Muslim incidents in 2014 had dropped 41 percent from the previous year, according to the watchdog.

“But these figures do not reflect reality, as many Muslims don't want to systematically file a complaint when they are victims of xenophobic acts, convinced that there will be no follow-up, which is unfortunately often the case,” the observatory said.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2015/01/23/Anti-Muslim-acts-soar-in-France-since-attacks.html

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Coalition ‘Needs 2 Years to Kick Out IS From Iraq’: UK Foreign Secy

23 Jan, 2015

LONDON: Top officials from 21 countries kicked off talks in London on pushing back Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria and tackling the growing threat of home-grown militants in Europe.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said before the meeting that the task of pushing the IS militants back would be slow.

“This isn’t going to be done in three months or six months. It’s going to take a year, two years to push ISIL (IS) back out of Iraq but we are doing the things that need to be done in order to turn the tide,” Hammond told Sky News.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Hammond co-hosted the talks.

It will be the first time the US-led coalition has met since this month’s attacks in Paris against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a supermarket that left 17 people dead.

“Terrorists want to drive us apart, but in fact their actions have had the opposite effect, they’re bringing us together,” Kerry said ahead of the talks.

He also called for international action on “the root causes, so that terrorist appeals fall flat and foreign recruits are no longer enticed to go to a place and wreak havoc on it.”

A US state department official said foreign fighters would be a “real focus” of the meeting and that an expert working group would be formed on sharing information to stop militants travelling.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/693391

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French court upholds stripping citizenship in terror case

AP | Jan 23, 2015

PARIS: France's top court has upheld the government's decision to strip citizenship of a Franco-Moroccan man who was convicted of terrorism-related crimes. In a ruling Friday, the court said the fight against terrorism justifies the different treatment of those who were born French and those who acquired citizenship.

The law allows stripping citizenship only if the person has citizenship elsewhere, and targets especially those convicted of terrorism, if the crimes took place either before the person became French or within 15 years.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/French-court-upholds-stripping-citizenship-in-terror-case/articleshow/45990831.cms

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France tackles discrimination, inequalities after attacks

AP | Jan 23, 2015

PARIS: The French government launched a new effort on Thursday to heal social and religious fractures by better teaching children about secular values and steering them away from extremist propaganda, after French-born Islamic radicals shocked the nation in three days of terrorist attacks.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls shocked many this week by referring to a "territorial, social, ethnic apartheid" that especially affects troubled suburbs or "banlieues," tinderboxes of discontent where values that bind the nation are often absent. They house France's poorest, especially minorities with immigrant roots, including many Muslims from former French colonies.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/France-tackles-discrimination-inequalities-after-attacks/articleshow/45985331.cms

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Austria's first trial of alleged Islamic State fighter starts

23 Jan, 2015

(Reuters) - A 30-year old Chechen who Austrian authorities accuse of fighting with Islamic State jihadists in Syria in 2013 and sending them money pleaded not guilty when the country's first such trial opened on Thursday.

Prosecutors allege Magomed Z., a Russian national, trained with IS in Syria between July and December 2013, fighting with the group, adopting its "nationality" and sending it $800.

The defendant said he had gone to Syria only to help refugees and search for the son of a relative.

"Jihad brings only war, brings only suffering," he said quietly through an interpreter.

"I myself experienced war in Chechnya. I know what happened to us, having nothing to eat. We ate grass. I saw the images of war on the internet and wanted to help."

Defense attorney Wolfgang Blaschitz said the man, who faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted of joining a terrorist organization, was practically blind without his glasses.

Responding to images showing the defendant holding weapons, Blaschitz said he was simply out to impress women.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/22/us-mideast-crisis-austria-idUSKBN0KV12T20150122

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Mideast

 

Erdoğan vows to replace Gülen schools abroad with Turkish ministry schools

23 Jan, 2015

he Turkish president has again called on foreign countries to shut down schools operated by supporters of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based ally-turned-foe, saying the Turkish state would happily replace those schools.

“Me, our prime minister, and our ministers tell the leaders of countries we visit to close these schools, explaining their positions,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 22, speaking at a joint press conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

His remarks came in response to a question about the private and charter schools operated by supporters of the Gülen movement across over 140 countries, including many in Africa.

Erdoğan also said government officials seek to assure these countries that Turkey’s Education Ministry would be able to provide the services given by Gülen schools in these countries.

“The Education Ministry is about to complete its works on this issue,” he added.

On several occasions over the past few years, Erdoğan has reportedly urged foreign countries, particularly African countries where Gülen supporters are known to have a strong presence, to be careful about the Gülen movement’s activities, arguing that it uses its schools and charities as a cover for its “dangerous actions.”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-vows-to-replace-gulen-schools-abroad-with-turkish-ministry-schools.aspx?pageID=238&nID=77299&NewsCatID=338

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Hamas calls on Hezbollah to unite fight against Israel

23 Jan, 2015

GAZA: A letter purported to be from Mohammed Deif, the leader of Hamas’ armed wing, on Thursday appealed to the Lebanese Hezbollah group to unite with Hamas in battling Israel.

The letter, posted on the website of Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV, suggests the Palestinian Hamas and Hezbollah were patching up a rift over the Syrian war.

Hamas has been hostile toward Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Hezbollah, backed by Iran, has been fighting against the rebels trying to topple him.

“The true enemy of the nation is the Zionist enemy and all rifles must be directed against it,” said the letter, which carried Deif’s signature. “All forces of resistance must direct their coming battle as one.”

Deif was targeted in an Israeli bombing in last summer’s Gaza war.

The letter offered Hamas’s condolences to Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah over the killing of six of its fighters in an Israeli air strike on Sunday in Syria near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday he will address the US Congress during a March visit likely to drive home differences with the Obama administration over whether to impose additional sanctions on Tehran.

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/693526

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Palestinian Envoy: Iran's Independence Honor for Islamic Ummah

23 Jan, 2015

Palestinian Ambassador to Tehran Salah Zawawi in a meeting with Iranian Health Minister Seyed Hassan Hashemi underlined that Iran's independence from the foreign states is an honor for the whole Muslim world.

During the meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Zawawi said that old relations between Iran and Palestine is a source of honor, and added Iran is a thorn in the eyes of the Zionist regime and the US and Iran's independence is a matter of pride and honor for the Islamic Ummah.

Hashemi, for his part, said that late Imam Khomeini regarded Palestine a part of the Muslim World occupied by the Israeli occupying regime, and said the Islamic Republic of Iran supports liberation of the territories of Palestine from the Israeli occupation.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931102000364

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Iranian Minister: Western Religious Bodies Blast Charlie Hebdo

23 Jan, 2015

Iranian Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi condemned the French weekly, Charlie Hebdo, for publishing a cartoon of Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), and said the act has even been lambasted by the western religious and cultural bodies.

Addressing a gathering in the Central city of Qom on Wednesday, Pourmohammadi criticized the immoral act of Charlie Hebdo for repetition of the wrongful act blaspheming Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), saying that the cultural-religious bodies of the West have also condemned the wrongful act.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at the western states for their double-standard approach towards different religions as a main contributor to spreading hatred and extremism in the world.

Rouhani referred to the sacrilegious cartoon of Islam's Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) published by the French weekly Charlie Hebdo's recently, and said, "A magazine which is used as a weapon of prejudice is always full of bullets of insult and certain people sow the seeds of hatred and others harvest vengeance under the name of religion but with the sickle of massacre."

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931102000731

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Yemen lawmakers to meet Sunday after president quits

23 Jan, 2015

Yemen's parliament will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday after President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi offered to resign over a deadly standoff with Shiite militia controlling the capital, official media said.

Hadi, a key US ally in the fight against Al-Qaeda, said in his letter of resignation that he could no longer stay in office as the country was in "total deadlock".

"The parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting Sunday to discuss the current developments in the country," state news agency Saba reported.

A Yemeni official had earlier said lawmakers would meet on Friday to debate the resignation offer, which needs to be approved by the house.

But Hadi advisor Sultan al-Atwani told AFP that parliament would meet on Sunday "at the earliest" because it is in recess and lawmakers need time to return.

Witnesses and security forces said that Huthi militiamen had encircled the parliament building overnight, having already seized the presidential palace earlier this week.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/121089/World/Region/Yemen-lawmakers-to-meet-Sunday-after-president-qui.aspx

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Southeast Asia

 

Sex, Money and Power Lure Would-Be Jihadists to Isis, Say Malaysian Cops

23 Jan, 2015

Sex, money, material gain and influence are the four key elements found in almost every deviant Islamic sect, a senior police intelligence official said, and are similarly the reasons why some Malays are attracted to the Islamic State's (Isis) cause.

Special Branch director Datuk Seri Akhil Bulat said these four elements have appeared consistently in police investigations into various sects, and presented a key to understanding the mindset of would-be militants.

"For these deviant sects, everything always begins with ideology. But once their numbers have increased, in terms of membership, then these sects progress to violence.

"The reason why these sects appeal to Malays is because they allow what Islam forbids, which appeals to those who are confused and pressured by their daily lives," he said in an interview.

Alternative interpretations of the Quran, such as telling members that they do not need to pray five times a day, nor do they need to fast during Ramadan, may be attractive to some Muslims.

"They are told that they can interpret the Quran as they see fit, instead of according to the interpretations of Islamic scholars or religious authorities."

A recent example of the Isis's abuse of Quranic verses is the publication of a pamphlet, Su’al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab, or Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves, which justifies the use of female captives for sex and sex with underage girls.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/sex-money-power-lure-would-be-jihadists-to-isis-say-cops#sthash.r7bnZcYF.dpuf

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Convert if you want to use ‘Allah’, Muslim group tells Christians

23 Jan, 2015

A radical Muslim group has urged Christians in Malaysia to convert to Islam if they want to use the "kalimah Allah" following the Federal Court's decision to deny the Catholic Church a review of the ruling  banning the use of the word in its weekly, Herald.

In an article on their website, the Malaysian chapter of Hizbut Tahrir said Christians could use the word as much as they wanted to but only if they converted to Islam as there were thousands of kalimah Allah in the Quran.

"The room for Christians to use Allah has never been closed. In fact, it has always been open as wide as it possibly can. They are the ones who have closed the space.

"It is easy, they convert to Islam, the only Allah religion that is true. Look into Islam with a sincere heart and with a prayer that Allah SWT will show you the sign.

"Then convert to Islam and you can use the kalimah Allah. Read the al-Quran and there are thousands of kalimah Allah to be read and understood," the group said.

Hizbut Tahrir also noted that the conditions to enter into the religion of Allah were simple and would enable Christians and those of other faiths to use the kalimah Allah.

"Once you become a Muslim, you will not need a court's permission to use the kalimah Allah," it said.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/convert-if-you-want-to-use-allah-muslim-group-tells-christians#sthash.mde0qwV2.dpuf

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To Indonesian Analysts, Obama’s Remarks on IS Are Lost in Translation

23 Jan, 2015

Jakarta. While security analysts in Indonesia have voiced support for US President Barack Obama’s recent remarks calling on the world’s help in combating terrorism, a close reading of domestic experts’ remarks suggests some nuances of Washington’s call to action may have been lost on Indonesian audiences.

Obama has taken the right step by identifying the Islamic State as a violent group and a global threat, said Bantarto Bandoro, a senior lecturer at the Indonesian Defense University.

Yet, Obama had made similar remarks on many occasions prior to his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Wednesday.

“It is already long past the time for the US to convey such a message like that,” Bantarto told the Jakarta Globe. “Although it seems a bit late, it is a statement that indicates more that IS is a common threat to the world. And they cannot just be allowed to roam out there doing violence.”

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesian-analysts-obamas-remarks-lost-translation/

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Between ‘divine’ punishments and taxpayers’ rights: PAS president

23 Jan, 2015

In PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's worldview, punishments like chopping off hands and stoning for crimes are par for the course but taxpayers cannot elect local government representatives because it can lead to racial discord.

He also subscribes to the view that most Malays still remain in rural and semi-rural areas while the Chinese are the majority in urban areas, if his comments against the DAP's proposals to have the third vote is anything to go by.

"What more when we look at it from a racial aspect which could cause the gap to widen and polarisation to happen, as well as tensions between residents in a town with a Chinese majority.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/between-divine-punishments-and-taxpayers-rights#sthash.r6KmT072.dpuf

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/new-king-salman-pledges-no-change-in-saudi-direction/d/101175

 

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